Moultrie Tech Awarded $355,339 in USDA Grant Funds
Moultrie Technical College administrators and members of the MTC board of the directors joined USDA officials in signing to accept $355,339 in grant funds on August 6 at MTC’s Veterans Parkway Campus in Moultrie. Pictured, seated, left to right, are MTC board member Betty Newkirk, USDA Area Specialist JoAnn Jones, MTC President Tina Anderson and grant writer Julie Sharpe. Pictured, standing, left to right, are MTC Executive Vice President Jim Glass, MTC Vice President of Operations David Evans, MTC Vice President of Economic Development Shawn Utley, board member Brinson Brock, MTC Vice President of Administration Ken Strickland, Executive Director of the Southeastern Agriculture Coalition Jerome Tucker, board members Kent Hamilton and Dawn Johns, MTC Vice President of Student Affairs Scott Hudson and board member Bill Boone.
At a time when Georgia’s colleges and universities are taking hits from budget cuts and employee furloughs, Moultrie Technical College (MTC) is continuing to find alternative ways to meet the needs of students and business and industry customers.
Moultrie Tech’s board of directors voted unanimously at a called meeting on Wednesday to accept grant funds totaling $355,339 from four separate United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants.
According to MTC President Tina Anderson, “The grants enable us to move into Economic Development areas that are needed in our communities and allow us to be on the cutting edge using technology to reach business and industry. In our current economy, helping businesses cut costs is the best way to partner.”
Of the four grants, the College plans to use $61,357 to develop an E-Business Center. Funds will be used to hire a full-time economic development specialist to work with business and industry to coordinate training and certification opportunities and to develop a website for training opportunity information for MTC’s four-county service area of Colquitt, Tift, Turner and Worth.
A mobile training laboratory will be purchased with $96,070 of the USDA grant funds. The mobile lab will contain modular units for pneumatics, hydraulics, motor controls, pumps, industrial wiring, electronics and mechanical trainers and will be set up on job sites so that multiple employees can be trained on a module simultaneously. This will be a cost-effective way for small businesses to help employees maintain certifications.
The USDA award will also assist Moultrie Tech in starting a new program aimed at helping people stay in compliance with state and OSHA regulations through an eight-hour short course. With $98,912 in grant funds, MTC will purchase equipment for and open a Heavy Equipment Operator Certification program, modeled after the College’s existing forklift certification course.
Moultrie Tech’s Wildlife and Plantation Management diploma program in Tifton, which opened to students in January 2009, will receive a boost from the USDA grant as well. The College will use $99,000 of grant funds to construct an outdoor classroom area that will support the curriculum for the program. The 1,300 square-foot facility will allow for instructional programs to be conducted in a natural environment with easy access to equipment for training and hands-on instruction in basic forestry, management, habitat maintenance and policy.
As part of the USDA grant stipulations, Moultrie Tech will contribute $1,421,163 in matching funds to see the projects through to completion.
“I would like to personally thank JoAnn Jones of USDA and our grant writer Julie Sharpe for their assistance. We could not have received these grants without their help,” said MTC Vice President of Economic Development Shawn Utley.
This is Moultrie Tech’s second grant award from USDA in a year. MTC’s Commercial Truck Driving program received a $70,000 USDA grant to purchase a high-tech truck driving training simulator in August 2008.