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ATC celebrates 50th year

Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker, center, greets attendees to ATC’s 50th Anniversary Gala at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s medical tower Friday evening. To see who was SPOTTED at the event, go to http://spotted.albanyherald.com.

Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker, center, greets attendees to ATC’s 50th Anniversary Gala at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s medical tower Friday evening. To see who was SPOTTED at the event, go to http://spotted.albanyherald.com.

ALBANY, Ga. — Officials showered the students, faculty and staff of Albany Technical College with accolades Friday as the school officially celebrated 50 years of putting people to work.

Clad in tuxedos and elegant gowns, people from all segments of the Albany social, professional and educational scene came out to pat ATC President Anthony Parker and his colleagues on the back for continuing on what Parker later said was ATC’s mission to give people in the Southwest Georgia area the skills to better their own lives.

“I’d just like to thank the people in our local, state and federal government for their support and for recognizing that the best social program is a good job and a career,” Parker said.

In a time when jobseekers greatly outnumber available jobs and in a town where better than 30 percent of the population lives in poverty, Parker said that institutions of higher learning like ATC are giving people an option to better themselves.

More than 98 percent of ATC graduates last year found a job and went to work within six months of walking out the doors of the institution, Parker said. Of those, 77 percent are working within 30 miles of downtown Albany.

“Not only are they getting the skills to make a life for themselves, they are graduating and choosing to stay here, in the local community and I think that ends up benefiting the local economy and improves the quality of life,” Parker said.