Atlanta Technical College’s Center for Workforce Innovation Boasts Gains in Inaugural Year
By Atlanta Technical College
In August of 2019, Atlanta Technical College partnered with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Committee for Progress to launch a bold initiative to connect students with vested corporate partners to help meet the needs of a rapidly changing workforce. With this partnership, the Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI) was born.
In just the first year, CWI established initial partnerships and funding from Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, SunTrust (now Truist), Intercontinental Exchange and Georgia Power to provide real knowledge, real skills and real success to students interested in high-demand industries such as aviation, information technology, film and entertainment, logistics and supply chain management, and skilled trades including carpentry, electronics, welding, HVAC, and plumbing. More than 200 students have participated in the CWI initiative with many graduates matriculating to successful and rewarding careers.
“When the public and private sectors collaborate, the entire region wins,” said ATC President Dr. Victoria Seals. “Atlanta is home to many of our nation’s leading companies, and it is an amazing opportunity to connect our students to relationships with these corporations through the Center for Workforce Innovation. However, the vision for the CWI goes far beyond workforce development and career path alignment activities.”
In addition to the wide range of career paths supported by the CWI, what truly differentiates this unique program lies with the comprehensive span of “wraparound services” that empowers students and better positions them for success. These services, including dedicated Achievement Facilitators who work with CWI students to ensure success, provide additional touch points to retain students while mitigating challenges throughout their academic careers at ATC. CWI students have access to workshops provided by industry and community partners, are eligible for free on-site childcare, transportation assistance, and training equipment support. Additionally, students are partnered with one-on-one personal and professional development coaches, as well as being connected to work-based internships and apprenticeships aligned with their chosen area of interest.
“Real success for our students takes a collaborative effort where we put our arms around each student from the time they enroll until graduation day,” said CWI Executive Director Dr. Katrina Hunter. “We have seen tremendous gains from our students and increased engagement from our partners over the past year, and we are excited about the synergy that the CWI and ATC bring to our community as a whole.”
As the CWI program enters its second year, nearly 476 students enrolled in the program, more than doubling the enrollment from the inaugural year. As student interest continue to grow, so do the interest of the public and private partners as ATC continue to collaborate to expand future opportunities for students.