OFTC’s Jon Tanner Named Dura-Line’s 2019 Employee of the Year

When Jon Tanner started taking online business management classes at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) last January, he never thought it would lead to him being recognized as Dura-Line’s 2019 Employee of the Year.

But during a luncheon to honor Dura-Line’s 12 employees of the month for 2019, Tanner was named employee of the year.

“It is one of my proudest achievements,” Tanner said. “It was a bit unexpected because there were 11 other really great employees to choose from.”

Although unexpected, Tanner’s achievement was not unmerited.

Recognizing the Need

Back in 2016, Tanner started working at Dura-Line, a fiber optic cable conduit manufacturing company in Sandersville, Ga., as a Quality Control Technician.

“I reached a point in my career where I knew I couldn’t continue to move up without a degree,” Tanner said. “I knew that if I was going to continue my career in manufacturing that I would need to earn a few degrees to get where I wanted to be.”

So, after watching his sister graduate with an associate degree from OFTC and take advantage of their articulation agreement with Valdosta State University, Tanner decided to give OFTC a try.

And he’s glad he did.

“Making the decision to go back to school and earn my degree is changing my life in unimaginable ways,” Tanner said. “I’ve grown as a human being, as an employee, as a father, and as a husband all because of my choice to go back to school. I feel a sense of accomplishment that I’ve never felt before.”

Getting started wasn’t a difficult process either, which is something Tanner didn’t expect.

“I tell people all the time – OFTC makes it so easy to get back in school,” he said. “I was on the fence and should have done it years ago. In my mind it was very daunting, and I thought it would be some long-complicated process, but all I had to do was make one phone call and they told me what I needed to do.”

“Having the option for online classes made the thought of going back to school less daunting,” Tanner shared. “Balancing work and family and school can be tricky, but OFTC helps take some of the stress off.”

Tanner completed his associate degree in business management in May and plans to continue his education at a four-year university in Georgia to obtain his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing operations.

Education Leads to Success

While earning his degree is a top priority, Tanner says his time at OFTC has been more than he ever expected. He credits his success at Dura-Line to the knowledge and training he’s received in the College’s business management program.

“The classes I’ve taken like performance management, employee training and development, organizational behavior, and leadership have all helped push my career to the next level,” he said. “Many of the topics covered in my classes allowed me to take the time to look at myself and understand what traits or skills I needed to improve on in order to be successful.”

 “My classes allowed me to understand my strengths and weaknesses so that I could go out and improve my job performance,” he added.

Referencing his recent award, Tanner said the award reads “for being a great leader, always performing to his best ability, being a role model and helping others.”

“Each of these things is something that is a product of OFTC’s business management program,” Tanner said, “so I definitely think my time at OFTC has helped me in earning this recognition from Dura-Line.”

“I never thought I would be where I am today five years ago,” he added. “Not only has OFTC been great but I have to give credit to Dura-Line and our management team for empowering me in my decision-making process and supporting me in everything I’ve done. They’ve shown trust in me and that trust has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams.”

For more info about OFTC’s business program or other online and traditional program options, visit the College’s website, OFTC.edu.

Jon Tanner

OFTC’s Jon Tanner was named Dura-Line’s 2019 Employee of the Year. Pictured, L-R: Brandon Lindsey, Quality Manager; Jon Tanner, Lead Quality Technician; and Van Henley, Plant Manager.