Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola Prepares High School Students for the Future

Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola and its parent Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED have been dedicated to supporting youth in their locales. Read more about a few Tuscaloosa programs that prepare young people for successful futures.

What Is WOW?

WOW stands for “World of Work,” West Alabama Works’ annual expo event that introduces middle school and high school students to different trades and career paths.

For its second year in a row, this event has given high school students across West Alabama the chance to meet and make connections with potential employers in the area. The students who attend the event come with resumes in hand, prepared to interview with the companies in attendance.

The Dear Future Tuscaloosa Challenge

In preparation for WOW 2.0, Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola, alongside Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED in Birmingham, hosted the Dear Future Tuscaloosa challenge. In this challenge, young adults, including college and professional students, submitted innovative ideas designed to address job skills needs and career readiness.

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and West Alabama Works are partnering with Coca-Cola on this local challenge and helped select the winning idea by University of Alabama MBA Candidate Maruka Walker.

Walker took home a prize of $30,000 to bring her idea to life. Also, the Chamber of West Alabama, West Alabama Works, and Coca-Cola Scholars will mentor Walker in turning her vision into reality. Her winning proposal will be implemented throughout the year. Walker also led the groups of middle and high schoolers participating in WOW 2.0.

The Impact of These Programs

These programs have the opportunity to make a huge impact in the Tuscaloosa area.

“Jobs today require more specialized skills and education than ever before, and we see this so clearly in our community,” said Kevin Horton, Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola sales center manager.   “Dear Future Tuscaloosa is an effort to engage the energy and passion of young people to take a leadership role in helping identify ways to ensure that Tuscaloosa residents are career ready and have the job skills needed for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of the future.”

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