Augusta Tech has announced multiple new certifications in hopes of adjusting to the needs of area employers.
Medical scribe, manufacturing and forklift (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) certifications are all being added to ATC’s offerings, and the school is partnering with the Georgia Film Academy to offer a film and television certification as well.
All the training programs and certifications in the Corporate and Community Education department at the college can start as a stand-alone-get-ready-to-work certification or can be stacked with other programs both credit and noncredit to help people accomplish their career goals, said Corporate and Community Education Director Alejandra Miles.
“The training courses we offer under Corporate and Community education are non-credit, industry certifications that materialize from the relationships with industry, the community and their needs,” Miles said.
Miles calls this an effort to develop the local workforce in an organic way. She said it’s a team effort to support their students regardless of the stage they’re at in their career.
“We partner with industries in the fields to help people get jobs through internships and apprenticeships, so this is going to be beneficial for all our programs,” Miles said.
The director said the college is also preparing to launch its FAST (Focused, Accelerated Skills Training) program, which allows any certification that takes fewer than three months to complete to be fully covered by a recent grant from Bank of America. Limited space will be available, but there will be no cost.
These new certification programs speak to Augusta Tech President Jermaine Whirl’s enthusiasm towards letting the local market dictate the school’s direction.
On Jan. 13, Whirl joined with University Health Care System CEO James R. Davis to announce a partnership between the two entities that will shift ATC’s School of Health Sciences to University Hospital’s Summerville campus.
“We’re a critical point in medical staffing in Augusta,” Davis said at a press conference announcing the partnership. “Nothing is more important to meeting the healthcare needs in our community than creating a new local pipeline for training the next generation of nurses and clinical professionals.”
Whirl noted that an overwhelming portion of Augusta Tech graduates — regardless of their field of study — stay in the Augusta area after graduation.
“Ninety-four percent of our graduates stay in the CSRA. That’s an incredible attribute that we can provide here to the residents,” Whirl said. “We know the only way to grow the pipeline is to increase the number of students coming into the School of Health Sciences.”
The medical scribe training would not take place at the new health science campus at Summerville, because it is non-credit; however, the new enterprise allows for even more collaboration with industry partners, she said.
The college is also partnering with the Georgia Film Academy to introducing a new TV and film program.
Augusta Tech will offer the film academy’s film and television certification program, which encompasses three courses with an 18-hour non-credit program of study. The program gives students a rundown of education and hands-on skills needed to work in the TV and film industry, an economic mainstay in Georgia.
“Since 2019, film productions have generated nearly $5 million in economic impact in Augusta and supported nearly 500 jobs held by local film crew personnel,” said Jennifer Bowen with Film Augusta.
The first course begins in January 2022, and classes take place once a week. The cost for the course is $750. Interested participants should contact the Corporate and Community Education Department to sign up for the limited spaces.
“The Georgia Film Academy is excited to welcome Augusta Technical College into its undergraduate consortium for world-class film production training,” said Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director of the Georgia Film Academy in a press release announcing the program. “This kind of partnership is what makes our film and digital entertainment industry so robust and successful in the great state of Georgia.”