At a press conference on Tuesday, September 28, 2001, Bulloch County Commissioners and Ogeechee Technical College announced they are joining together to build the Georgia Industrial Systems and Industrial Robotics Training facility.

This facility would be a 36,000 square-foot facility located in the Gateway Industrial Park which is located at I-16 and Highway 301 South. In addition to the training facility it would be home to the Development Authority of Bulloch County.

Grice Connect carried the press conference live. You can watch the full press conference below:

A collaborative project

This joint venture will include the Development Authority of Bulloch County providing the site for the building, Bulloch County securing the funding, construction and management of the building, and Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) providing the furniture, fixtures and equipment for the building. OTC will also operate the campus and provide training to be conducted within the facility.

The training provided by OTC would focus on the following areas:
Industrial Systems Maintenance; Industrial Robotics Programming and Fault Diagnostics; IoT (Internet of Things) Infrastructure and Troubleshooting; and CNC within Advanced Manufacturing.

Tuesday afternoon press conference Credit: Grice Conenct

This facility would emulate the Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Tanner, Alabama and would be the only one of it’s kind in Georgia, so the workforce training would not only be for our local citizens but would draw students from around the state, thus helping meet the demand for skilled employees in this region.

It is expected that at its onset, the facility will train in excess of 400 people each year, with that number projected to double within five years.

Bulloch County moving forward

At their September 21 meeting, the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners approved a request by County Manager Tom Couch to acquire an architect to design a building concept for a new Georgia Industrial Systems & Industrial Robotics Training Facility.

“Our goal is to help OTC realize its vision to up-skill our regional workforce to meet the anticipated demand for future high paying jobs in advanced manufacturing, where such training opportunities are limited or unavailable elsewhere in Georgia,” says Tom Couch, County Manager. “This is a unique opportunity, and Bulloch County Government is honored to partner.”

The design concept would be created by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, who are also the architects for the facility in Alabama.

Aerial map of Gateway Industrial Park in Bulloch County Credit: Advantage Bulloch

Commissioners plan to sole source the project since Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood designed the Bulloch County Airport. Cost for the design concept is $54,472 and will be paid by SPLOST funds appointed for Economic Development.

The County administration will begin an application for a state fiscal recovery fund grant with hopes of acquiring funding for the building.

“This is truly a collaborative effort, and the commitment of the Development Authority of Bulloch County and its board to support the vision for workforce development in this area demonstrates the desire that we all have to provide the best for our community,” says Lori Durden, OTC President. “This new facility will triple our training capacity in areas of industrial systems maintenance and industrial robotics and allow us to meet the future workforce training demands of our local and regional manufacturing sector that we see as inevitable.”

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...