Augusta Technical College Recipient of $60,000 Defense Community Economic Development Fund Grant

Staff Report From Augusta CEO

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

President Terry D. Elam announced that Augusta Technical College is the recipient of a $60,000 Defense Community Economic Development Fund Grant from the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Workforce Development.

The funds will be used to strengthen the relationship between Augusta and the military community by working to match military spouses with employment opportunities through such initiatives as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ) in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes (USCCF -HOH). An MSEEZ works to combat military spouse unemployment and underemployment with workshops aimed at training spouses on employment skills, training employers on how/why to hire military spouses, and advocating for this population both to hiring managers and local civic leaders.

“Fort Gordon is an important asset in our community and to our college. This grant allows us to continue to extend and enhance services to military spouses, service members, and veterans. We are excited to partner with Hiring Our Heroes and hope to play a vital role in helping to eliminate barriers to military spouse unemployment on a local level.,” stated President Elam. “Augusta Technical College is already proficient at building bridges to a successful college experience for nontraditional students and first generation college students, and we stand ready to expand our services to military students and their families.”

Additional initiatives funded by the grant will include the College organizing military spouse hiring fairs; hosting AMPLIFY, a 2-day intensive career program for military spouse professionals; and expanding the College’s reach into the Military Spouse Professional Network (MSPN).

“Working with local partners like Augusta Technical College is key in our efforts to removing barriers to military spouse employment,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, Senior Director of Military Spouse Programs at Hiring Our Heroes. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the College to connect the talented workforce represented by Fort Gordon’s military spouses with meaningful employment in Augusta and the surrounding communities.”

“The Office of Workforce Development is excited to offer the Defense Community Economic Development Fund Grant in support of the training and employment of military families in Georgia,” said Dr. Serena Walker, Grants Director for the Technical College System of Georgia Office of Workforce Development. “We seek to deploy resources that support the empowerment of each population within Georgia’s workforce system, one of the most significant being our military service members and their families.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between Augusta Technical College, the USCCF, and Hiring our Heroes was effective as of July 16, 2019. The purpose of the MOU is to foster mutual understanding and a working relationship between Augusta Technical College and Hiring our Heroes and build programs to help create long-lasting economic opportunities for military spouses and their families.