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Birmingham, ALABAMA | Barber Motorsports Park | May 2-4, 2025

Thursday, April 28 at 5:30 PM | Barber Motorsports Park Champions Club

Attire: Business Casual

 We are kicking off the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix weekend by bringing together leaders in the Alabama workforce development industry. This kickoff will include a panel of speakers, hot laps in the official Indy Grand Prix pace car, and INDYCAR Series Driver appearances including Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi. Food and beverage will be provided by Bruno Hospitality & Dread River.

Parking: Lot A

Onsite parking will be available in Lot A. There will be a shuttle to take you to the Champions Club. Check out an Event Map here.


5:30 PM: Doors open
5:45 PM: Program begins
6:00 PM: Workforce development panel begins
6:30 PM: INDYCAR Q&A + panel begins
Hot laps, mingling, and fun to follow!

About our Panel Speakers

Don Harrison | Deputy Secretary/Government Affairs, Alabama Department of Labor

Don Harrison was recently appointed as Deputy Secretary/Government Affairs for the Alabama Department of Labor.  Don is the first Deputy Secretary to serve under Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington, who was appointed to his cabinet position in 2014.

Don comes to the post with 20 years of experience as an attorney working in labor and employment law.  After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk in Birmingham.  Following his clerkship, he worked in private practice for nine years with a focus on Civil Litigation, OSHA, Workers’ Compensation, and related matters.

In 2011, Don joined ADOL as Assistant General Counsel.  In that role, he represented the department in litigation and provided legal counsel to the various divisions of ADOL as well as counseling on personnel, disciplinary, and other employment-related matters.  More recently, he served as a Project Leader for ADOL’s pandemic response, working with teams inside and outside of ADOL to implement relevant provisions of the CARES Act, Executive Orders, and other laws and regulations.

Don holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Auburn University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.  Don and his wife Ginny have three children: Caroline, Payne, and Ann Marie.

Ed Castile | Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Workforce Programs / AIDT Executive Director

Ed Castile was appointed Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Workforce Programs July 1, 2015. Mr. Castile continues to serve as Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training, a position he has held since August 16, 1993. He is a former director of the State of Tennessee Industrial Training Service and former adjunct Instructor with Middle Tennessee State University.

He currently serves on the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act Board; Chairman of the Alabama Productivity Center Advisory Board; the Economic Development Association of Alabama Board of Directors; the UAB Biotechnology Advisory Board, the Alabama Workforce Council, the Governor’s Office for Education and Workforce Transformation Board and the Montgomery Public Schools CTE Advisory Council. He is a two-time past president of the National Association of Industry Specific Training Directors.

Mr. Castile earned a Masters of Vocational Technical Education degree and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Studies Education degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Mike Oatridge | EDPA, President of Strategic Workforce Solutions

Mike Oatridge is the former Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC (HMA).  Oatridge began working on the HMA project team in August 2000 and moved to Alabama to support the start up of HMA in March 2001. Born in Oakville, Ontario, Oatridge is a graduate of Ryerson University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Oatridge worked across many Honda facilities in the United States, Canada and Japan, and was involved for many years in New Model development, serving as project lead for several New Model vehicle projects.

Oatridge has served on the board of the Alabama Workforce Council, the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. He also is the former president of the Japan-America Society of Alabama.

Since retiring from Honda in January of 2021, Mike was asked to support solving the growing workforce concern in the State. As the President of Strategic Workforce solutions LLC (SWS), Mike leads the development of ALEX, The Alabama Experience. ALEX exists to educate people about what it means to live and work in Alabama. It’s an interactive, personalized career expo designed to entertain, inform, and activate current and potential Alabama workers, and will be premiering at The World Games July 2022.

Michael Gaines | Honda Alabama Auto Plant, Manufacturing Control Division Leader

Michael Gaines is the Manufacturing Planning and Control Division Lead for Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant in Lincoln, AL. He is responsible for overall planning & maintenance operations for the Alabama Auto Plant, as well as serves as liaison to regional operations across the Honda Development and Manufacturing of America organization in North America.

Located in Lincoln, Alabama, Honda’s $2.6 billion vehicle and engine operation in Alabama employs more than 4,500 associates. The company produces the Honda Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, Ridgeline pickup truck, the Honda Passport SUV and the V-6 engines that power all four products. With experience at Automotive Suppliers and Honda, Gaines’ passion is developing leaders who can support production associates with improvements in quality, safety and efficiencies, through problem solving skills and teamwork.

Gaines started his career with Honda in 2002 as an engineering associate within the Parts Quality Department. After moving up through Parts Quality leadership in a variety of areas, he was promoted to Purchasing New Model Department Manager and then named Division Lead of the overall Purchasing Division.

In 2016, Gaines took the reins as the Line 1 Plant Manager where he supervised all daily Line 1 manufacturing operations and new model activity, including Frame Assembly, Weld, Paint and Stamping. In April 2021, Gaines moved into his current role as Manufacturing Planning and Control Division Lead.

A native of Alabama, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University in 1997. He has served on several boards, including Birmingham Business Alliance and local churches. He lives in Birmingham with his wife, Melany, and three children.

Sarah McMillan | City of Birmingham, Manager of Workforce & Talent Development

Sarah is an Instructional Designer and  Economic Development Professional with experience working in the public and private sector. In her current role, she serves as Manager of Workforce & Talent Development with the City of Birmingham where she connects residents to professional and educational opportunities. Prior to her role with the city, McMillan spent 10 years working for the YMCA, leading teams in philanthropy, community engagement, and diversity, inclusion, and equity, serving the Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Birmingham associations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Loras College in Iowa and a Master’s degree in Instructional Design & Development from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. McMillan is a very-retired college basketball player and a proud mother of two. She has no spare time because her children are both under three, but if she did, she would enjoy reading, running, and cooking.

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