GPTC’s Economic Development Division, Newton County Sheriff’s Department and Action Inc. met Nov. 13, 2019, to plan the next cohort of the Newton HIRE program to help inmates regain entry into the workforce.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) has enhanced its efforts to strengthen the workforce pipeline for its industry partners in Newton County and to provide a re-entry point for local inmates currently incarcerated at the Newton County Jail.

GPTC’s Economic Development Division is working with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department and Action Inc. to host the second cohort of the Newton HIRE program. The Newton HIRE (Helping Inmates Regain Entry) program is designed to train non-violent inmates in the field of advanced manufacturing. The first cohort graduated four students who participated in our Manufacturing READY program in May 2019.

Over the past several weeks our team has been working to determine the focus of the second cohort of Newton HIRE as it relates to a training. After reviewing Georgia Department of Labor data and speaking with several manufacturing partners in Newton County, the planning team has determined that training the participants in the high-demand field of Industrial Maintenance is critical to supporting the workforce needs of our industry partners. Equally, the team also desires to train the participants for positions which require a high skill set and to ensure that the participants will be gainfully employed at a manufacturing facility in Newton County upon graduation.

To ensure that the program provides the appropriate level of training for the participants, the team will require each participant to agree to enroll in the Newton HIRE Industrial Maintenance program as a U.S. Department of Labor apprentice. Structuring the program in this manner will ensure that the participants are mastering the skills needed based on the specific needs of the company they are assigned to as an apprentice.

If you would like to learn more about this program for the purpose of possibly hosting a Newton HIRE Industrial Maintenance program apprentice, please email Irvin Clark at by December 2, 2019.

Additional program information:

  • The planning team is considering a cohort of 6-8 students for this program with a target date to begin the program in February 2020.
  • Funding for the technical training will provided by Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, Action Inc, and federal grant money that was recently awarded to GPTC to help support the training of individuals to work in industrial maintenance as an apprentice.
  • The industrial maintenance apprenticeship program is a 3-year program. Participants will need to complete a minimum of 144 hours of technical training each year (432 total) and 2000 hours of on-the-job training each year (6000 total).
  • Employers who agree to host a Newton HIRE Industrial Maintenance apprentice will need to provide a salary and full-time position to the participant during the apprenticeship period.
  • All students will be vetted based on criteria established between the Newton County Sheriff, Action Inc, GPTC and the industry partners who agree to participate in the program.
  • Companies will have the final say as it relates to the hiring of a participant to work as an apprentice.
  • The curriculum (technical and soft skills) for the Newton HIRE Industrial Maintenance program can be enhanced or adjusted based on industry feedback.