JCJC Opens Wayne Co. Center - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

JCJC Opens Wayne Co. Center

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Officials cut the ribbon for the Wayne Co. Learning Center, a 12,000 sq. ft. facility that provides convenient educational opportunities for Wayne Co. residents and others in the region.

JCJC President Jesse Smith says the building was funded by a $1.054 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the US Dept. of Commerce, JCJC and the Wayne Co. Board of Supervisors.

"This is one of the most gratifying things that I've ever been a part of," Board of Supervisors President Jerry Hutto said. 

He said he is proud to help with this project.

"It may help a young person that may not could make it to a college further away, but going at home, that may be what turns a young person around," Hutto said.

Smith explained the center offers academic courses either online or in the classroom, and it has two anchor programs - welding and ship-fitting and LPN.

He said this will help meet regional work-force demands.

"The folks in this area also have a skill-set of being able to learn that rather easily, and they have a really strong work ethic and a can-do and want-to attitude," Smith said.

The Green Co. Center opened recently, and there are two under construction in Jasper and Clarke Counties.  Smith said this was a strategic move for the college at a time when enrollment numbers are up, contrasting the national average.

"The price of gas is such a hurdle for folks to overcome, we need these in our communities," Smith said.  "We believe that economic development will drive right by the schoolhouse, and we believe that binging it home to folks, being a resource to the communities, it's a long term investment in our people, and we think that all of these centers are going to have a very positive impact."

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