On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp attended the announcement of the Regional College and Career Academy (RCCA) Wednesday at the Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC) Baxley campus, where the Academy will be built. Governor Kemp announced that $3 million has been appropriated for the construction through the Technical College System of Georgia.
The Regional College and Career Academy will be a five-county effort that includes Appling, Wayne, Jeff Davis, Bacon and Pierce counties. The project started when Dr. Scarlett Copeland, Appling County School Superintendent, had the idea to partner with Coastal Pines to begin an academy. Once conversations began, it was obvious that extending the reach of the College and Career Academy would be beneficial to all five communities. Making this project a regional career academy was the best way to benefit economic development efforts and help supply the workforce development needs of all five counties.
Through the help of the five school superintendents, Dr. Copeland, Dr. Jay Brinson of Wayne County, Dr. Chris Roppe of Jeff Davis County, Judy Rowland of Bacon County, and Dara Bennett of Pierce County, and Dr. Glenn Deibert, CPTC President, it was determined what program offerings would be needed to accommodate the workforce needs of the region. A Community Needs Assessment was conducted by the College in each of the counties and from there, program offerings were chosen. Programs identified as being needed at the Academy are Welding and Joining Technology, Electrical Systems Technology, Construction, Drone Technology, Forestry, Industrial Systems Technology, Nurse Aide, and Computer Programming. Along with these programs, Dual Enrollment students at the RCCA will also have access to existing program offerings at the CPTC Baxley campus.
The project was also supported by Southeast Coastal Partners (SCP), a regional industrial development organization.
“Through the persistence of the participating schools, the behind the scenes support of Southeast Coastal Partners, and our State Legislators and Governor fighting for our communities, this project has come to fruition and will have a huge economic impact in our region,” said Sidney Wildes, SCP Chair.
Governor Kemp acknowledged Senator Blake Tillery, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, for his work in ensuring the project would be funded, and Rep. Steven Meeks and Rep. Greg Morris who were also instrumental in guiding the funding through the legislature.
Governor Kemp said, “We continue to work with great leaders like Sidney Wildes and Superintendent Copeland, Coastal Pines, and many other people as we secured money in the bond package to fund local projects that would put hard working Georgians first. That includes the Regional College and Career Academy.”
Information about the progression of the Academy will be posted to www.coastalpines.edu as updates are released.