Albany, Georgia – This summer, an Albany Technical College delegation of four Engineering Technology students and one instructor traveled to Waterford, Ireland for two weeks. They arrived Sunday, June 3 and returned Sunday, June 17. What these students learned might just help Southwest Georgia in a growing global economy.

These students experienced Irish culture with sightseeing and touring. In addition, they attended credit-bearing engineering classes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), which focused on robotics. During the two week program, the delegation participated in lectures and labs on the future development of robotics; the use of robotics in industry; build design; three- dimensional printing; applied electronics; applied materials; sustainable energy; and certifications. They also toured several production plants near Waterford to gain knowledge of how robotics is used in Irish manufacturing.

Albany Tech students were housed on campus at WIT where they had maximum potential to network with the faculty and students at Waterford, as well as fellow students from other TCSG institutions participating in the program.

Aaron Alvey, Chairperson for the Industrial Systems Technology program at Albany Technical College, accompanied the students to Ireland. Alvey said, “Many in our delegation experienced a trip abroad for the first time. These types of outside educational experiences support economic growth in Georgia through educating a skilled and trained workforce.”

For several years, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has been constructing a robust and innovative International Studies Program. This initiative supports the TCSG mission of building a well-educated, globally competitive workforce for Georgia. The program’s benefits to TCSG students include: creating a learning environment inside and outside the classroom; exposure to new experiences; achieving cross-cultural competence and appreciation of diversity; and preparation to succeed in the global marketplace.

In part, TCSG chose to work with WIT in Waterford, Ireland due to the robust and ever- growing economic connection and trade association between Georgia and Ireland. In 2014, Georgia exports to Ireland totaled more than $172 million, a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year. Top exports from Georgia to Ireland include civilian aircraft, engines and parts, compression piston engines, and medical instruments. In addition, Georgia leads the nation in the export of pumps; gas turbines, wood pulp, and carpets to Ireland. Also in 2014, Georgia’s imports from Ireland totaled more than $655 million. Top Irish imports include perfumes, beer, and pharmaceuticals.

Later this summer, five Albany Tech Culinary Arts students, along with Chef Todd White, Chairperson of the Culinary Arts Department, will also travel to Waterford Institute of Technology for a similar program of study in their field.


About Albany Technical College

A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1 .

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