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DCSS, Albany Tech, P&G and 4CA Partner to Grow Unique Workforce Development Program

Dyer, Washington, Parker and Hatcher The Dougherty County School System is using it’s strong partnerships with Albany Tech and Procter and Gamble to grow a workforce development program to get students plugged directly in to career opportunities.

The Industrial Operations Technician (IOT) Program was certified at Albany Tech last year and is a direct response to conversations about the needs of local manufacturers like P&G’s Paper Products Plant. The program is specifically aligned to the manufacturing process employed by P&G so that successful students are better prepared to take P&G’s entrance exam and get placed with employment opportunities.

The program, which saw six DCSS High Students participate and complete last school term. The program at Albany Tech has so far experienced a 100% pass rate on P&G’s Reasoning Exam.

With its success, the heads of all three organizations have partnered to expand and streamline the program to the mutual benefit of all involved.

“This program is strong example of how the DCSS and Albany Tech are working with local industry to align training to the workforce needs of our area,” DCSS Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said. “This program will create incredible opportunities for our students to find a good job at a great company.”

Upon completion of the program, students will have also be Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.

For Albany Tech, the program is a component of the broader Operations Management Certification which helps candidates prepare for a career in the manufacturing industry.

“When I look at the age of the labor force, if the median age is 57, a large substantial number of people will be leaving the labor force each year,” Dr. Anthony Parker from Albany Tech said. “So it’s critical that we provide a technical education to the upcoming generation in order to meet the needs of our industrial partners.”

The program gets candidates into the workforce much quicker, which is crucial to local manufacturers.

“Talent is the lifeblood of the company,” P&G Plant Manager Werhner Washington said. “When hiring people, time is money.  This allows us to prepare candidates for job opportunities for major manufacturers and to allow them to get on board much faster. Once they start, they’ll be able to jump straight to the job-specific training and that will shave months off their training.”

The district’s 4C Academy, which is in its second year of operation, will serve as the bridge between Albany Tech’s program, high school students and high-demand job opportunities.

“This is what our facility was designed to do,” 4C Academy CEO Chris Hatcher said. “We’ve heard the needs of our local industry and are now working collaboratively with our partners like Albany Tech to provide rich opportunities for our students. It’s the definition of a win, win, win scenario.”

The IOT program through the Albany Tech, 4CA partnership is a free program through the state’s Dual Enrollment program, with no fees or tuition and was developed through collaboration with local manufacturers attached to the Albany-Dougherty Industry Roundtable, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and educational partners in Dougherty County.

In addition, P&G is developing an internship program modeled after its existing engineering internship program. Eligible students will come from the IoT program.