Atlanta Technical College “Stays Strong” in the Face of the Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

At Atlanta Technical College, our rallying cry for our students is “Start Strong. Stay Strong. Finish Strong.” We are with them through every step of their educational journeys working to ensure their success on campus and in the workforce.

Atlanta Technical College is following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and is aware that recently many secondary schools and higher education institutions have begun to modify scheduled public events.  In keeping with the CDC’s guidance to limit social distance, the College is taking proactive measures to minimize social contact, while keeping our students engaged through remote learning and online wraparound services. Our more than 500 instructors are implementing innovative instructional design techniques, ensuring that our students obtaining the requisite knowledge and skills.

Each year, the College holds the annual Bridge Builder Awards to recognize those who have significantly affected change in metropolitan Atlanta and the Atlanta Technical College community.  This year the 19th Annual Bridge Builder Awards was scheduled to be held on April 2, 2020, in the auditorium of the Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron Academic Complex on the campus of Atlanta Technical College.  In keeping with the CDC’s guidance to limit social distance, the Atlanta Technical College Senior Leadership Team has decided to cancel the Awards celebration. However, we will continue our current fundraising efforts to support our students’ needs.

The Bridge Builder Awards is one of the highlights of the spring season and is quite significant in the life of the College. As the College’s primary fundraiser, the Bridge Builder Awards has a significant impact on the Atlanta Technical College Foundation’s efforts to bridge the gaps of unmet student balances. The College will soon launch a virtual fundraising campaign during this Bridge Builder season, and 100% of the proceeds from this campaign will go directly to student support and Gap Funding.

We invite all our stakeholders and friends to continue to support our current fundraising efforts. Your support will be a bright spot for ATC students who are working hard each day to Stay Strong and to create a promising future for their families.

Charlotte and Steve Howard

During this season, we celebrate and honor our 2020 Bridge Builders: Charlotte and Steve Howard and the Atlanta Committee for Progress!

Charlotte and Steve Howard are being honored as 2020 Bridge Builders because of their commitment to technical education and for their continued support of the Atlanta Technical College HVAC program and students.  The Howards have donated $100,000, along with matching contributions, to the ATC Foundation to empower and to educate HVAC service technicians.

An ATC alumnus, Mr. Howard is an HVAC graduate of the class of 1973.  The Howards started Air Conditioning Training and Consulting in Phoenix, Arizona, intending to teach contractors and team members how to improve accounting, marketing, sales, customer service, and installation skills. They own and operate the business themselves, building it from the ground up and cementing their status as pioneers in the world of HVAC maintenance and management.  Because of the Howards’s years of experience, they are aware of the difficulties of growing a business and getting qualified employees.

“The HVAC scholarship program is an exciting way to say thank you to the school that makes it possible and pay it forward to the next generation of HVAC technicians with unlimited possibilities,” Mr. Howard stated.  “I went from fixing residential air conditioning and commercial refrigeration to overhauling 1,000-ton centrifugal chillers. I owe it all to the education I got at Atlanta Technical College. I gained the knowledge, self-confidence, and technical skills to solve every type of problem.”

The HVAC program trains an average of 140 technicians each year.  The invaluable support of the Howards is ensuring that Atlanta Technical College remains the premier technical College for Metro Atlanta, providing the needed workforce and helping our communities to thrive.

The Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP) is being recognized as a 2020 Bridge Builder because of its commitment to and investment in the economic enhancement and empowerment initiatives of the Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI) at Atlanta Technical College.

With Shan Cooper as Executive Director, the ACP brings leaders of business, philanthropy, and academia together to improve the city and employment opportunities for its citizens.  With members including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and major Atlanta companies and businesses, the ACP has partnered with Atlanta Technical College to launch the Center for Workforce Innovation, an initiative designed to increase student success, career readiness, and fill the critical roles in Atlanta’s workforce.  With initial partnerships and funding provided by sponsor companies Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, SunTrust now Truist, Intercontinental Exchange, and Georgia Power, the CWI is providing real knowledge, real skills, and real success, as students attain true economic mobility. These partner corporations collectively invested in Atlanta Technical College to pilot three career tracks for students: aviation careers, information technology, and skilled trades including carpentry and electrical construction and maintenance.

“This [partnership] is about providing an opportunity for education and training for our students and our community members so that they really can change the world,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Equity is essentially making sure people have the tools and opportunity to succeed. That is why I’m so grateful to Atlanta Technical College, they work tirelessly to make sure all of our communities are represented and have an opportunity to succeed. There is no other city in this nation, where the business community really digs in and becomes a part of the fabric of our community in the way that it happens in Atlanta.”

Mayor Bottoms’ words truly resonate in these recent unforeseen circumstances where we are working together to make sure that our students and our community Stay #ATCStrong.

Please donate to Atlanta Technical College and the ATC Foundation here.