Advanced Manufacturing Training Now Available Through Wiregrass Georgia Tech

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (WGTC) has been named an exclusive regional provider for Allen Bradley Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) training.  The next closest training sites are in Tampa, Fla. and Charlotte, N.C.

"We signed the agreement with Allen Bradley and its local distributor, Englewood Electric, this year and are holding our first class in September.  It was sold out in a week," said WGTC Vice President for Economic Development Lidell Greenway.

According to Greenway, manufacturing continues to be one of the largest work force sectors in the region.  Advances in process technology combined with an aging work force create an ongoing need for skill enhancement training.

"All manufacturing processes are computerized today at least in some point in the process.  Allen Bradley PLC is the Microsoft of manufacturing software so it was a real feather in our cap to secure this partnership," Greenway said.

"We survey businesses in our service area every year and they asked for this.  We'll ramp up the frequency of the training based on response.  I anticipate our next class will be in November."

Established in 1963, WGTC is the flagship technical college in the state. Recognized for its achievements in workforce development, WGTC offers credit education, adult education and work force development programs.  Greenway heads the Economic Development department offering work force development programs, which include non-credit, customized training for incumbent and new workers.  In its fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, WGTC provided more than 10,000 hours of customized contract training to 59 companies.

Maintaining a Competitive Work Force
WGTC provides training in a number of areas to help local employers maintain a competitive work force.  Soft skills such as customer service, leadership and supervisory skills are one popular area of training.

"Companies tend to promote from within, which means that an employee who is an excellent individual contributor may be promoted to a supervisory role.  We can provide training in leadership skills to help in that transition," Greenway said.

Training is also available for workers who must maintain state certification for their trade.  Electricians, plumbers, day care workers, pest control workers, escort vehicle drivers and others can access state-approved training locally at WGTC. In its fiscal year 2012, WGTC provided more than 11,375 hours of continuing education to more than 4,245 students.

Gateway to Tax Savings
WGTC can also help businesses realize state-tax savings through retraining tax credits.  The state program offers tax credits for businesses implementing new technologies or equipment that require worker training.  In fiscal year 2012, WGTC helped three local businesses secure Georgia retraining tax credits.

"Many businesses aren't aware of the retraining tax credits and they end up leaving money on the table.  And it’s not a lot of paperwork," Greenway said.

For more information on the training available through Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, visit or contact Lidell Greenway at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.