Muskogee expands into classroom

Published 12:33 am Sunday, October 26, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Starting the first of next year, Muskogee Technology will provide a machine tool training program for local and surrounding businesses in the Region 9 service area.
The program, announced Friday, is made possible by a machine tool partnership agreement between the Creek Indian Enterprises-owned Muskogee Metalworks, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education, Jefferson Davis Community College and Reid State Technical College.
The program is intended to provide education opportunities in various areas of manufacturing. It will begin with the education of employees of Muskogee, but program sponsors plan on it evolving into high school dual enrollment opportunities and an associate’s degree program.
Mal McGhee, general manager of Muskogee Metalworks, spoke about growing up in the Poarch community and seeing the opportunity that technical school training provided him.
McGhee said the opportunity, made possible by the program, to learn this trade is a critical opportunity for the area, which he said is lacking more highly skilled workers.
Alabama Community College System Chancellor Bradley Byrne agreed on the importance of more highly trained workers.
Sixteen lathe and knee tiling machines, worth more than a half million dollars, were provided by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development for the training and will be housed in the Muskogee Technology facility.
Dr. Susan McBride, president of JDCC, spoke of her certainty that this program will better the area.
McBride also spoke of the significance of the partnership formed to make the program possible.
The program will begin with eight students and will allow for 10 to be enrolled at a time.

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