Wiregrass Signs Apprenticeships with Transpower and Optima Chemical

Wiregrass Signs Apprenticeships with Transpower and Optima Chemical

Posted on

Wiregrass and Transpower officials and student Ashley Merritt Pictured L-R: Wiregrass Dean of Academic Affairs Michael Williams, Transpower Service Manager Travis Fowler, Wiregrass student and Transpower employee Lawrence Day, Wiregrass Diesel Mechanics Instructor Ashley Merritt, Wiregrass President Dr. Tina K. Anderson, and Wiregrass Director of Economic Development and Cook Campus Bill Tillman.
Wiregrass and Optima Officials with Students Donnie Hall and Zach Belcher Pictured L-R: Optima Chemical President Gene Williams, Operations Manager Stewart Fletcher, Human Resources Manager Courtney Callahan, Maintenance Manager Chuck Oliver, Wiregrass President Dr. Tina K. Anderson, Industrial Systems Technology Instructor Phillip Taylor, Director of Economic Development and Cook Campus Bill Tillman, and Dean of Academic Affairs Michael Williams. Seated are Wiregrass students and Optima Chemical employees Donnie Hall and Zach Belcher.

Douglas, GA – The term apprenticeship is making a come-back in Georgia and through the Technical College System of Georgia. Wiregrass Tech has recently signed apprenticeship agreements with two local industries, Transpower and Optima Chemical. Three students from the college are not only working toward their college education, but they are working in their field of study.

The apprenticeship program through Wiregrass is a method of training individuals in a trade using a combination of on-the-job skills development and classroom/lab related instruction. Wiregrass currently has nine programs that are approved for the apprenticeship program: Accounting, Automotive Technology, CNC Specialist, Computer Information Systems, Diesel Truck Maintenance, Industrial Systems Technology, Precision Machining and Manufacturing, Telecommunications, and Welding and Joining Technology. Other area businesses Wiregrass currently has apprenticeship agreements with are: American Drill Bushing Hoist Rings, Ace Electric, Cass Burch Dealership, Coyote Manufacturing, Verlyn, and Premium Waters.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College recently signed an apprenticeship agreement with Transpower in Douglas for one of the Diesel Maintenance Technician students, Lawrence Day, to work with Transpower while he attends college. Semi-trucks are the backbone of the supply-chain delivery system in the United States. If you have been on the interstate lately you could agree that nearly 70% of goods delivered today are by semi-trucks. There is not only an increasing demand for truck drivers, there’s a great need locally for diesel mechanics to keep the semis rolling.

Optima Chemicals is a full-service chemical company in Douglas. Optima that takes ideas all the way through to delivered products and solutions, including their own product line built on a technology base that has evolved from manufacturing organometallic chemistry. Two Wiregrass students in the Industrial Systems Technology program, Donnie Hall and Zach Belcher, are not only learning in the classroom, but on the job training at Optima Chemical.

The apprenticeship program has proven to benefit business and industry in recruiting, training, and retaining highly skilled workers. Partnering with the college in hiring students through the apprenticeship program has also shown a reduction in turnover costs, higher productivity, and a more diverse workforce.

If your business would like to learn more about the apprenticeship program, please contact Bill Tillman, Director of Economic Development and Cook Campus. He can be reached at bill.tillman@wiregrass.edu, or by calling 229-549-7830.

There are 77 majors that qualify for the HOPE Career Grant, and several of those programs are on the approved apprenticeship list. Both the Diesel Truck Maintenance Certificate and Industrial Systems Technology diploma programs qualify for the HOPE Career Grant. Eligible students could have their college tuition and fees completely covered by the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Career Grant! Visit www.wiregrass.edu to learn more about the programs Wiregrass offers.