Albany Technical College Blog

Silhouette of Dr Martin Luther King Jr

My life’s history and most of my experiences are tied to the south. I was born one year before Brown versus the Board of Education. Yet, I still attended segregated schools from Kindergarten through the eleventh grade. My education after high school was provided by a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), a state university, and flagship university. I was educated in South Carolina and Georgia. I’ve lived all my life in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. I was a high school student when Dr. King was assassinated.

A Drill, hammer and pliers on wodden desktop.

During the past six months I have purposely doubled the time that I allocate for meetings with area employers. Acquiring in-depth feedback about the current workforce needs around the quality of workforce skills and the work ethics required for entry level workers is proving to be of great benefit considering our dynamic and ever evolving knowledge-based economy. The conversations reinforce and better quantify my assumptions about employment projections for certain artisans and technicians in Southwest Georgia in the coming years. I know more about how the average and median age of the current regional workforce factors into the plans of local hiring managers for the upcoming years.

Downtown Albany GA 1959: Source- www.docolib.org

In 1961, several Southwest Georgia visionaries decided that the best way to create economic prosperity and attract industry to the region was to create a technically-educated workforce.  Two of those visionaries were George Kirkland and E. B. White.  George Kirkland realized that in order to sell residential and commercial real estate in the area, new industry needed to be enticed to move to Dougherty County.  E. B. White understood that in order for all members of our community to obtain gainful employment, Blacks and Whites must have equal access to economic utility through education.  Thus, the birth of Monroe Area Vocational School and Albany Area Vocational School.

Metal worker cutting a pipe

We work because our parents cared about us enough to teach us the value of earning a living. The laws of nature are such that parents usually die before their children. Parental instincts focus on our children’s safety and security. How do we provide security for our children after we die?  You can leave them money, or you can teach them the value of work so that they can make a living. We work because we love our families. As we become spouses and parents we work because others depend on us. We work to make our families proud of us. We work to support our families.