Kemp, McMaster each launch a career training push at tech colleges

Here’s a look at some of the latest news from colleges in the CSRA and two-state region
Aiken Technical College
Aiken Technical College(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 12:54 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:32 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Gov. Brian P. Kemp on Wednesday announced a collaborative initiative between the state and Amazon Web Services to provide cloud computing training and education to 5,500 learners statewide by 2024.

Through this initiative, high schools and technical colleges in Georgia will offer cloud computing courses and credentials that align with skills needed to pursue in-demand technical careers.

“The tech industry in Georgia is rapidly growing with exciting job opportunities for Georgians,” Kemp said in a statement. The collaboration “will ensure our citizens have access to innovative training and education to help prepare them for tech jobs in Georgia,” he said.

The state of Georgia will work with Amazon to provide educational institutions with no-cost, ready-to-teach, cloud computing curricula that prepares students for industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs.

Educators at participating institutions will receive instructor training from Amazon experts and access to a limited number of certification exams at no cost as they qualify to become AWS Academy-accredited educators. Students can also access self-paced online training courses and labs.

Across the river in South Carolina ...

The announcement came a day after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced a new effort between the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce and the Palmetto State’s technical college system.

Under the new partnership, unemployed South Carolina claimants will have the option of exploring short-term retraining programs offered at their area technical college in lieu of conducting a weekly job search. Upon enrolling in and attending a short-term training program, the claimant continues to forgo the weekly job search requirement and receive benefits.

McMaster said South Carolina is “poised to really jump ahead” if we the state can get everyone trained for a wide variety of areas of employment.

“Through the power of our technical colleges we have an opportunity to jump ahead ten years through education,” he said. “We have the culture and people who are ready to take the next step forward and we just need to get them trained and ready for work.”

The cost of the workforce training program is free to the student because of McMaster’s January allocation of $8 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds to the state’s technical colleges. Those GEER funds will provide scholarships to cover the cost of retraining 3,100 South Carolinians.

South Carolinians wishing to participate in the new training programs can find more information by visiting the S.C. Technical College System’s website.

Also in the news ...


GRANITEVILLE, S.C. - The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded the Aiken Technical College Foundation a grant to support the college’s workforce training efforts.

“The Aiken Technical College Foundation is delighted to receive this from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as their goal is to advance economic mobility and social progress through workforce development and education,” said Dr. Beth LaClair, ATC Foundation director.

The $10,000 grant will cover the cost of tuition and books for the college’s material handler course.

The 60-hour continuing education course provides training for those interested in working in warehouse and distribution centers and prepares them for entry-level positions.

Those completing the course will also earn certificates of completion for powered industrial truck (forklift) and aerial lift (scissor lift).

The course will be held Aug. 2-20, with classes meeting Monday through Friday from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Course participants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. To register, contact Kendall Carter at 803-508-7365 or

Also, the Fluor Foundation’s Military Support Coalition has again awarded the Aiken Technical College Foundation a grant to help support student veterans as they pursue their education.

The $10,000 will be used for scholarships to help student veterans with the cost of attendance and living expenses while they are enrolled at the college. In spring 2021, the college served nearly 100 student veterans.

“The Fluor Foundation is an outstanding organization that truly believes in supporting student veterans. Since 2013 the Fluor Military Support Coalition has supported ATC student veterans with $165,000,” said Dr. Beth LaClair, ATC Foundation director.


GREENWOOD, S.C. - Lander University and Aiken Technical College have formed a partnership to enhance the transfer of students from Aiken Tech to Lander.

Articulation agreements will allow Aiken Tech students to easily transfer their credits to Lander, entering as juniors.

Students who meet the requirements of the program will be guaranteed admission to Lander University and will receive priority acceptance into the major they have selected.

“Aiken Technical College is a greatly valued partner of Lander University,” said Dr. Scott Jones, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Lander. “This partnership with Aiken Tech helps both institutions honor our shared commitment to the State of South Carolina to develop a strong and able workforce through high-quality education, as well as empower our students to lead satisfying and productive lives.”

The agreement applies to Lander University’s criminology program. Students who complete their Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice at Aiken Technical College may transfer seamlessly to Lander to earn their Bachelor of Science in Criminology. Lander’s B.S. in Criminology is offered on the main campus in Greenwood, fully online and through hybrid courses at the University Center of Greenville. For more information on Lander’s criminology program, please visit


AUGUSTA, Ga. - In a continued partnership with the SRS Community Reuse Organization, Augusta Technical College announces its Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers grant renewal plan.

The grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration at the Savannah River Site to strengthen the labor pool.

The college is receiving $899,679 in total for the five years, including $198,095 for the first year and $175,396 for years two through five.

The funding started in 2011 with the ANSR grant and then the first WORC grant, which just ended in May 2021.

The college does have another WORC grant that funds additional scholarships for students in the engineering technology and chemical technology programs.

You can learn more about Augusta Technical College at upcoming open houses on June 26 and July 24. Events applicable to high school/dual enrollment students and military and military-affiliated students are also planned for this calendar year.

The fall term starts Aug. 23. Apply online at


SWAINSBORO, Ga. - The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has named the two committees to conduct a national search for the next president of East Georgia State College, which is currently led by interim President Dr. Dawn Cartee.

The search and screening of candidates is the responsibility of the campus-based Presidential Search and Screen Committee, which will guide the first stage of the search. The initial meeting of the committee will be June 22.

At the conclusion of its work, the campus committee will forward the credentials of three to five unranked candidates to a special committee of the regents for consideration.

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