Intro by John Ahmann, President & CEO, Westside Future Fund

This week’s guest column is by Dr. Victoria Seals, President of Atlanta Technical College. Dr. Seals was our featured presenter for the June 7th Transform Westside Summit, where she shared a progress update from the 50-year old institution and the measurable impact it is having for graduates and their families. Atlanta Technical College reports a 99% career placement rate for students, an impressive feat. 

At the Summit, Dr. Seals shared the exciting progress of the new, “Center for Workforce Innovation”, a public private partnership announced by Mayor Bottoms on November 26, 2018. Building on the work of Atlanta Technical College, The Center offers support and skill-based training for well-paying jobs that do not necessarily require a college degree.  Many Westside residents are working full-time, but in lower paying minimum wage jobs and do not earn enough to buy a home or cover basic expenses such as childcare for a full-time working mother. Via Atlanta Technical College, they now have an opportunity to upskill as well as have scholarships that cover the associated cost with training, such as transportation.  

The message was so powerful and well received, Dr. Seals graciously offered to make a recruiting station available for Summit attendees. Starting on June 21st, prospective students who meet with an Atlanta Technical College recruiter at the Transform Westside Summit will also have their application fee waived. A great example of the Power of We in action, helping to deliver results on the career side of the cradle-to-career impact strategy area.

If you missed Dr. Seals’ presentation at the Summit, you can read a recap or catch a replay of the Facebook livestream here

We hope that this additional recruitment effort will help facilitate access and enable more residents of the Historic Westside neighborhoods to take advantage of the career development opportunities at Atlanta Technical College.

Be sure to register to join me at the July 19th Summit and don’t forget to bring a friend or prospective student.

By Dr. Victoria Seals, President, Atlanta Technical College 

Atlanta Technical College (ATC), the city’s premier destination for technical education, serves the residents of Fulton and Clayton Counties, along with the City of Atlanta. With over 150 academic programs and partnerships with many of Atlanta’s leading industries, ATC offers world-class credentials proven to empower graduates with rewarding careers in the metro region’s thriving job market. 

For over 50 years, ATC has transformed the lives of its students through the power of technical education and proudly boasts a 99 percent job placement rating. In an effort to increase the impact of our workforce development efforts and expand the reach of the college, we recently partnered with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Committee for Progress to create the Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI). With this initiative, we are introducing a new model to support our students throughout their educational journey. Designed with student achievement in mind, the CWI will further enhance our student’s ability to obtain real knowledge and real skills so they can achieve real success after graduation.

This innovative model has been realized thanks to $2 million in funding by our sponsor companies Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, SunTrust, Intercontinental Exchange, and Georgia Power – signaling one of the most significant investments our partners have made to fill the critical roles in Atlanta’s workforce. Our new CWI team will expand the support of our high-quality instruction while providing invaluable opportunities for each student throughout their time at ATC. Most importantly, we are using these additional resources to offer career development coaching along with work-based internships and apprenticeships. Simply put: the college has created new avenues for our students to achieve sustainable careers with Atlanta’s leading industries.     

The CWI will begin with three career tracks including Skilled Trades (Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, and Welding), IT/Coding (IT Support, Networking, Cloud Technologies), and Aviation (Aviation Careers). Our partnerships with these leaders will help ensure our programs meet the highest standards while allowing our students a unique vantage point into industries they are passionate about. These significant assets will be instrumental for our students to obtain credentials to succeed in high demand career fields. 

Since the announcement last fall, we’ve been actively laying the groundwork to operationalize the CWI and maximize its impact across campus. With the official launch right around the corner in August, it is safe to say we’re entering a new era of academic opportunity for those who pursue these programs. Our students deserve every opportunity for economic mobility and we know that can only occur through a viable, and rewarding, career pathway. The CWI is a groundbreaking initiative that has the potential to transform the lives of our students. We couldn’t be more excited to begin the next phase of ATC’s journey as we increase the tools our students can utilize for a lifetime of success.

Atlanta Technical College: Real Knowledge. Real Skills. Real Success.  

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