By Walter L. Johnson II
The new logistics education center at Albany Technical College is now open.
It was unveiled before a packed crowd underneath a tent outside the main campus on South Slappey Boulevard on Tuesday.
Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson said that the completion of Albany Tech’s newest building was a long process.
“These buildings, they don’t just happen because we want them to happen,” Jackson said, addressing the spectators. “This has probably been about an eight-year, nine-year process from the time that (ATC President Anthony) Parker, and a group of people, saying, that we really need this building.”
ATC director of public relations and information Wendy Howell agrees with Jackson.
“This is going to be the hub for logistics education here in southwest Georgia,” said Howell. “We have a logistics auditorium, the Marine Corps will be able to use for their LOGCOM and SYSCOM classes.
Howell added: “There’s a new culinary arts facility, brand new media center on the second floor, as well as an executive board room.
“The big attraction for this building is probably going to be the brand new student center, where students will have a chance to come in between classes. We haven’t had a big place for them for a while, so this will be a place for them to come.”
Colonel Terry Reed, who serves as the commander of Maintenance Center Albany at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, says the need for a fully trained workforce is more important than ever.
“We have over 2,000 Marines and civilian Marines here, handling equipment and electronics with logistics, logisticians, and we need to train our workforce here,” Reed said, “and that’s where the benefit from a local Albany Technical College (is) here.”
The MCA also benefits from an already solid relationship with ATC and other technical colleges in the southwest Georgia region, added Reed.
“We have a really good relationship with Albany Tech, and the other technical colleges in southwest Georgia,” Reed said. “The opening of this new logistics conference center is only going to help us continue our mission in logistics.”
One ATC student, Connie Scarborough, is studying logistics after completing her degree in marketing.
“It’s interesting, I’m just getting started,” Scarborough said. “But I think it’s going to be very interesting.
Scarborough added: “I love this new building, I think it’s going to be a great asset to Albany Tech, and I look forward to getting my degree in logistics.”
Howell says that Albany Tech is not the institution it was when it first opened in 1961.
“We just invite anyone who wants to come out for a tour at Albany Tech, to check out, because, we’re not the old technical school that people may remember Albany Tech to be,” Howell said. “We’re definitely moving into a new age, with the new buildings, and the new programs, we have just so much going on, we really want to share it with the community, if they’d like to come out.”