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Technical colleges receive $8M grant to bring new opportunities to Southwest Georgia

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Two Southwest Georgia technical colleges are splitting an $8 million grant, and they’re using that money to bring new opportunities to those in their communities.

The money is part of a Hurricane Michael disaster recovery grant and it’s going to Albany Technical College (ATC) and Southern Regional Technical College. The grant is called “Rebuild Southwest Georgia Workforce Recovery Training Program-Hurricane Michael.”

Albany Technical College
Albany Technical College(WALB)

Albany Tech President Dr. Anthony Parker said his goal is to bust down barriers that keep students from graduating or pursuing higher education.

“Those high-paying jobs that this community needs filling, we want to fill 25 percent more than what we do now,” said Parker.

Parker said ATC plans to use their portion of the grant to give southwest Georgians the tools they need to succeed and fill open jobs in the area, like ones at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, medical facilities, and the need for diesel technicians.

Students who take advantage of the money, Parker pointed out, can earn enough income to have a positive impact on the rest of the economy, but most importantly their families.

At Albany Tech, students will have access to wrap-around services, making the decision, Parker said, a “no brainer.”

Anthony Parker, President, Albany Technical College
Anthony Parker, President, Albany Technical College(WALB)

“A wrap-around service could be childcare, transportation, city bus services, or other opportunities. Anything that would be a reasonable condition that will encourage students, not only to go to school but (also graduate),” said Parker.

Albany Technical College and Southern Regional Technical College serve 18 counties that are eligible for the grant.

Eighty percent of the $8 million is earmarked for the ones hit the hardest by Hurricane Michael, which were Decatur, Dougherty and Seminole counties.

Parker said providing essential training and education to people in those communities will help long-term economic recovery.

“Hopefully, when this is over, people will look back as one of the positive turning points. One of the reasons why industry chooses to expand more often, why industry chooses to relocate here more than it usually does,” said Parker.

The grant will be distributed over four years.

To see if you qualify, click here.

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