Community Outreach

Adult Education

Athens Technical College provides free basic and secondary-level instruction for adults at locations in each of the counties located within the college's service area: Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Hart, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Taliaferro, Walton, and Wilkes. The college provides the following classes on each campus and at sites in each service area county in the following areas:

  • Basic or remedial reading and math.
  • Academic subjects at the secondary level to provide preparation for the Tests of General Educational Development (GED).
  • English as a Second Language for members of the international community.
  • Specific assessments and self-improvement skills needed for jobs or additional training.

The Tests of General Educational Development (GED) are five tests on writing skills, social studies, science, literature and the arts, and mathematics. The tests enable people who did not graduate from high school to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills usually associated with the completion of a four-year high school program.

The college offers free GED preparation classes at the adult education centers in all service area counties. The college conducts GED testing sessions at the H.T. Edward Educational Complex at 440-3 Dearing Extension in Athens and at its campuses in Elbert County, Greene County, and Walton County. GED testing sessions are also offered at locations in Hart and Wilkes counties on a scheduled basis.

The Adult Education Office staff conducts workplace education classes for employees of area businesses and industries, either on site or at other convenient locations. Classes may include instruction in basic or advanced reading and math, GED preparation, the English Proficiency Program for Speakers of Other Languages, or specific academic skills needed for employment.

Information on adult education classes and GED testing sessions are available from the college's Adult Education Office, which is located in the H.T. Edward Education Complex at 440-3 Dearing Extension in Athens. The telephone number of this office is (706) 357-5281, extension 2.

Economic Development Services

The mission of the Office of Economic Development Services is regional workforce and economic development. Economic Development Services offers education and training opportunities to enable participants to develop necessary skills to further their career goals. Through business and industry support programs, Economic Development Services aids in the creation and retention of jobs by supporting existing companies, employees, entrepreneurs, and new companies coming to the area. Economic Development Services programs also assist employers in attracting potential employees with the basic skills needed to be productive, successful workers for their companies. Programs and services are available in each service area county: Clarke, Elbert Greene, Hart, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Taliaferro, Walton, and Wilkes.

Continuing Education Services

Athens Technical College develops continuing education courses in response to educational demands and requests of citizens, professional and business groups, and other organizations. The Continuing Education staff develops and implements on-site, on-campus, and online courses for career and professional development, personal interest, and enrichment. Career and professional courses include microcomputer and software courses, office skills, and language training. Students who satisfactorily complete certain career and professional courses may receive continuing education credit (CEUs) to document that their noncredit instruction met nationally recognized standards. The Continuing Education staff develops personal enrichment courses by focusing on education related to visual and musical arts, crafts, health, and other areas of interest.

For further information, call the Athens Campus Continuing Education Office at (706) 369-5763 or the Elbert County Campus Continuing Education Office at (706) 213-2100. A complete listing of continuing education courses taught at each location is available on the college website.

Business and Industry Services

Business and Industry Services fosters growth and development of area businesses and industries by providing high quality consulting and customized training services that focus on continuous workforce improvement and development; coordinating state economic development programs and services for existing, expanding, and new companies; and providing job profiling and assessment services to employers.

Available services include skills assessment and training for entry-level personnel, training to improve intermediate skills, and advanced or customized training in mechanical, electrical, computer, warehousing, and customer service. Consulting extends to working with company leadership to develop and implement world-class business strategies, drive organizational change, select and implement best practices, and develop networks with local leaders.

Human Resource Services

Athens Technical College offers a variety of human resource management services for business and industry clients. The college offers occupational skills enhancement training programs and testing in many critical technology skills areas, including heating and air conditioning, nursing, laboratory assisting, automated manufacturing, industrial maintenance, computer programming, and others. Specific services include:

  • Human resources consulting and training.
  • Personnel training and recruitment.
  • Maintenance skills assessments and training.
  • WorkKeys® assessment services.
  • WorkKeys® job profiling services.
  • Georgia Work Ready®, assessments, job profiling services, and consulting.

Workforce Development/WorkKeys®

The WorkKeys® system provides a common language between education, employee skills, and the needs of area businesses and industries. Staff members use this system to perform job profiles in order to determine the exact tasks involved and the skills employees need to be successful. Employers can then assess new applicants more accurately. This program assists managers in establishing a qualified job applicant pool. Companies may also use the job profile and skills analysis to improve the promotion process for workers already employed by the organization. WorkKeys® is the foundation component of the Georgia Work Ready program.

