Chamber’s National Workforce Training Program Honors First Cohort

Posted By: Sue Parr, IOM, GCCE News Releases,
Augusta, GA (May 23, 2024) – The Augusta Metro Chamber, in collaboration with Augusta Technical College and First Step Staffing is pleased to announce its first graduating cohort of 13 participants from the Fast Track Bootcamp program.  This program was made possible by grant funding provided by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). The Chamber was recently selected to participate in the second cohort of a national program to help strengthen chamber of commerce partnerships with community colleges and community organizations to increase the number of adult learners of color who earn an industry-relevant credential or degree. 
The Fast Track Bootcamp is designed to provide an accelerated process for participants to receive valuable certifications such as OSHA 10 and Forklift Operator, while at the same time improving their application, interview skills and employability skills and also introducing them to degree and credential opportunities available through ATC.  The cohort of 13 participants was enrolled with the assistance of First Step Staffing, a local non-profit specializing in second chance and back to work job seekers. “First Step Staffing was proud to partner with legacy Augusta organizations on this valuable program.  We are especially proud of our clients who completed the Bootcamp and can progress from the First Step to the next step and continue to thrive at work and in life,” said Ameila Nickerson, CEO of First Step Staffing.
Says President Dr. Jermaine Whirl, “Augusta Technical College is excited to partner with the Augusta Metro Chamber and First Step Staffing on this impactful program. Providing access to a quality education and pathways for gainful employment is the mission of our institution. We celebrate this graduating class while embracing the opportunity to serve more students”.
Plans to conduct future bootcamps are underway with the ultimate goal of providing 50 adult workers of color with at least one industry certification and at least 10 adult workers enrolled in a credential or degree program by the fall of 2025.  Says Sue Parr, President of the Augusta Metro Chamber, “This program is designed to provide economic mobility and empower workers to latch onto the plentiful resources in our community that can change the trajectory of their employment.  Our grant is a classic example of organizations collaborating together to create an ecosystem that meets people where they are”. 
Media Contact:
Emma Jones, Events and Marketing Manager
Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce