WGTC, Delta Airlines partnership takes flight

Published 10:30 am Thursday, January 5, 2023

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By Olivia Johnson

On Wednesday, West Georgia Technical College and Delta Airlines made their partnership official.

In May 2022, WGTC announced its partnership with Delta Ground Support Equipment (GSE). This partnership works to provide assessments and customized training for Delta GSE employees.

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The training will be provided by WGTC at the college’s regional workforce development center located in building D of the campus.

Delta’s GSE employees work behind the scenes to help keep Delta’s global airline operation running smoothly. The employees perform preventive maintenance and repairs to the fleet of vehicles and equipment responsible for tasks such as refueling, towing airplanes, luggage conveyor belt systems, de-icing airplanes and transporting passengers.

WGTC President Dr. Julie Post said she is grateful to Delta for trusting the college and is very excited to get the project up and going.

“We have done some great renovations here,” Post said. “We are working toward developing this as our regional workforce training center. This will be something that will continue to get us going and help us move forward.”

Post said the training will go on for at least the next year and hopefully further for many years.

Delta’s manager of safety training and compliance, Matt Bell, said the company is excited about the continued growth and partnership opportunities in LaGrange.

“This partnership creates a unique opportunity for us to find individuals that may be looking for something different in the workforce and giving them an avenue to find employment with Delta,” Bell said. “It’ll also help Delta and our employees develop and fine-tune skills to become more efficient at the work that they do. I think it’ll be a win-win for everybody at the end of the day.”

Delta’s managing director of airport operations, Azeem Mistry, said he hopes the partnership will be the start of many more things to come as the company continues to come out of the last three years of the pandemic.

“The secret sauce of Delta has always been investment and growth,” Mistry said. “Our value proposition is truly improving the quality of lives of our people, and the communities that we’re serving, and this is a great example of that. This is going to be one of those investments that we make in the future of the airline and the future community in the future of West Georgia.”

WGTC’s assistant VP of economic development, Steve Cromer, said as of February 2022, the college has completed over 600 skills assessments with Delta GSE employees.

“Our goal is to provide world-class training to GSE employees so that when they go back to their job they will be much more proficient than when they came to us,” Cromer said.

Post said training employees will be staying in downtown LaGrange and will have their meals in downtown LaGrange every week — sharing their investment in the community.

Post said she feels as though this investment in Troup County is going to be great and make opportunities available for anybody in the community considering a career with Delta.

“We’re excited to be able to learn how to help workforce development,” Post said. “That’s what our mission is — to help companies and industries be a part of that increasing the economic value of our area. We’re just excited to see how this goes, and we’re looking forward to this lasting for years to come.”