The story of how Ōnin became involved in workforce development finds its beginnings at Central High School, located in Tuscaloosa, AL. The principal of Central High, Dr. Sutton was faced with a serious dilemma on his hands. He was seeing his graduating seniors who weren’t going to college falling through the cracks of society without any work or purpose. This reality troubled Dr. Sutton deeply to the point where he began knocking on employer’s doors to see if they would hire some of his graduating seniors, who weren’t going to college. Soon, the word about Dr. Sutton’s actions and his passion for his students began to spread across the west Alabama region. After learning about the needs facing Central High School and meeting with Dr. Sutton personally, Ōnin immediately adopted his high school as our own. In order to solve this unemployment barrier facing graduating seniors at Central High, Onin brought school educators and employers together to tackle this issue. This employer charge was led by Russel Dubose from Phifer Inc., who formed key employer networks and in partnership with the West Alabama Works! network. The program designed during that meeting has since become a catalyst of change throughout the entire state of Alabama.
Director of Workforce & Talent
Garth Thorpe serves as Director Workforce & Talent where he is focused on creating new talent pipelines for multiple industries by aligning industry and education. Before joining Onin, Garth was working in West Africa and South America equipping aging out orphans with life and job skills so they could become gainfully employed into the private sector. Garth has extensive experience in the educational sphere where he earned a Master's in instructional design and performance improvement. He also has extensive experience internationally where he spent multiple years working with refugees in Bangladesh helping translate an unwritten language.
Regional Workforce Development Manager
After graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she started her career as an outreach educator at the McWane Science Center. She was tasked with designing and delivering science programs to schools, libraries and community organizations all over the state of Alabama who might not have the resources to visit the museum. As the Director of Outreach and Program at the Girl Scouts of North-Central AL, Tiffany and her staff designed and delivered programs in schools to over 2000 students annually in underserved areas in greater Birmingham, Huntsville, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Walker County and the Black Belt. The Outreach Program gave opportunities for nontraditional learning experiences in the field of STEM and Creative Arts to girls who might not have access to a traditional volunteer-led troop. Now Tiffany is the Regional Workforce Development Manager for the Onin Group. There she manages the High School Ready to Work Program is Central AL. Almost 300 students across 14 schools in the Central- AL are learning employability skills while learning about different industries via industry tours, employer visits which will lead to employment or training opportunities at "signing day" in May.
Tiffany also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Sidewalk Film Festival. She recruits and manages over 600 volunteer positions that it takes to run a week-long film festival. As a natural connector, it only made sense for her to be one of the founding members of Lead On, a women's leadership and networking group that gives Birmingham women an opportunity to explore, learn, encourage, and spur each other on toward more effective leadership.
Workforce Development Coordinator
Kasani Bell is a Workforce Development Coordinator at The Onin Group. As a Workforce Development Coordinator, Kasani serves as a liasion between industries, educators and community partners to help sustain and grow the workforce. Kasani is passionate about working with youth and has done so for a majority of her career. Kasani received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Alabama State University in 2015 and a Master of Arts in Marriage, Couples & Family Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2020. Kasani is a native of Oakland, CA and comes from a big family. In her free time, Kasani enjoys traveling, trying new recipes and spending time with family and friends.
Workforce Development Specialist
Jessica Marie Cable is a Workforce Development Specialist for the Onin Group and works to promote the West Alabama High School Ready To Work Initiative. She is a dynamic result-driven Educator/Administrator with a 10-year history of professionalism and achievement. She has demonstrated success in implementing programs to enrich student’s future collegiate and career endeavors. Jessica has experience as a part-time certified Ready To Work Instructor for the Workforce Development department at Shelton State Community College. She has worked as a Middle and High School Life Science Teacher in Tuscaloosa City and County School Systems. She also served as an Upward Bound Science Teacher at Stillman College and Ready to Work Program Coordinator at Central High School. Jessica spent a year in Shanghai, China working for English Frist teaching English as a second language to Chinese students ages 3 -17. Cable graduated from Stillman College with a Bachelor’s in Biology. She is currently working on a Master’s of Art in Teaching from Western Governors University. Jessica is the daughter of John and Deloris Cable, she has one older sibling Dr. Jason M. Cable.