FPTC celebrates community partnership

Florida Panhandle Technical College is the recipient of a new piece of teaching equipment, thanks to a community partnership with Anderson Columbia.

As is their charge, and in an effort to meet specific workforce training needs of regional businesses and employers, CareerSource Chipola, longtime partner with Florida Panhandle Technical College, suggested a partnership with Anderson Columbia.

dump truck donationFollowing several meetings, which included the formulation of a clear training plan, Anderson Columbia’s Vice President, Gene Strickland, committed to the donation of a dump truck, allowing training of FPTC students targeted to specific needs of Anderson Columbia.

“Florida Panhandle Technical College is riding a little higher today because of Anderson Columbia,” quipped Richard Williams, Director of CareerSource Chipola, accompanied by Kenny Griffin.

Martha Compton, Director of Florida Panhandle Technical College stated, “This is just one example of successful partnerships with the private sector, inclusive of discussion about what employers need in their new hires, and the ability of FPTC to supply just that.”

“With so many in the workforce looking to retool their lives with new careers, our programs can help to provide those opportunities, more importantly, directly respond to the needs of the business community,” continued Compton.

The partnership of Anderson Columbia with FPTC helps to provide specific training in the operation of vehicles and equipment used on construction sites, ensuring a steady pipeline of qualified operators for the company.

Florida Panhandle Technical College currently offers over 40 degree and certification programs, as diverse as Licensed Practical Nurse, Welding, Pharmacy Tech, Culinary, Drafting, Automotive, Patient Care Technology, Networking, Cosmetology, CyberSecurity, Electrical, Law Enforcement and Corrections, and Heavy Equipment Operator.

New programs offered at the college include Hemodialysis, EMT, Fire Fighter 1 and a drone program, some offering open enrollment, or dual-enrollment for high school students (which is totally free to the student), and others to start soon.

The college is also working with the Florida Department of Education to create an industry certified Construction Vehicle Technician Program, allowing well paid jobs in the private sector, as evidenced by the partnership with Anderson Columbia.

“Anderson Columbia’s slogan is Earning our stripes everyday,”, stated Gene Strickland in the parking lot of Florida Panhandle Technical College, surrounded by FPTC staff and Anderson Columbia employees.

“We appreciate being able to have the open communication with the FPTC team and Director Martha Compton, allowing us to develop the public-private partnership which is working so well for both parties,” Strickland continued.

Compton and staff are working with many other regional businesses, collaborating and drilling down to find what skills are needed in the workplace- and offering programs at the college to ensure a steady stream of these qualified students.

“This school is a great resource for the community and the region, and ultimately raises the standards and the availability of opportunity for the tri-states area,” said Joe Taylor, Washington County Superintendent of Schools, as keys to the dump truck were passed to FPTC staff.

“This vehicle is but one example of what we can accomplish through partnerships and cooperative exchange of ideas and we are proud of our college and our entire school district,” said Taylor.

For more information about Florida Panhandle Technical College and over 40 certification and degree programs offered, visit the Student Center on Hoyt Street in Chipley, call 850-638-1180 or visit online at www.FPTC.edu.