New Agreement Allows Georgia Department of Defense to Utilize Technical Colleges in Times of Emergency
The grounds of Georgia’s 34 technical college campuses can be used as emergency staging areas or disaster command centers under a new agreement between the Department of Technical and Adult Education and the Georgia Department of Defense.
"This agreement makes perfect sense given the fact that the 34 colleges that make up the Technical College System of Georgia are well-situated in communities throughout the state," said DTAE Interim Commissioner Ron Jackson. "Given their locations, technical college facilities can provide an excellent base of operations in times of natural disaster or a local or state emergency."
According to a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies, emergency conditions will allow the Georgia National Guard and citizen volunteers of the Georgia State Defense Force to utilize state technical college grounds and parking lots to set up command posts, triage centers and bunking areas for their personnel.
"Gwinnett Technical College serves as a resource to the community," said Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Rigsby. "In most cases, that resource exists in the form of business partner, educator and trainer – but the college is certainly positioned and capable to also serve as a central communications and operations facility if and when circumstances arise."
Georgia ’s technical colleges have close, long-standing relationships with Georgia communities and are respected by business and industry for the highly qualified and well-trained workforce that they produce. Even in a time of emergency, chances are high that many of the first-responders, nurses, medical technicians and others who are responsible for the public’s safety and well-being would be products of state technical college programs.
"As this agreement shows, and as has been proven time and time again, the technical colleges are an important part of the fabric of every Georgia community," said Jackson.