Gov. Nathan Deal and other state officials broke ground on Aug. 19 on a new $10 million education and training center that will serve as a “one-stop shop” for military veterans shifting to civilian careers.
The Georgia Military Academic Training Center (MATC) is a partnership between the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Middle Georgia State College (MGA) and Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) will jointly operate the new center in Warner Robins.
“Georgia’s military men and women serve our country to protect our freedom as Americans,” said Deal. “As these heroes enter our workforce after their military careers, it’s our duty to provide them with every opportunity for academic and professional success. This military academic training center will provide the type of education and assistance needed for veterans to complete their transition and get good jobs. Thank you to the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia for joining me in this investment in our veterans and our workforce.”
Once completed in 2016, the 32,000 square-foot facility will serve as an academic and workforce gateway for veterans as they re-enter Georgia's workforce and systems of higher education.
Both Central Georgia Tech and Middle Georgia State will work with veterans one-on-one to ensure that Department of Defense training and experience is appropriately recognized as these veterans pursue postsecondary credentials (certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees or master's degrees) through the University System and Technical College System.
In a larger context, the center will support Gov. Deal’s Complete College Georgia Initiative, which has a goal of increasing the percentage of Georgians completing some level of college from 42 percent to 60 percent by 2020. Active and veteran military personnel represent a key audience for the Initiative.
Joining the Governor at the groundbreaking were: State Rep. and Majority Leader Larry O’Neal; TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson; USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby; Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms; CGTC President Dr. Ivan Allen and MGA President Dr. Christopher Blake.
"The groundbreaking for Georgia’s new military academic training center is major step toward fulfilling our commitment to utilize the state’s higher education systems to help members of the armed forces, veterans and their families in their transition from military service to civilian careers," Jackson said.
“As we seek to increase the numbers of Georgians completing college, we must ensure we have the programs and support for our military personnel,” said Huckaby. “This new center is a great partnership between our two systems and represents the type of coordination and forward thinking needed to meet our college completion agenda.”
Blake, Middle Georgia State’s president, said, “We are thrilled to offer an array of program options to veterans and their families that include competency-based associate's degrees in public safety and criminal justice; a bachelor of applied science in business management; and bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice, IT and health services. Our online course offerings will allow veterans to complete their work at Middle Georgia State no matter where their new opportunities take them.”
The new facility will also make it possible to:
• Offer specific mission-related services to Robins Air Force Base and other military installations throughout Georgia.
• Better help veterans apply specific training, Defense Acquisition University courses and other service as credit toward a specific University System or Technical College System degree or certificate. The center will serve active duty military and Department of Defense employees, too.
• Expand DOD-related training and allow a closer marriage of the University System and Defense Acquisition University in aligning training and education needs, especially in the area of logistics.
• Create multiple and varied opportunities to help veterans find post-service employment.
• Unify multiple educational and defense-related organizations to coordinate Georgia's effort to support America's defense community. Working together, these public, quasi-public and private partners will offer Georgia and the defense community a unified and focused DOD support network.
The Georgia MATC will be located off Georgia Highway 247 behind Huntington Middle School, in close proximity to Robins Air Force Base.
Brian Robinson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications
Office of the Governor, 404.651.7774
John Millsaps, Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications
University System of Georgia, 404.656.2250
Mike Light, Executive Director of Communications
Technical College System of Georgia, 404.327.6913
Cheryl Carty, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Middle Georgia State College, 478.471.5235
Janet Kelly, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations
Central Georgia Technical College, 478.218.3319