The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is moving forward with plans to open the West Alabama Workforce and Community Development Center, a one-of-a-kind facility in Alabama that will house not only the Chamber and West Alabama Works but will also be home to numerous workforce and community development organizations. This initiative has been in the works for more than two years but was delayed by the Chamber’s focus on responding to the local economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chamber has now moved into the facility at 2222 9th St. in downtown Tuscaloosa, which it purchased from Regions Bank, after selling its office space in the River Bluff Office Park on Jack Warner Parkway. Regions will soon move into a newly constructed facility next door, at 800 22nd Ave., in late March. The new location is Regions’ latest investment in its branch network and will provide a state-of-the-art banking center that blends convenient new technology with personalized service from experienced local bankers. Additional features available at the new branch will be shared soon.
“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is possible because of the generosity and civic-minded focus of Regions Bank, which made the 9th Street facility available to the Chamber at a price below market value,” said Jim Page, Chamber President and CEO. “Regions shares in our vision of creating a center for workforce and community development that will lead to unprecedented collaboration and synergies in support of job creation, under one roof.”
Regions Bank’s Tuscaloosa market executive, Elizabeth Winter, said the Chamber project aligns with the bank’s mission to support communities it serves.
“This is about the power of community partnership; when we work together for the common good, we can help Tuscaloosa County and West Alabama achieve new heights in terms of business development and job creation,” Winter said. “The opportunity for Regions to provide a better banking experience for the needs of today’s customers resulted in a chance to support this unique project to further this community’s growth and workforce development. We are proud to soon welcome customers to our new, state-of-the-art branch, and we look forward to celebrating the new workforce and community development center in the coming months.”
The move is the next step in a vision that was born from the Chamber’s 2018 Benchmarking Trip to Lexington, Kentucky, where business and community leaders saw multiple partner agencies working together within the Commerce Lexington, Inc. facility to advance their nationally recognized economic, workforce, and community development efforts.
“Our team came home from Lexington with the idea that we could create something similar here,” Page said. “We all know close collaboration more easily occurs when partner entities are in the same space, so we’re excited to be turning this vision into reality. It is also a true testament to the value of learning proven best practices from other innovative communities through our annual benchmarking trips.”
A joint ribbon cutting will celebrate the opening of the two facilities. Details will be announced soon.
About the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is a Tuscaloosa County-based pro-business advocacy organization serving more than 65,000 working men and women through more than 1,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, and educational institutions. The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is to provide the leadership, vision, and catalyst for the advancement of the economic prosperity, business climate, and quality of life for the entire community.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $147 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.