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GPTC to host NEWTON WORKS course for manufacturing training
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COVINGTON, Ga. – Georgia Piedmont Technical College is accepting applications for the 2018 NEWTON WORKS Manufacturing READY program, a five-week intensive program to prepare individuals for success in the field of manufacturing. 

Dr. Irvin Clark, GPTC vice president of economic development and dean of the Newton County campus, said the college worked with local industry leaders and the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce to build the program’s curriculum. 

“We’re trying to establish an employee pipeline for manufacturers,” Bryan Sexton, GPTC executive director of advanced manufacturing, said. “For companies like Shire, to keep them from having to go outside the state or outside the county, we want to fill the need internal to Newton County. That’s the goal here.”

NEWTON WORKS, which starts on Nov. 5, is geared to unemployed or underemployed individuals who have little or no manufacturing experience, but wish to re-enter the workforce with new and in-demand skills. 

“It is funded for those who qualify through WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act),” Clark said. “It will cover the basics in manufacturing and they will also pick up several certifications in the program – such as CPR, first aid, forklift, OSHA as well as Georgia Best Soft Skills.

“Once they finish the program, they will be able to go into entry-level positions in basically any Newton County manufacturing company to work."

Sexton said the program will expose participants to several different work environments and soft skills training scenarios. 

“We will actually give them a simulated work environment, where they will actually work on an actual manufacturing line in the Advanced Manufacturing Center so they get an idea of the type of work and what’s involved,” he said. 

Clark said something special about the program is the industry visits scheduled each Friday of the five-week period. 

“They will get to see the facilities first-hand and see the environment,” he said. “Those industry visits will include transportation that the college will provide and lunches.”

Interested applicants can contact Clark for more information at 404-297-9522 ext. 1829 or GPTC will also host an open house and information session about the program Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

“This is a great opportunity for people who want to get a career in manufacturing, which they pay very well and it is an opportunity to just do something different,” Clark said.