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MCLB-Albany visits Albany Technical College

From left, Albany Technical College Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Lisandra De Jesus, Albany Tech President Anthony Parker and Col. Don Davis of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany sit in a conference room on campus Friday. Officials from the school and the base got together for the institution to give a refresher on what it can offer MCLB. (Jennifer Parks)

From left, Albany Technical College Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Lisandra De Jesus, Albany Tech President Anthony Parker and Col. Don Davis of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany sit in a conference room on campus Friday. Officials from the school and the base got together for the institution to give a refresher on what it can offer MCLB. (Jennifer Parks)

ALBANY — Representatives from Albany Technical College and Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany came together on the institution’s campus Friday as a way of building on the existing relationship between the two entities.

There were several officials representing both, including Albany Tech President Anthony Parker and Col. Don Davis, commanding officer of MCLB-Albany.

“It is important for us to extend our partnership with Albany Tech,” said Davis. “This visit is an opportunity to see all they have to offer.

“Albany Tech is not just important to the base, but the whole community.”

Even with less funding to work with, the reality will remain that an education is key in establishing a career — something officials at the installation have not forgotten in light of sequester cuts.

“As resources go down, we’ll have to tap into other expert resources,” Davis said. “Albany Tech is one of those experts.”

Following a video presentation, officials representing several departments gave presentations on what the degree programs offer. Attention was drawn to the articulation agreements Albany Tech has with several four-year schools in the area, as well as programs that have benefited members of the military community, such as Troops to Trucks — a program created by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development designed specifically for veterans to become trained as commercial truck drivers.

Joy Knighton, dean of technology, business and personal services at the school, noted how the partnership between Albany Tech and MCLB has benefited the students in those degree programs.

“We are thankful for that partnership,” she said. “That has put a lot of our students to work.”

Immediately following Knighton was a presentation from Charlene Duncan, associate dean of early childhood care and education. Part of the early education component is training at the school’s child development center, which can hold 126 children.

“It is a community-based center,” Duncan said. “(Parents) apply for openings as they would with any other center.”

The child development center aboard MCLB can hold 170 children, and currently accommodates 140. While the base is not currently on track to lose the center, Davis said, recent circumstances may force officials to look to other options in the future — and some discussion was presented on the base possibly utilizing Albany Tech’s resources if the need arose.

“Accreditation costs money, but through a partnership … I don’t know, but we have to think outside the box,” the colonel said.

Noting that Albany Tech’s center would have to stand on its own, Parker did leave the option open for later talks, should the need present itself.

“We are certainly willing to work together and see what we could possibly do,” he said.

The presentations were followed by a windshield tour of the campus as well as a lunch.

“Communities with military bases need to be as supportive of the bases as we can,” Parker said. “They want us to know what they do for our country; we need to show them what we do for them. It is very important for them to know (about their educational opportunities). It is important to do these things before we consider base closure and realignment.

“Turnover (at military installations) is roughly 24-36 months, so it is important to constantly update them on what we do … civilian employees on the base mirror the ones who would be civilian employees in the community. We want to make it easier for them to come to college in Georgia; we want that step into Albany be as easy as we can make it.”