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Posted: March 1, 2017 7:56 a.m.

New programs, investment, dean coming to GPTC Newton

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Jabari Simama, president for Georgia Piedmont Technical College discusses the state of the college. (Submitted Photo | The Covington News)

Last week, Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), reported that the new dean for GPTC’s Newton Campus will be announced “within weeks.” He also discussed new programs and investments coming to the Newton and other GPTC campuses.

GPTC will be developing an advanced manufacturing center on the Newton campus. The center will offer credit and non-credit training for jobs in manufacturing starting August 2017.

To provide space and equipment for the new center, GPTC plans an investment of $1.5 million to renovate portions of Building C.  That building was originally built to house manufacturing related programs; Simama plans to return it to that purpose during the next few years. The advanced manufacturing center will also offer German-style apprenticeships in collaboration with the Newton College and Career Academy.

GPTC has partnered with the Georgia Film Academy to develop credit and non-credit certificates leading to jobs in the film industry. Classes start March 7 and seats are still available for students interested in this accelerated three-course program. The first class runs to May 9 and meets every Tuesday and Thursday. The remaining two classes will be offered this coming summer. The Georgia Film Academy helped GPTC develop the curriculum and identify teachers.

According to Ivan Harrell, executive vice president for academic and student affairs, the new film program will be offered first at GPTC’s South Dekalb campus, but may eventually move to other campuses. In remarks on the state of the college, Simama noted that Georgia is now the third leading state for television and film production and said, “We know from our own research that this industry requires at least 5,000 additional skilled employees for jobs of all types.”

Other new programs will include a technical certificate in “unmanned aerial systems,” that is, drones. The program will be initially offered on the Clarkston campus and has grown out of the training needs of professionals in public safety and security. In remarks on the state of the college, Simama reported that by 2020 drones will account for a $100 billion market.

Simama also mentioned that GPTC is launching the first 3D printing certificate in the Technical College System of Georgia.

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