Graduates of Vocational and Technical education programs have a cutting edge advantage in today’s competitive job market. They are equipped with specific skills for joining the workforce and their specialized knowledge gains them quality, well-paying jobs. USDA Rural Development is proud to contribute to job generation by assisting Georgia’s many Technical Colleges purchase essential equipment using the Rural Business Enterprise Grant and the Community Facilities Grant programs.
For example, Truck Drivers are in high demand and graduates of Commercial Truck Driving programs are almost immediately placed in jobs. Equipment and vehicles to support Commercial Trucking curriculum can be a considerable financial investment and such equipment experiences high wear and tear from student use. In Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, Sandersville Technical College ($42,000), Okefenokee Technical College ($98,000) and Altamaha Technical College($42,000) each received a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to help purchase semi-trucks to train new commercial truck drivers.
Students in the other trades also benefit from training in real-world working conditions with help from USDA. North Georgia Technical College used $54,531 in USDA Community Facilities program funding toward building a state-of-the-art welding facility, the college reports exceptional job placement rates for their graduates and according to the Georgia Department of Labor, welders earn $13-$22 per hour.
Other recently funded rural community college projects include a $42,000 RBEG for the purchase of a 30 passenger van for transporting forestry students of Okefenokee Tech to their work sites; and a $42,000 RBEG to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College for nursing program equipment.