Existing Employee Training Services

Athens Technical College offers varied training for existing employees and is the "first-call" employee-training partner for many companies in Northeast Georgia. Staff members analyze company processes and develop customized training activities to solve key operational issues.

Training areas include leadership, communications, supervision, computer skills, sales, customer service, team building, industrial maintenance, safety issues, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance issues, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and hazardous materials training, among others. The college also provides training in inventory control and purchasing systems.

Customer service training includes professional dress, telephone skills, multicultural issues, sales, and serving difficult customers. Computer training highlights the latest software and operating systems. Other training activities available include:

  • Job performance improvement.
  • Inventory control and purchasing.
  • Communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Computers and web-based courses.
  • Quality control, ISO 9000 and 14000, Six Sigma, LEAN, and 5-S.
  • Executive coaching and leadership development.
  • Supervisory skills training and team development.
  • Technical and business writing.
  • Personnel development and assessment.
  • Strategic planning.
  • On-site management consulting.
  • Maintenance skills assessment.
  • Maintenance systems analysis.
  • Advanced manufacturing technology.

Athens Technical College can assess the training needs of an organization and customize programs to correct deficiencies. Customized programs are efficient because they target only those areas needed by the client. These services are available on a contractual basis to business and industry clients.

Labor and Organizational Services

Qualified experts from the college can assist clients in managing change in organizational structure and other management challenges. Staff members monitor progress and suggest strategies to enhance the process and increase employee involvement and acceptance. Specific services include:

  • Lean manufacturing implementation.
  • Labor and organizational issues training.
  • Employee opinion surveys.
  • Material and product planning.
  • Strategic planning.

Environmental and Safety Services

Athens Technical College offers a variety of environmental and safety services that identify areas that need emphasis or that do not meet current or proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

As part of its OSHA alliance, the college offers employee training in handling hazardous materials, consulting services in engineering, and training on workplace safety issues. Ergonomics consultants can also assist in eliminating workplace injuries and lost work time. Specific services include:

  • Environmental and safety assessments.
  • OSHA/EPA consulting, planning, and training.
  • Hazardous waste management training.
  • Technical and engineering studies.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Arc Flash and other safety training.

Microcomputer Academy

Athens Technical College offers seminars and workshops on a variety of computer applications through its Microcomputer Academy. Consulting services are also available. Classes target people with varying levels of computer skills and range from basic operation and purchasing of a computer to navigating the Internet and mastering software programs such as the Microsoft Office Suite of applications (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word).

Quick Start

The Quick Start program constantly receives national recognition for providing high-quality training services at no cost to new and expanding businesses in Georgia. Quick Start training services are available for both manufacturing and service companies. Manufacturing training focuses on company orientation, core manufacturing skills, job-specific skills, productivity enhancement, employee involvement, and human resource development. Service training includes company orientation, customer service training, personal interaction skills, product information training, job procedures, and professional development. Certified economic development trainers from Athens Technical College assist in determining whether organizations qualify for Quick Start training benefits. Contact the vice president for economic development at (706) 369-5763 for more information.

Retraining Tax Credit

Staff from the Office of Economic Development Services work with existing industries located in the counties served by Athens Technical College to establish eligibility for retraining tax credits from the State of Georgia. The objective of the retraining tax credit program is to foster the profitability and competitiveness of Georgia's existing industry by encouraging workforce development through retraining tax incentives. The State of Georgia will grant tax credits to eligible business enterprises that equal up to one half of the direct costs of retraining. Eligible business enterprises qualify for a maximum tax credit of $500 per full-time employee per year for each approved retraining program, up to $1,250 per employer per year.

To be eligible for tax credits, training programs must provide improved job skills for employees unable to function effectively on the job due to skill deficiencies or because they would otherwise be displaced because such skill deficiencies would inhibit their utilization of new technology. New technology includes the implementation of new equipment and/or new customized operating systems and software, workplace re-engineering, total quality management, ISO systems implementation, and employee involvement programs. The vice president for economic development coordinates the assistance to a company interested in claiming the retraining tax credit. The vice president is also responsible for determining if programs are eligible for a tax credit and for approving the required forms.

Georgia Work Ready®

Economic Development Services operates in partnership with state and local efforts to improve workforce skills by actively supporting the Georgia Certified Work Ready program efforts. Staff members provide local industry with certified WorkKeys® profilers who profile jobs to determine the specific skill sets needed by successful employees. The staff also administers workforce assessments that are designed to assist in matching applicant skills to profiled jobs. This effort is designed to provide Work Ready employees who are prepared to perform at optimum levels.