Central Georgia Technical College Expands Efforts to Build Strong Workforce

Barbara Kieker

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

With a primary purpose of developing an educated workforce, Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) is investing in programs in engineering and health care to meet labor market demands in Middle Georgia. Additionally, CGTC is part of a collaborative partnership behind a new training center for military personnel and veterans. On Aug. 19, Gov. Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson and other officials broke ground the Georgia Military Academic Training Center in Warner Robins.

"Central Georgia Technical College is glad to have a part in this project and to help the Governor’s vision for this military training center to become a reality," said Janet Kelly, assistant vice president for Marketing and Public Relations at CGTC. 

The center directly supports Gov. Deal's Complete College Georgia initiative by providing a gateway to help veterans enter the workforce.  When it opens in late 2016, it will serve as a one-stop shop for military personnel, veterans and their families to further their education and receive career placement assistance.  As the lead programming and planning partners for the center, both CGTC and Middle Georgia State College will offer a variety of educational and training opportunities in the new facility. 

"Many veterans and military personnel already have a number of skills, whether it's in IT or truck driving. The center will offer a transcription service so that skills can be verified for academic credit toward a college degree," Kelly said. 

The 32,000-square-foot center will be built on 44 acres of land near Robins AFB donated by the city of Warner Robins. It will be funded by a $10 million commitment from the state of Georgia.

Meeting the needs of local industry

Local business leaders help drive CGTC's efforts to provide qualified, skilled workers for employers.  Many serve on advisory committees for specific educational programs and help set the direction for new program research and investments. 

"Our advisory committees provided the impetus for adding a program for engineering technicians.  There is a definite need for this skillset," Kelly said. 

"We also work closely with the health care industry in Middle Georgia and we're adding programs to help meet some of their projected needs.  For example, we are working to implement a program that acts as a bridge from practical nursing to registered nursing." 

Local businesses also come to CGTC with a specific need that can lead to customized training programs.  According to Kelly, the college has developed many specialized training programs for Special Operations forces for the Department of Defense, as well as for a host of companies in the region. 

"We find a subject matter expert in that specific area, develop the training and then conduct it either on-site with the employer or on one of our campuses," Kelly said. 

Guaranteed performance

Each year, 98 percent of the approximately 7,500 graduates from CGTC find employment in their field of study or a related field or continue their education, according to Kelly.  CGTC guarantees a graduate’s work performance based on curriculum standards developed with current workforce trends in mind.  If, within two years of graduation, a CGTC graduate is unable to perform his or her job satisfactorily for their employer, then CGTC will retrain them at no cost.  The same guarantee exists for any graduate of the Technical College System of Georgia. 

"Statewide only two to three students per year have to be retrained on average," Kelly said. 

"The guarantee lets employers know that our programs are relevant and up-to-date.  Our students are trained on the same equipment and machinery that is used every day in the workforce." 

More information on CGTC is available at www.centralgatech.edu.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.