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Exciting Developments at Augusta Technical College

President Dr. Jermaine Whirl shares details of this new era at the college

In November 2020, when Dr. Jermaine Whirl became the President of Augusta Technical College at thirty-five years old, he also became the youngest President hired in the technical college system. Since then, he has expanded the programs offered and brought significant opportunities to campus, which serves approximately seven thousand students per year.

“The faculty and staff here are just unbelievable. It’s a great group of colleagues,” shares Dr. Whirl. “We have a number of PhDs who do research, publish findings, and present at national conferences. We're very fortunate that we have the level of talent that we have here at Augusta Tech and they're not only researchers, but they are also practitioners. We have folks who have been in the workforce for a number of years, bringing a practicality to the education.”

In the past few years, Augusta Tech has seen a plethora of new developments. “I think one of the greatest accomplishments that we've had in the last two years was developing our new School of Health Sciences Campus at Summerville,” shares Dr. Whirl. Through a partnership with Piedmont of Augusta which allows Augusta Tech to lease the property for $1 a year for fifteen years, the retired Trinity Hospital was renovated by Piedmont and converted into classroom and clinical learning space for students in the health sciences program. “We have not only been able to increase capacity, but Piedmont also raised over a million dollars for nursing scholarships in one year,” he adds. “It will eliminate the expense for anybody who wants to be an RN and also have a guaranteed full-time opportunity with Piedmont.”

Looking ahead, there are more opportunities on the horizon. “The first week in November, we'll be launching our new Microenterprise Center in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority,” says Dr. Whirl. “We were awarded $2.3 million from Senator Warnock to open up this incubator to really support small business development. The building is already under contract, and we will be spending eight to ten months renovating it. It will be open about this time next year.”

“We'll also be doing a soft launch of our automotive training facility, which is the former Johnson Cadillac automobile dealership on Walton Way,” he adds. “We purchased the building last December and we're going to be turning that into a 65,000 square feet automotive training facility teaching diesel technicians, auto body collision, automotive technology, and electrical and hybrid vehicle technology. Our students will also learn how to operate a dealership if they want to do parts, sales, service, finance, etc.” The facility is set to open in 2025.

Most recently, Augusta Technical College has been awarded $45 million dollars to open an Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology facility, which according to Dr. Whirl will be the largest state investment in Columbia County to date. “It is going to be a three-story facility specifically focused on training our next generation of manufacturing professionals, specifically in the engineering areas,” he says. “When you talk about electrical, mechanical, and nuclear engineering plus architectural drafting, chemical technology, machinists, robotics technicians, mechatronics technicians….those folks are in extremely high demand. We need to ensure that we develop the next generation to replace those who are retiring, but also to keep up with the new companies that are coming into the area, it is essential that we have a facility like this that replicates 21st-century manufacturing. We're going to be able to have upwards of thirteen hundred students in that building at any given time to produce the next generation of manufacturers.”

“More importantly, this investment is going to increase other manufacturing economic development jobs coming to Augusta,” adds Dr. Whirl. “Representatives Lee Anderson, Jodi Lott, Barry Fleming, and Mark Newton, along with Senator Max Burns and the entire Augusta delegation deserve tremendous praise for shepherding this throughout the state legislative cycle last year. Working to get it passed and getting the governor to approve it was no easy task. I think this is not only a big win for Columbia County, but a big win for the entire region.”

To stay up to date on all the exciting developments and programs offered through Augusta Technical College, visit