Macon, Ga. – Students enrolled in aerospace training programs at Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) will soon have the opportunity to learn in a first-of-its-kind partnership alongside Robins Air Force Base (Robins AFB) employees, working on active aviation repair and maintenance projects.
The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Robins AFB, and CGTC announced Friday a new state aviation workforce training and sustainment approach located at the former Boeing facility at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MGRA). The announcement revealed that members of the 402 Commodities Maintenance Group (402 CMXG) at Robins AFB and two of the College’s aerospace training programs are planning to relocate to approximately 240,000 square feet of property at the airport.
This strategy is in response to the high demand locally for skilled aerospace workers, and Georgia’s largest single-site employer, Robins AFB, initiating its hiring campaign to on-board 1,200 workers in areas such as aircraft structural, aviation maintenance, and other positions.
“In today’s economy, and in our efforts with site selection, we know it is vital to prepare our workforce for the jobs that are available today, and tomorrow,” said Robert Fountain, Jr., chair of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority. “On behalf of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Board of Directors, in partnership with the Macon-Bibb County Board of Commissioners and Mayor Robert Reichert’s office, we are honored to be here today with this group of leaders in recognition of the Robins Air Force Base and Central Georgia Technical College coming together in a way that will benefit our region for many years to come.”
“The proposed partnership would create a ‘first-of-its-kind’ co-location of an industrial workplace with a built-in education and training function,” said, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex Commander, Brig. Gen. John Kubinec. “Such a marriage would increase our local workforce of trained aircraft and industrial technicians, and bolster our ability to meet manning requirements and manning increases in the very near term. It would also enable our complex to increase training opportunities for our existing workforce.”
The approach of locating a portion of its workforce in this facility will potentially position Robins AFB and the 402 CMXG to accept new workload and further strengthen the U.S. Department of Defense’s investment and economic impact in Georgia.
The move of CGTC’s two aviation programs, Aviation Maintenance Technology and Aircraft Structural Technology, will also allow the College to keep with industry trends of apprenticeship, internship, and cooperative learning. Students will gain a firsthand perspective on the scale and scope of maintenance operations, as well as an updated curriculum designed for interaction with production professionals.
“Through this initiative, CGTC students are gaining the unique opportunity to learn and experience hands-on training in the same facility with the outstanding public servants from Robins Air Force Base,” said Dr. Ivan Allen, president of CGTC. “This model will provide our students the true workforce experience and the ability to learn the latest industry techniques so that on the first day, they have the most current skill set in order to be productive employees. Our region and state’s aerospace employers will greatly benefit by experiencing shorter orientation and training periods for new employees and by having even greater access to and input on educational training and curriculum. This is truly a win-win situation for our students and employers.”
The project will not only strengthen this particular industry but will free-up lab and classroom space on the College’s campuses for the growth in other educational and training programs.
“I have never been more proud than I am this morning to look at this type of turnout for this joint-venture partnership,” said Sen. David Perdue. “This is what America is. This is why any matrix of threat does not bother me. I have never been more optimistic about the future of this country for my kids, and my kid’s kids because of the faces in this room, the families you represent, and the mission of Robins Air Force Base.”
The site of the project at MGRA will include the former Yulista facility, additional hangars, a paint and de-paint room, modular classrooms, and office spaces.
Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority: The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA) is the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industries and improving the quality of life in the Macon-Bibb County area. With the aid of partners at the regional, state and local levels, we are able to create a competitive business environment that facilitates an industry’s ability to generate success. MBCIA is governed by a 6-member Board of Directors.
Robins Air Force Base: Robins Air Force Base (Robins AFB) is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics and accessories components. There is 23,226 total personnel at Robins AFB, including 6,151 military members, 14,284 appropriated fund civilians and 2,791 employees who are funded by other sources. Robins has an annual federal payroll of $1.45 billion and annual expenditures of $493 million. It also creates more than $1.20 billion in jobs. Based on that data, Robins has a $3.15 billion total annual economic impact on Georgia — a $273 million increase from fiscal 2017.
Central Georgia Technical College: Central Georgia Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, offers credit instruction, adult education, and customized business and industry training through traditional and distance education delivery designed to promote community and workforce development.
Photo: A crowd of nearly 500 people gathers for the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Robins AFB, and CGTC aviation workforce training and sustainment project.