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GPTC cuts ribbon on new Advanced Manufacturing Center
GPTC Manufacturing Lab
Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, cuts the ribbon on the college’s new Advanced Manufacturing Center. - photo by Darryl Welch

COVINGTON, Ga. – With local dignitaries and elected officials on hand Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner Gretchen Corbin of the Technical College System of Georgia and Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, cut the ribbon on the college’s new $1 million Advanced Manufacturing Center at GPTC’s Alcovy Road campus.

GPTC Manufacturing Lab
Newton County representatives celebrate GPTC's new Advanced Manufacturing Center. Pictured, from left, Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Staffins, GPTC President Dr. Jabari Simama, Commissioner Gretchen Corbin of the Technical College System of Georgia, Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes, Vice President of Economic Development for Covington/Newton County Economic Development David Bernd and Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston. - photo by Darryl Welch

The center includes training labs for electronics, industrial wiring and motor controls, mechanical training, and automation and process control. The college said graduates from this program can receive a variety of credentials including continuing education certificates, technical certificates of credit, diplomas and degrees.

Simama said the new center delivers on a promise.

“Today we’re here to say we are delivering on a promise. The Commissioner and I came out over a year ago and we promised the business community that we were going to transform manufacturing capabilities here. This million dollar commitment represents a promise kept,” he said.

“We’re training the workforce for the global economy right here in Newton County,” Simama said. “And this center is a big part of it.

Corbin said the mission of the Technical College System of Georgia is simple.

“Workforce development,” she said. “Making sure we are listening to our employers to understand their needs so we are providing the curriculum, the equipment and the incredibly intelligent instructors that our students will need to be successful in the workforces of Georgia’s companies.

Speaking about Newton County Corbin said, “We have an incredible industry base here. If it is our responsibility to make sure we are providing first class, continuously trained talent for these incredible workforces in these incredible companies, we will do it.”

Ralph Staffins, president of the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, praised the partnership that made the center a reality.

”Every great project starts with partnership, compromise and communication. That is what happened here,” he said. “I am so proud to have worked with great friends like Commissioner Corbin, President Simama and the local plant managers to bring this dream to reality.

“Our mission at the Covington-Newton Chamber and Office of Economic Development is to lead the nation in economic development. This lab helps us as a community to reach this ambitious goal because we all know how important workforce is to attracting and retaining companies of all sizes.”