Region A Senior Celebration

The Southwestern Commission’s Area Agency on Aging is hosting the Region A Senior Celebration on September 7, 2018.

When: 9 AM to 2 PM
Where: WCU Ramsey Center
92 Catamount Road
Cullowhee, NC 28723

You must be a participant at a senior center to attend.  Please sign up at your center.  Contact the Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging at (828)586-1962 if you have any questions.

Click HERE for information on sponsoring this event.

Register Now for the Spring Aging Conference

The Area Agency on Aging is hosting its Spring Aging Conference on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Burrell Building at Southwestern Community College.  The conference will begin at 9:00 AM and will end at 3:30 PM.

4 CEU’s will be offered.

You will benefit from attending this conference
if you are:
… a professional, an advocate, a family caregiver, and/or a consumer.
… interested in understanding how organizations that provide critical
services for seniors can survive in the face of reduced funding and escalating demand for services.
… interested in learning about and sharing best practices in aging services.

Registration Fee: $25.00*
*A limited number of scholarships are available. Contact Sarajane Melton ( to request a scholarship.

Respite care will be available. If you are a family caregiver who needs respite for your loved one so you can attend the conference, please indicate your need on the Registration Form, which can be found using the brochure below:

Spring Aging Conference Brochure

New “Harvest” Video is Released

The newest in a series of videos from the Southwestern Commission along with with the Mountain West Partnership is now available to view online.  This film grew out the Rural Food Business Assistance Project, which ran a series of community meetings in small towns across WNC last year, and also provided over $20,000 worth of scholarships to over 80 local food businesses in the region. That project aimed to both capture a snapshot of what was happening in the local food scene across WNC’s western counties, and also connect farmers and food businesses with their local Small Business Centers to ensure that they could grow and prosper.

Click HERE to see the video.

Several Dementia Friends Workshops to Be Held In Region A

A Dementia Friendly Community is one that cares about its neighbors; one that listens to the feelings of its residents with dementia; one that recognizes the signs; one that understands the needs; and one that acts.

It’s a place where people with dementia will live as independently as possible and be valued and respected. Where they can engage in activities that we take for granted and be supported as these activities become more difficult. Where these changes will be noticed, understood, and accepted.

This Spring, various community partners are sponsoring Dementia education events in both Jackson County and Macon County.   These events are for anyone interested in learning about dementia and how to make our community a more Dementia Friendly Community.

For more information on dates, time, and locations, please click on the flyers below.

Macon County Flyer

Jackson County Flyer

WIOA Plan Year 2018 Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the Regional WIOA Adult, Dislocated Workers, and Youth Programs

The Workforce Development Board of the Southwestern Workforce Development Consortium is seeking proposals for the operation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult, Dislocated Workers, and Youth Programs for program year 2018 in the Tri-County (Cherokee, Clay, and Graham), Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties. Please note all bidders can bid for all counties but must bid with the intention of operating all the programs in the Tri-County Area verses just a single county. Request for Proposal (RFP) packages will be available for distribution at a Bidders Conference to be held at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, January 18, 2018 at the Southwestern Commission offices located at 125 Bonnie Lane, Sylva, NC  28779.  RFP’s may also be requested by emailing no later than 4:00 p.m. Thursday, January 18, 2018.  The completed bid packages must be returned to the above address no later than 4:00 p.m., Monday, February 12, 2018.  Late submittals will not be accepted.


Southwestern Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We do not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, marital status, color, religion, national origin or disability.


Solicitation for WIOA Program Year 2018 Letter(s) of Intent for Operator of Southwestern Local Area NCWORKS Career Centers

The Workforce Development Board of the Southwestern Workforce Development Consortium is seeking letters of intent for the operation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) NCWorks Career Centers/NCWorks Center/NCWorks Information Site located in the following counties: Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties for program year 2018. Letter of intent information may be requested by emailing The completed and signed letter of intent must be received at the Southwestern Commission, 125 Bonnie Lane, Sylva, NC 28779 address no later than 4:00 p.m., Monday, February 12, 2018. Late submittals will not be accepted. Please note total maximum cost reimbursement to the contractor(s) shall not exceed a maximum of $50,000.00 for this solicitation.

Southwestern Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We do not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, marital status, color, religion, national origin or disability.

WIOA Success

Written by June Crawford, WIOA Participant

In July of 2013 my husband and I found ourselves having to make one of the hardest decisions we had faced. Our family business had recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It had been started by my Dad and Grandpa and had become my husband’s and mine nine years earlier. Now due to the economy and my husband’s health we had to make the decision to close the store. This is when I found myself having to look at other career options.

I walked into the NC Works office hoping to find help with unemployment, having no idea what to expect and feeling hopeless. What I found were people who cared and had answers for my dilemma. I was introduced to several programs that could assist me, from creating a resumé to how to pay my home mortgage. The WIOA program assisted me in finding what career opportunities could open for me and to find what my new interests might be. They helped me to see that a woman who has assisted her husband in the family business and aided her children to choose the colleges that best fit their dreams, can also start a new path of her own. I found it is not to late begin again.

I was enrolled in Southwestern Community College for the Human Services degree. The classes were interesting but sometimes hard. There were times I wanted to “throw in the towel” so I would call Susan, my WIOA advisor and she would assure me I could do it. It was weeks and months of that assurance that kept me going. Not only that, but the WIOA program had my back when it came to purchasing my books and helping me to choose the right supplies. They assisted me to remember to keep my car in good running order and aided in choosing the proper attire for interviews.

On May 10, 2016 after English, math, psychology, public speaking, and many human service classes, I graduated! I not only graduated, but I graduated with honors, Magna Cum Laude. I have been inducted into the National Technical Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). I was asked to give the student perspective speech at the Human Service pinning ceremony alongside my instructor Sarah Altman and before my peers, dean, and family. I also took extra classes so I graduated with my Human Service degree and certificate in substance abuse. I did an internship with Project Challenge, which allowed me to network with several organizations in the seven western counties of North Carolina.

After the many opportunities granted me, through the encouragement and guidance of the WIOA program and advisor, Susan Waldorf, I finished the program and landed an interview with Children’s Hope Alliance, Hawthorn Heights emergency youth shelter. I was in my last weeks of school, preparing for finals, trying to get in all my hours of internship, and taking care of my family when I was called for the interview that many students dream about. It was full time, salary, day work, within the field of study I had been preparing for. I was chosen for the job and was to begin after graduation! As I walked to get my diploma (wearing the cap and gown the WIOA program purchased for me) I knew through hard work and encouragement I had reached my goal. I had made new friends, fulfilled the demands of SCC, and landed a wonderful job all because I walked into Susan’s office. I began my journey feeling hopeless, with no clue what I should do with my future and was presented the opportunity to further my education. Thus my journey continues with hope for the future and for my family.