CPTC Expansion Is Celebrated Here
September 25, 2017 01:14 PM
Coastal Pines Technical College celebrated another step in its mission to meet the needs of area residents and businesses with a ribbon cutting Thursday.
Coastal Pines has a mandate to provide training in skills that will quickly open doors to new and better jobs, including those jobs that are highest in demand — like welding and computer information technology.
The college on Thursday cut a ribbon to ceremonially open its newest building that contains computer information systems (CIS) and welding classrooms and labs. Yes. In the same building, welding and computer classes have been taking place since Aug. 21.
What do local government officials declare is the biggest need in Waycross and Ware County? Jobs.
What was the national issue that delivered the White House to President Donald Trump? His promise to bring jobs back to America.
What has become a major focus in the State of Georgia in education? Jobs.
Of course, a job is utmost on the mind of that person who is unemployed or underemployed.
The City of Waycross co-hosted with the Department of Labor a job fair earlier Thursday morning at the City Auditorium. Mayor John Knox said he met a young man there who is seeking a welding job, saying he was certified by the well-known Tulsa Welding. Knox suggested he apply at GATX.
The man told Knox he had applied at GATX and did not pass the test.
“That’s a shame, that the training he got did not prepare him to pass that test,” Knox concluded.
The mayor introduced the fellow to Bud Thigpen, of CPTC, and Patrick Simmons, of the DOL, asking them to help the job-seeker with brush-up training or training in how to take the test. They agreed.
It was a large crowd of local and state dignitaries that gathered Thursday as the ribbon was cut. Many of them took a tour of the facility after Dr. Glenn Deibert, CPTC president, welcomed them and described the significance of Building 3000.
“These two careers are part of the governor’s high demand initiative,” Deibert said. “These are two jobs, not only in southeast Georgia, but across the state and the entire United States, that are in high demand, and a lot of companies are having trouble getting qualified, trained workers for their jobs.”
Deibert used the example of GATX recently seeking 55 new employees, mostly welders. This was a further incentive to the college to recruit students who were willing to train to be welders.
U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter congratulated the college on “growing again.”
“This is exciting,” Carter said, recalling how he was once on the state senate education committee and worked with technical colleges. “It might seem strange for these two programs are too different to be together. But the key is — that’s what’s needed now. That’s what our technical colleges do, they address the needs of our community and our business community.”
The congressman said that “when a student gets a certificate here, that equates to a job. That helps us in the community.”
Deibert said that State Sen. Tyler Harper was “most responsible” in the development of this building project. A few years ago, Harper asked Deibert what the school needed. When he was told about the need for more welding and CIS space, the senator began to push funding through the state assembly, Deibert said.
Harper downplayed his part, saying he was happy to have played “a small role.”
“It’s good to see the results of hard work that began a couple or years ago,” Harper said. “The things you are doing at Coastal Pines Technical College are preparing folks for the workforce that we’re trying to build in southeast Georgia.”
He applauded the continued efforts by local development authority government officials to make good things like this happen. He called it a “pleasure” to work with them and other state and federal representatives, thanking Carter for being present and involved.
“It’s always great to get our part out of Atlanta,’ the senator said. “We will continue to push for development of these types of job opportunities in this region. We know that people who graduate from this facility can get jobs right here in this community.”
At a cost of $3.5 million, the new building offers two large computer information system classrooms and a state-of-the-art lab where computers are being built by students, two large welding classrooms and “22 spacious welding booths,” up from the “16 tight-fitting” booths the school had before. There is also a lounge and offices for staff.
Ground was broken on the 14,795 square-foot building in March 2016.
The college is now able to train twice as many students as it could before.
Article by John Cooper, Staff Writer, Waycross Journal Herald.
Photo Above: Large crowd including local and state dignitaries look on as President Glenn Deibert and Board Chair Ted Buford cut the ribbon for the new CIS/Welding Building on the Waycross Campus.