Friday, September 24, 2010

Great news for Camden County!

ATC Selects Site

For New Campus in Camden County

Trident Coast, Georgia-

Altamaha Technical College ("ATC"), a two year public college and unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, has selected a site for development of a new campus in Camden County, Georgia. The site is located along Interstate 95 at Exit 7 (Harriett's Bluff Road) and enjoys over one-half mile of highway frontage and visibility. Phase one of the campus is expected to house a 60,000 square foot facility. The thirty-one acre site can accommodate future expansions as enrollment and demand for programs increase. Total project value of phase one is estimated to exceed $16 Million.

Currently, ATC is operating in limited and temporary facilities at the Camden Center of the College of Coastal Georgia. The proposed technical college site is located approximately two miles north of the Camden Center. The property for the new campus is being donated by members of the Gross family. The Camden County Joint Development Authority ("JDA") worked with the parties to structure the deal and will be assisting in the extension of an access road and utility infrastructure to the site. The project is subject to state and local approvals and funding. The new campus could be open for student enrollment in late 2013.

According to Lorette Hoover, President of Altamaha Technnical College, "providing Camden County and surrounding areas with a new campus aligns with our mission of supporting the economic empowerment of people, communities, and businesses. The college has more than 90 programs of study available, but is currently limited by space and personnel in Camden. The campus will remedy that situation."

"Last academic year, ATC graduates experienced a 97.51% job placement rate; the college provides the academics, tools, and skills to better themselves, their careers, their families, and ultimately the community. Some programs, like certificates, are as short as six weeks, while other programs, like associate degrees, take two years to complete. Serving 8,000 students last fiscal year and experiencing a phenomenal 78.6% growth rate over previous year, ATC is well poised to stimulate the region's workforce readiness."

According to Chris Daniel, President of the Camden County Chamber of Commerce, "Securing a site for a new campus for ATC has been one of our top priorities for several years and will complete our workforce development infrastructure. We currently have an excellent public school system, the College of Coastal Georgia Camden Campus (a four year state college), and satellite campuses of Valdosta State University and Brenau University. Having a technical college in Camden will fill a void in our workforce development efforts by providing both academic and vocational programs needed to meet the needs of our community and emerging industry. It is very exciting to see the work of many come together to improve the quality of life for Camden County."

Jimmy McCollum, partner in the property being donated and spokesman for the Gross family stated, "the family has always supported education in Camden County. Aunt Mamie Lou Gross was a Superintendent, Principal, and Teacher in the local school system; Uncle Avente Gross was on the Board of Education in Camden County for many years; and several other members of the family have served as teachers. We were fortunate to be able to gift land for the David L. Rainer Elementary School and the Mamie Lou Gross Elementary School, and we hope this additional gift will continue to benefit education in Camden County."

David Keating, Executive Director of the Camden County Joint Development Authority reports, "we are pleased to be working with ATC and the Gross family on this exciting and much needed project. This deal is subject to certain approvals and funding at the state level, and we hope development can commence next year. The college is expected to generate approximately seventy-five jobs, but, more importantly, it will provide the skills and training so that hundreds of our citizens, even thousands over time, will qualify for skilled jobs in the future. I want to thank Lorette Hoover and the College Board for their vision, and the Gross family for their very generous gift that is making this new campus possible. The investment will be a blessing to the citizens of Camden County for generations."

Kudos to JDA Director, David Keating, for putting this together and thanks to Jimmy McCollum and the Gross family for their exceedingly generous donation.

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