The college was successful in receiving a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide degree training and education programs in multiple transit program areas in the metro Atlanta region and throughout Georgia, known as the Regional Transit Training Initiative.
The initiative is a four-year program that will provide training and academic instruction for employment or career advancement in the transit industries throughout the metro Atlanta region.
Manager for the training program, Cynthia Jackson, said the college was the only individual recipient of the grant, which will allow the expansion of an existing pavilion at the college’s regional transportation training center.
“This $900,000 facility will hold hands-on instruction for the mobility and light vehicle and bus maintenance technician programs and is expected to be completed January 2015, however, classroom courses are available now,” she said.
Jackson said a growing demand for highly-trained personnel, especially mechanics, electronic technicians, mobility operators and management supervisors is what led to the college’s initial plans for the program.
“Being that the transit industry is a high growth market with a declining workforce, the college partnered with local and state agencies and transit industry leaders to develop an accredited program tailored to meet current and future industry needs,” she said. Some of the program is less technical and is designed to teach students skills such as counting fares, purchasing equipment, addressing marketing and sales, managing departments or geographical areas and serving as traffic specialists, schedulers and route planners as well.
“Although entry-level jobs often have few formal educational requirements, advanced training and education is often needed to move to higher level positions in this industry,” Jackson said. In order to be eligible for the program, participants must have a high school diploma or GED, satisfactory SAT or ACT scores, or upon admittance, pass the COMPASS placement test, before becoming fully enrolled.
For more information about the college, admissions or financial aid, visit www.gptc.edu.