SWGTC, Cleaver-Brooks Partnership Brings Higher Education to Employees
In 2010, Southwest Georgia
Technical College (SWGTC) was approached by Cleaver-Brooks with a request to offer SWGTC’s Business Management Program on
to their employees.
SWGTC, a College
which takes every opportunity possible
partner with other community businesses, was more than open to the idea
and began planning the necessary logistics.
Dennis Lee, SWGTC
Dean, “At SWGTC we strive to be a strong community partner and resource to local
business and organizations. We were happy to collaborate with Cleaver-Brooks on this project. This partnership was a no-brainer because it would allow us to give a group of residents in our service
easier access to higher education, a mission that is of the utmost importance to us.”
idea originated when management was
exploring different methods to offer their employees professional
and training opportunities.
Dennis Hettinger, Corporate Human Resources Director at Cleaver-Brooks,
commented, “We approached
SWGTC because we wanted to give our
employees, particularly those with
leadership potential, the opportunity to grow professionally and continue their
education. We believed that
if the classes were taught on site, a location which is obviously very convenient to our employees, they would
more likely to participate and complete the program.”
Hettinger added, “When employees further
their education, they also better position themselves to
the company. That is
what we desire, long-term
Both SWGTC and Cleaver-Brooks knew it would be important for the Program to be relevant and applicable to the employees and their positions. Therefore,
both made it a priority to develop
coursework that would reflect employees’ daily activities, while also incorporating obstacles employees
could potentially encounter
in the future.
The first cohort of Cleaver-Brooks employees began with
students and 1 class per quarter (SWGTC has since transitioned
to the semester system).
Hettinger says, “One reason for this partnership’s success was SWGTC’s flexibility.
chose class times
that corresponded with
shift schedules in
order for it to be convenient for our students.”
To make the return to school even more appealing, SWGTC’s Program fit within Cleaver Brooks’ tuition assistance program which
covered tuition costs not paid for by the HOPE scholarship/grant.
This July, Rick Kreznar was the first graduate rendered from this partnership between
Cleaver-Brooks and SWGTC. He now has
his Associate of Applied Science Degree in
as well as the praises of his
fellow cohort students,
management at Cleaver-Brooks.
On October 10th at Cleaver Brooks, Kreznar was recognized by his co-workers for his accomplishment.
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