LBW’s Sutton receives World of Works leadership award

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

LBW Community College Director of Workforce Development Chad Sutton was recently awarded the Southeast AlabamaWorks Powell Brewton Leadership Award.

Sutton received the award in recognition of excellence in leadership in the advancement of career and technical education.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be recognized by leaders in our community. I’ll be honest, it really is not about me; it’s more about what LBW is doing in our service area and how everyone views LBW in their own community,” Sutton said. “We are the community’s college, and we are going to attack that at every angle and every level. I have absolutely no silos in my thought process. We want to create opportunities for our community that can positively impact a life and change a career path for the better. That can happen in elementary, middle, high school, post-secondary, and adults.”

The annual leadership award was established to honor a person from business and industry who has enthusiastically and consistently promoted career and technical education in Southeast Alabama.

Sutton feels this recognition is only the beginning of what LBW can offer.

“I think the gratitude comes from people recognizing what we are trying to accomplish for our community. It’s exciting that people are noticing our efforts. It doesn’t mean we are done; honestly, we are just getting started. I never really believed that an award would help me move forward, but it does say that what we are doing at LBW has a lot of value to our community. When you are doing good and meaningful work, I believe that is what motivates you every single day to deliver opportunities that can help change lives,” he said.

According to Sutton, there is a formula for training and success if one is to become a responsible and productive citizen in the community. His formula involves three factors: awareness, exploration, and skill development.

“Awareness allows people to realize what could be and gets the wheels turning. We need to explore the thoughts and opportunities that we are now aware of. After being made aware of opportunities and exploring those opportunities by trying different things, we are now ready to develop skill. Skill is something that never leaves you, and nobody can take it away from you. It sets you apart from others,” he said.

For him, training individuals in his position at LBW is more encompassing than many might think.

“If you are going to train someone, you’re not just teaching them one thing. It’s about the industry and the opportunities. It’s about thinking outside the box and learning. We have the opportunity to train individuals to take advantage of amazing opportunities in our workforce. We are all a part of the workforce and LBW will continue helping others to create skills to take advantage of opportunities. Awareness, exploration, and skill development lead to career opportunities. All of this can, and does, occur at every age level. What we are doing will make an impact in our community. There is so much more to come,” Sutton said.