Current Resources & Opportunities for H&T Employers

Sydney G. Raine

Sydney G. Raine
President, Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment

Sydney G. Raine is a 1963 graduate of Central High School, Mobile, Alabama and a 1967 graduate of Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana.

Raine is President of Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment (SWAPTE), an employment and training program funded by the Department of Labor.  His employment history extends back to the early seventies whereas from 1971-74, he was Job Developer and Monitor for the Emergency Employment Act Program, in 1975, Director for the Cooperative Area Manpower Planning  System, and from 1975-2000, Director of Mobile Consortium Job Training Partnership Program (JTPA).

His professional training consists of Basic Management Concept Training, Advance Management Training and Link Enterprises Management and Supervisory Training.

Raine is involved in numerous business and civic related activities and serves as past chairman of the Franklin Primary Health Center Board, chairman and founding member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Mobile. He serves as a member of the Board with the following organizations:  Alabama Workforce Investment Board, Drug Education Council and Feeding the Gulf Coast.  He is a 1974 Graduate of Leadership Mobile and a1996 Graduate of Leadership Alabama.

He has also received numerous awards such as the 1976 Outstanding Youth Men of America Award, the 1983 Mobile Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi  Man of the Year, the 1991 Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association for Community Leadership, the 1991 Superior Individual Performance Award from the National Alumni Council, UNCF, Inc., the 1992 Outstanding Service Award from the National Association of Counties, and the recipient of the 1998 Presidential Award from the Southeastern Employment and Training Association.  Most recently he received the Partners in Progress Award from the State Office of Workforce Development.

Over the last 36 years, he has been responsible for handling in excess of $650 million in federal funds to provide training and employment services for eligible individuals in Southwest Alabama.

Raine is a member of the Mobile Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and State Street A.M.E. Zion Church.  He and his wife of forty six years, Ursell, are the proud parents of two adult children and three grand-children.


Michael J Nelson
Apprenticeship & Training Representative,  United States Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship

Michael J Nelson Sr. (Mike) was appointed as the USDOL’s Apprenticeship and Training Representative for the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast region in September, 2015. His primary duties are to promote, develop and register apprenticeship programs for employers, associations, union and non-union, large and small companies on the Gulf Coast. Prior to this appointment, Mike worked as an Apprenticeship Training Coordinator in the private industry from 2009-2015.

Mike served in the U. S. Coast Guard on active duty in multiple locations for over 27 years. He served as the U. S. Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team Engineer Officer in Mobile, Alabama before retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer (Naval Engineer Specialty) in 2009.

He was raised in Houston, TX and resides in Mobile, Alabama.

Abigail Baxter

Abigail Baxter
Professor in Special Education, University of South Alabama

Abigail Baxter is a Professor in Special Education at USA. Additionally she is the Director of PASSAGE USA, USA’s postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. PASSAGE USA is a 5-year federally-funded grant focused the development of independent living and employment skills in young adults. Currently there are seven students enrolled in PASSAGE USA. Students take specialized and general curriculum classes and work on- and off-campus jobs. Students are also involved in campus activities and have access to the same university facilities and benefits as other students.

Dr. Baxter received her bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, master’s degree from University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.