CGTC Expands Healthcare Programs to Meet Demand

5:27 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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If you're looking for work in the next decade, you might want to consider healthcare.

The industry is expected to grow by three million positions during that time period.

Central Georgia Technical College is working to meet the need in Central Georgia.

A month away from graduation, Jody Holtzclaw feels he's trained as a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN.

Two years ago, not so much.

Holtzclaw said, "I was working in restaurants, bar tending, waiting tables."

He saw the opportunity for steadier work and pursuing a passion for nursing at Central Georgia Technical College's Warner Robins campus.

A lot of other people did, too.

Students fill all the Health Sciences programs: radiology, medical assisting, surgical technology, dental hygiene and nursing.

Assistant Director for Health Services Programs Lorna Cox says they're out of space for those courses, and see a demand for education in more healthcare fields.

Cox said, "If you notice, there's been an expansion to the hospital. A new hospital was built in the next community and next county. You need programs to meet those needs."

A new 78,000 square foot building will give them the space.

Cox said,"We're going to expand by adding physical therapy, hemadialysis, paramedics."

The lab and class space will go across from the main campus on Cohen Walker Drive, sitting on seven acres donated by Houston Health Care. It will be called the Roy H. Sonny Watson Health Sciences building.

Construction is expected to begin in the 2014 fiscal year.

Holtzclaw said, "It's just exciting knowing the opportunities it's going to open up."

He won't be at school when it opens in 2015. Holtzclaw plans to be nursing.

He said, "I definitely plan on having a job as soon as I graduate."

That's likely.

Between 80 and 100 percent of the health science grads find work right out of school, and Holtzclaw is graduating at the top of his class.

The state legislature approved $17 million for construction and equipment costs for the new healthcare building, during the 2013 session.

There are about 120 students in the campus' health sciences program now. The new addition should make room to double that number.


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