With logistics-related fields employing nearly 200,000 Georgians and transportation workers occupying one out of every 14 jobs in the state, Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s (GPTC) planned expansion of its Regional Transportation Training Center in DeKalb County promises to fuel the burgeoning workforce needs along the I-20 corridor.
On May 10 Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on the budget for the construction of a new $5.77M facility that will house GPTC’s one-of-a-kind regional transportation and logistics training center on Marbut Road in Lithonia, replacing and enhancing the College’s current CDL training location there. Upon completion, it will be the largest training site in Georgia that specifically caters to building a strong workforce in support of the transportation industry.
“This is a big win for Georgia Piedmont Tech, DeKalb County and the entire region,” said GPTC President Tavarez Holston. “We anticipate opening the doors to our new facility for students and our industry training partners by 2024.”
The 28,000-square-foot training center will be instrumental in producing skilled workers to serve the Metro Atlanta area, notably from Commercial Truck Driving, Diesel Technology and Automotive Technology programs.
“We are excited that Georgia Piedmont Technical College can provide more opportunities for students interested in pursuing one of these high-demand career fields as we grow a talent pipeline for business and industry,” said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier.
With a 99 percent graduate job placement rate, the College serves major distribution and logistics-dependent employers such as Amazon moving into the region and existing companies like DART, Home Chef and MARTA looking to enhance or expand their operations.
“There is no question this new Regional Transportation Training Center will bring about transformative change to DeKalb County. When we speak of advancing development throughout the entire county so that all of DeKalb residents can thrive and prosper, it starts with having a well-trained and educated workforce utilizing the latest technology,” said Dorian R. DeBarr, president of the Decide DeKalb Development Authority and a member of the GPTC Board of Directors.
Additional uses of the new center will include short-term training options such as forklift certification, entrepreneurship opportunities and incubator space in support of transportation start-ups and prospects for partnering with governmental agencies.
“I am excited about the possibilities this new transportation center will bring, and I look forward to working with President Holston to expand the training opportunities for students in DeKalb County,” said Sen. Emanuel Jones (GA-10), who assisted the College in securing the project funds. “We must be competitive for the jobs of the future.”
Story by Jana Wiggins
Architectural rendering provided by Pond & Company