Governor Deal, representatives praise Georgia's technical college system
MACON, Ga. -- At Governor Nathan Deal's last State of the State address on Thursday, he commended the growth of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) as one of his proudest accomplishments during his eight year tenure.
During his speech, Gov. Deal said, "Throughout our state, at all 22 TCSG campuses, we have pockets of excellence in terms of economic development."
He also said, "While we continue to support and expand the opportunities within our university system, I have also been pleased that in recent years, we have added certificate and degree programs within our Technical College System that provide a solution for the problems we faced coming out of the Great Recession."
State Representative Shaw Blackmon (R), from Houston County, said that he was thrilled that the Governor took the time to recognize the technical college system.
Representative Blackmon said that he was "Particularly excited by him highlighting the Technical College System of Georgia. In my past life I was able to serve there and it is a real asset to this state. The people that work and operate in that environment do a fantastic job."
James Beverly (D), a State Representative from Macon, also emphasized the importance of celebrating the technical college system's successes.
Beverly mentioned that the TCSG has assisted in the state's economic growth and expressed that he would like to see some of that growth geared towards eliminating poverty.
He said, "I think with the growth that's going on with Bibb County and the surrounding counties, we've got to have that technical school as a lifeline for many of the kids and young adults in our community."
Beverly also said that the expanding reserves and economic growth at the top should be used to fund programs and services to help people with the least amount of money. Beverly emphasized that Georgia ranks 41st in the U.S. in terms of poverty, with one in four children living at or below the poverty line.
Gov. Deal also said at the State of the State address that, "Our technical college system is a resource whose benefits to the entire state will only increase as the number of students increases."
He also announced a new Deputy Commissioner of the technical college system to make sure schools teach skills companies need and is adding $1 million to the welding program, an area that needs the workers technical colleges are training.
Central Georgia Technical College in Macon and Warner Robins is one of the 22 TCSG campuses Gov. Deal praised in his address to the state.
Read the Governor's full speech here.