OFTC Honors Third Cohort of STP Graduates & Unit Completers

In 2016 the Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGC) began an eight-month customized Supervisory Training Program (STP) through Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in order to address the impending need of construction supervisors. This week OFTC hosted their third graduation honoring students who completed the program and met certain benchmark criteria.

Nine students were honored as program graduates and five were recognized as unit completers in a ceremony held on the College’s South Campus in Dublin, Monday, May 13.

“You have had the diligence and commitment to complete this program and I congratulate and thank you,” shared Charlie Garbutt while addressing the graduates.

OFTC President, Erica Harden, echoed Garbutt’s praise saying, “I applaud you for going back and continuing your education and giving up that time you could be doing something else,” she said. “It’s going to be invaluable to you. You took the next step and you never know when it’s going to come into play.”

Participating graduates were Miranda McCormick, Warner Robins; Jason Brantley, Dublin; Matt Wiggins, Dublin; Tim Truelove, Dublin; Benny Brantley, Dublin; Austin Dibble, Dublin; Eldridge Harrell, Dublin; Kelvin Epps, Byron; and Daniel Owens, Dublin. Participating unit completers were: Jimmy Thomas, Macon; Courtney Erickson, Macon; Chance Stuart, Macon; Torie Powell, Dublin; Brian Smith, Macon; and J. Charlie Garbutt, Dublin.

Training Needs

This customized training program began after several conversations between companies in the construction and general contracting industry and OFTC regarding an approaching gap in supervisory-level employees due to many in the current workforce approaching retirement age, shared Kim David, VP of Economic Development at OFTC.

“The STP is an existing training offered by AGC Georgia that up-skills current construction and contracting employees into a certified supervisory role,” she said. “Largely with backing from Garbutt Construction, AGC Georgia allowed OFTC to utilize their existing curriculum and materials to offer this certified training in a location that is central to most in the state.”

Mike Dunham, CEO of AGC Georgia shared that the STP has been a proven resource for developing the construction industry’s future jobsite leaders for nearly 40 years.

AGC Georgia, one of 88 chapters of AGC of America, recently hosted a field leadership safety award program and “of the more than 750 jobsite field leaders nominated by member contracting firms for safety recognition, approximately 60% of the honorees are over the age of 50, and 20% are over the age of 60,” Dunham said.

“These statistics confirm why it is so vitally important for the industry to begin finding innovative ways to share information about career paths available in construction and offer continuing education to those already working in the industry,” he added. “The OFTC STP series is a great example of forward-thinking contractors working hand in hand with area educators to give current industry professionals the education they need to advance their careers.”

Supervisory Training Program

While the college used existing curriculum from the AGC Georgia, OFTC’s continuing Education Office conducted the training start to finish using instructors whose expertise was in the subject area of the training module.

“We have utilized 16 different instructors throughout the program, including four from OFTC,” shared Roger Byrd, Manager of OFTC’s Business and Industry and Continuing Education department. “Our pool of instructors consisted of attorneys, college professors, higher education administrators, industry CEO’s, and managers, several of whom traveled from Atlanta to participate. All were extremely qualified and three of the instructors have even authored books on their area of expertise,” Byrd said, “and almost all volunteered to teach in this program.”

On Monday evenings, classes would meet from 5:30 to 8:30 and participants trained to increase their knowledge in order to further qualify for supervisory positions within their companies. “What this will do for a young man or woman is put them on a career path to grow into the opportunity to lead a construction team. To be that on-site supervisor, a superintendent,” Dunham shared in a previous issue of the Georgia Contractor.

And since the program is designed for those already working in the industry, the training modules are geared toward things like leadership, oral and written communication, planning and scheduling, and understanding contract documents, Dunham explained in the article. “In order to move up in the ranks, in order to get that bigger paycheck, you need to be looking towards a managerial role and that’s what the Supervisory Training Program will help you with,” he said.

The STP partnership between OFTC and the AGC is expected to continue and to grow and the Continuing Education department at OFTC plans to begin the fourth STP cohort this fall.

For more info about OFTC’s Continuing Education Department or customized training opportunities, contact Kim David at kdavid@oftc.edu or Roger Byrd at rbyrd@oftc.edu.

Charlie Garbutt addressing the May 2019 STP graduates in Dublin.

Charlie Garbutt addressing the May 2019 STP graduates in Dublin.

Group photo of STP graduates and unit completers with Charlie Garbutt and OFTC staff: Erica Harden, Kim David, and Roger Byrd.

Group photo of STP graduates and unit completers with Charlie Garbutt and OFTC staff: Erica Harden, Kim David, and Roger Byrd.