Dublin, Ga., (OFTC) –Last September, the Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGC) began an eight-month customized Supervisory Training Program (STP) through Oconee Fall Line Technical College in order to address the impending need of construction supervisors.

This week, the STP hosted their first graduation at OFTC’s South Campus in Dublin where they graduated 10 students and recognized the achievements of 17 others Monday, May 8th.

“The thing we’ve spent our most time on the last few years is workforce development,” said Mike Dunham, CEO of the AGC, while addressing the graduates. “There are tremendous opportunities in this state alone but without a workforce, development is a difficult task. We don’t have enough people entering the industry and that’s one reason you should be proud of what you’ve done here. You took the challenge and met it and you’re going to have a bright future in this state.”

Participating graduates were: Phil Best Jr., Michael Brent, William Carrol, Michael Christopher, Robert Cross, Cohen Deal, Jeremy Jones, Jamie Rice, William Scrimpsher, and Daniel Varnadoe. Unit completers are students who have completed several, but not all units of the program. These students are expected to graduate with the next class that is already being formed. The 17 unit completers were: Charles Anderson, Chris Davis, Kelvin Epps, J. Charlie Garbutt, Hunter Knight, Suzy Lee, Adam McEachern, Gary McDaniel, Dan McLeod, Daniel Miller, Sean Moxley, Matt Richardson, Chris Rutledge, Dathan Smith, Jake Watson, Adam Yocco, and Austin Ziegler.

Supervisory Training Program

The customized training program began after several conversations between companies in the construction and general contracting industry and OFTC about concerns regarding an approaching gap in supervisory-level employees due to a large number of the current workforce approaching retirement age, shared Kim David, VP of Economic Development at OFTC.

“The STP is an existing training offered by the AGC that up-skills current construction and contracting employees into a certified supervisory role,” she said. “Largely with backing from Garbutt Construction, STP allowed OFTC to utilize their existing curriculum and materials to offer this certified training in a location that is central to most in the state.

While OFTC used the existing curriculum, the college’s Continuing Education Office conducted the training start to finish using instructors whose expertise was in the subject area of the particular training module.

“We have utilized 16 different instructors throughout the program, including four from OFTC,” shared Roger Byrd, Manager of OFTC’s Business and Industry and Continuing Education department. “Our pool of instructors consisted of attorneys, college professors, higher education administrators, industry CEO’s, and managers, several of whom traveled from Atlanta to participate. All were extremely qualified and three of the instructors have even authored books on their area of expertise,” Byrd said, “and almost all volunteered to teach in this program.”

On Monday evenings, classes would meet from 5:30 to 8:30 and participants trained to increase their knowledge in order to further qualify for supervisory positions within their companies. “What this will do for a young man or woman is put them on a career path to grow into the opportunity to lead a construction team. To be that on-site supervisor, a superintendent,” Dunham shared in the September/October issue of the Georgia Contractor Magazine.

And since the program is designed for those already working in the industry, the training modules are geared toward things like leadership, oral and written communication, planning and scheduling, and understanding contract documents, Dunham explained in the article. “In order to move up in the ranks, in order to get that bigger paycheck, you need to be looking towards a managerial role and that’s what the Supervisory Training Program will help you with,” he added.

The STP partnership between OFTC and the AGC is expected to continue and to grow. The Continuing Education department of OFTC has already made plans for a second class beginning in September of 2017. For more info about OFTC’s Continuing Education Department or customized training opportunities, contact Kim David at kdavid@oftc.edu.