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New workforce will train at ATC

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Hundreds of new jobs could be added through contractors at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in the coming year.

Albany Technical College is now working with defense contractors to train workers so they'll be ready to refurbish military equipment returning from Iraq and Afghanistan if or when those jobs become available.

Defense contractors that will be bidding for the contracts to refurbish that Marine Corps equipment returning from the wars have already been in contact with Albany Tech, telling them the kind of skills potential employees will need. Now Albany Tech is getting their students ready to fill those expected jobs.

Melvin Downs will soon graduate the welding class at Albany Tech.  "I used to work at Dish Network before I came here, when they started laying off," Downs said.

Virgil Hudson enrolled at Albany Tech after ten years in the Army, and is excited a job in the equipment refurbishment at the Albany Marine Base could be in his future. "I think it's a good opportunity for people to try to get new jobs here in Albany. I think it will work out pretty well," Hudson said

Albany Tech President Dr. Anthony Parker says defense contractors have let them know the kind of skills they will need to rebuild the Marine Equipment. "Right now automotive technician, diesel technician, maintenance workers, industrial systems, electronics, specialty welding, auto collision, I.T."

And now Albany Tech students are learning those skills. When the contracts are decided, they will want to go to work then-- no time for job training. So the contractors want to make sure the workers they need will be ready.

Albany Tech wants people who are unemployed or under employed to know this is the opportunity for a good paying job, if they get trained now.

"If those jobs are going to be vacant, there are going to be filled by someone. We would rather see our citizens locally be able to compete for those jobs," Parker said.

So they are urging the unemployed to contact Albany Tech, and get the training needed to apply for these jobs expected at the Albany Marine Base in the coming year.

Hudson and Downs both say when they graduate they will be applying. "Oh yeah, because the welding field is wide open with the Marine Base," Downs said.

And now Albany Tech is urging other South Georgians take advantage of this opportunity too.  

Dr. Parker had to sign a non-disclosure statement with the defense contractors to make sure the bidding process is fair, but he can say that the Marine Corps wants their equipment returning from Iraq refurbished as soon as possible, so they can ready for national defense.

So when the contracts are awarded, the companies will want to start as soon as possible.

Officials at the Marine base say they have more volume and a wider variety of equipment stored there now than ever, ready for refurbishment.

 

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