Fastenal Company is furthering its partnership with West Georgia Technical College, giving $3,000 toward student scholarships for WGTC commercial truck driving students.
The gift is just the latest evidence of an eight-year partnership that shows how technical training can boost Georgia’s workforce.
In 2010, Fastenal’s Atlanta distribution center employed 26 commercial truck drivers, Regional Operations Manager Greg Campbell said.
“Today, we employ over 90 across the southeast. Forty-six of those new drivers are based in Atlanta, and over half of those drivers came out of West Georgia Tech,” Campbell said. “That doesn’t include our terminal manager in Orlando, who was also hired as a driver out of West Georgia Tech in 2015.”
Campbell, himself, is a WGTC graduate.
West Georgia Tech offers both day and evening commercial truck driving courses on both the Carroll and LaGrange campuses. The day program takes eight weeks and the night program takes 10 weeks to complete.
Judy Doggrell, WGTC’s commercial truck driving program chair, said Fastenal is one of the best industry partners her program has.
“Fastenal is a great supporter of our program, and we are proud to partner with a global company,” Doggrell said. “Our students visit their Atlanta facility and get a first-hand look at what they have to offer. Drivers are a vital link in every aspect of our daily lives. Partners in industry, like Fastenal, offer insight to how we can better equip our students to enter the workforce and be productive from their first day of employment.”
Campbell was equally complimentary of Doggrell, other instructors and their product – the graduates.
“We invest as much time and energy as possible into every session of this program because quite honestly, the quality of the drivers coming out of this program is exemplary. We send our own warehouse employees to this school for training,” Campbell said. “We are working to double the size of our organization in the coming years, and we rely on WGTC as a strategic partner in helping to support that growth by training and providing us with world class commercial truck drivers.”
Scholarship funding from Fastenal will be managed and awarded by the West Georgia Technical College Foundation. Students will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships when they register for the course.
“Georgia’s HOPE Career Grant goes a long way toward funding the commercial truck driving program for many students,” WGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kim Learnard said. “If they are eligible for the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Career Grant, this scholarship can potentially cover the balance of costs.”
Learnard said Fastenal is the second company investing in commercial truck driving scholarships in just the last three months.
“Industries need more and more qualified truck drivers,” she said. “They partner with West Georgia Tech to assure a pipeline of talent.”
“The relationship between Fastenal and the WGTC commercial truck driving program is a case study for how industry can partner with the Technical College System of Georgia to help fuel our state’s economic growth,” Campbell said.
For information about giving to support student scholarships, visit www.westgatech.edu/foundation.
West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.