STONECREST, GA — Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $12 million Regional Transportation Training Center that will be built at Georgia Piedmont Technical College(GPTC) in Georgia’s Fourth District in South DeKalb.
More than 100 people, including DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble, GPTC faculty staff and faculty, students, residents and representatives of all levels of government, attended the groundbreaking, which was held on Marbut Road.
“The investments and efforts that are being put into bringing this project to fruition are a testament to what we can do when we put people over politics and get to work for the American people and our constituents,” said Rep. Johnson, who pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, the CHIPS & Science Act and his Community Funding Project program as highlights of the work to invest in the American people and create better paying jobs.
Once completed in the summer of 2024, the Regional Transportation Training Center will be the largest of its kind in the Southeast – serving hundreds of students a year.
GPTC President Tavarez Holston applauded the project and the collaboration of all this involved with bringing the facility to fruition.
“If it weren’t for every one of you all here today, and countless other folks, our students would have a tough time,” Holston said. “But thanks to the visionary leadership of all levels of government and community partners, we all better see how this new facility will serve our state, our country, and our students for generations to come. It is truly humbling and greatly appreciated.”
The new training center will measure an estimated 24,000 square feet and will have the resources and space available to double the number of students enrolled in the college’s commercial truck driving program to almost 200, officials said. The facility will house additional programs including civil engineering, logistics, and diesel – with between 600-800 students expected each term.
“No one on the East Coast will do transportation training like we do,” Holston said. “This will be an economic development engine with regional impact that will further bolster our position as an economic powerhouse by leveraging our resources from the amazing airports at Hartsfield and Peachtree-DeKalb to our deepened ports in Savannah. We will keep it moving.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reports heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in Georgia earn an average salary of more than $52,000/year and employment in this industry is projected to grow four percent over the next eight years. Georgia Piedmont Technical College offers truck-driving courses through its traditional credit route as well as the economic development division; the college also trains MARTA bus drivers. Successful completion of the CDL course can get students on the road in just a few months.