On April 20th and 21st, nearly 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators and more will make their way to Birmingham to attend FuelAL, Alabama’s first future-focused talent conference. We spoke with Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College and a panelist at FuelAL, to learn more about what to expect.
About the FuelAL Talent Conference
Did you know that only two of every three in-state college students and only one of every five out-of-state college students stay in Alabama one year after graduation? With tens of thousands of talented young minds graduating from Alabama colleges and universities each year, the lost potential of these bright and creative college graduates has been noticed by the state’s private and public leaders.
Hosted by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), the FuelAL Talent Conference is a future-focused conference offering workshops, group sessions, panel discussions and a renowned keynote speaker to help our state’s leaders learn from each other about best practices in talent attraction and retention.
At the FuelAL Talent Conference, attendees will hear from a number of featured guest speakers, including:
- Bill Poole, Alabama Finance Director
- Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College
- Chuck Holmes, Executive Director at Alabama Humanities Alliance
- Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville, Alabama
- Kim Lear, Keynote Speaker and generational researcher
Learn from Alabama leaders and share ideas at the FuelAL Talent Conference, April 20-21st. Click here to learn more & register!
Meet Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College
To learn more about the FuelAL Talent Conference, we met with Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College and a featured speaker at FuelAL. At the conference, Dr. Warrick will serve on a panel called College Career Connectors and use her experience in college administration to highlight how universities help students find the best career pathways, as well as how they work with employers to connect students to new opportunities.
As a college administrator, Dr. Warrick has seen first-hand the challenges of retaining recent graduates in the state. Although the majority of Stillman College students are Alabama residents, many of them are from rural communities and don’t have many opportunities in their hometowns. In order to combat these challenges, Stillman College has developed initiatives to encourage graduates to stay in-state.
“Recently, Stillman College has added a teacher education minor to most of our degree programs. Our goal is to give graduates the option of staying here in Alabama and teaching as their first job right out of college. Right now, many school districts are offering sign-on bonuses to new teachers and graduates can get loan forgiveness if they teach in Title One schools.”Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President, Stillman College
At FuelAL, Dr. Warrick and others will share others ways to encourage recent grads to stay in-state. Through conference panels and workshops, attendees will learn about proven hiring benefit incentive packages, community communication plans, work-based learning and more incentives that encourage the young workforce to stay in-state after graduating.
“I think we need to be very intentional about creating more knowledge-based jobs in Alabama. We need to create opportunities for our college graduates to develop their skills in knowledge-based jobs and expand on some of the traditional jobs we see. Alabama has been ranked very highly in innovation lately, so I see no reason why we can’t also excel in providing more knowledge-based employment.
One thing we’ve learned from this pandemic is that a lot of people don’t want to return to their old way of work, especially younger people. FuelAL is a statewide conference, so we’ll be talking about opportunities all across the state—not just Birmingham and Huntsville.”Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President, Stillman College
Learn about new opportunities in Alabama at the FuelAL Talent Conference, April 20th
“Ultimately, economic development is fueled by the talent coming from local universities—you can’t have economic development unless you have that talent. Alabama colleges and universities are doing a great job of preparing graduates for the ever-changing workforce, so we need to do our part in educating these minds about all the opportunities that our state does have to offer. We want people to walk away from FuelAL with new ways they can grow professionally and new ideas they can take back to their teams to make their workspaces better.”Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President, Stillman College
The FuelAL Talent Conference will take place over two days and in two locations in Birmingham.
- Wednesday, April 20th — Opening Reception at the EDPA headquarters (Birmingham)
- Thursday, April 21st — Talent Conference at the Valley Hotel (Homewood)