Governor Deal Breaks Ground on Training Center for Veterans
By Terry Shropshire
For decades, state and federal governments have been roundly criticized for not adequately assisting military servicemen and women in their transitions into the workforce after spending years putting their lives on the line for their country. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal believes a new $10 million military academic training center will better address the needs of those veterans and the communities in which they live.
Deal, along with the University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson and other state officials, broke ground on a new $10 million education and training center on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The 32,000-square-foot Georgia Military Academic Training Center’s mission will be to provide education and other forms of assistance to returning veterans as they make the transition to civilian life.
“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.”
As part of that effort, the center will support Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative and its goal of increasing the percentage of Georgians earning a college certificate or degree from 42 percent to 60 percent by 2020. Active-duty military personnel and veterans are a key focus of the program.
“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 Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia. “This new center … represents the type of coordination and forward thinking needed to meet our college completion agenda.”
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 also serve active duty military and Department of Defense employees.
- Expand DOD-related training and establish a closer relationship with University System and the Defense Acquisition University to align training and education needs.
- 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.
The Georgia MATC will be located off Georgia Highway 247 behind Huntington Middle School, near Robins Air Force Base and is expected to be completed in 2016.