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OTC Graduates Ten Classes from Freight Conductor Program Since January

Augusta Class - April Graduates


Since January 2006 the Okefenokee Technical College Freight Conductor program has had the privilege of holding ten graduation ceremonies. Right now, OTC is running two freight conductor classes and will have two more starting in less than two weeks.

The college offers Freight Conductor classes only when there are job openings for conductors. This month (April) OTC has had two graduation days, April 7 and April 14.

On April 7, 2006, three classes graduated from the program. The majority of these thirty graduates were from Fitzgerald, Augusta, Savannah, and the Savannah area. Each student was awarded a certificate of completion. Fitzgerald Class - April Graduates

As a result of their knowledge and skills, as demonstrated by their proficiency exams, all of these graduates gained employment with a Class 1 railroad. Dr. Gail Thaxton, Dr. Neil Aspinwall, and Sue Moore were on hand to congratulate them.

Dr. Thaxton told graduates that she was glad that they had chosen Okefenokee Technical College for their training, and she congratulated them for their successful completion of the program. “I’m sure that you feel as though you have been on a fast-moving train these past few weeks,” she said, referring to the 5-week, 5 days per week, 8 hours per day accelerated training regiment. “You are to be commended for your hard work.”

Dr. Aspinwall reminded graduates that OTC’s mission is to train people to go to work. He encouraged the men to be safe on their new job and to remember what they have been taught.Savannah Class - April Graduates

Sue Moore also congratulated them and encouraged them to keep in touch with OTC staff. She requested that they visit future OTC Freight Conductor classes and share their working experiences with those students.

On April 14, OTC graduated two more classes. Among those graduating on this date were several students from Waycross and surrounding communities: Bucky Buckner, Bradley Haggard, William Harper, Shane Parker, Chad Dawson, John Fredrick, Terry Meeks, Fara Sirmans, Derek Smith, and Cecil Thomas.

Students in all of these classes are fortunate to have instructors who have a significant number of years of railroad experience. All of those completing the program make a lot of sacrifices to achieve their goal. Students must pass an upper and lower body strength test, pass a complete physical, pass a hair analysis drug test and a urinalysis drug test, maintain an 85 average, and successfully complete three days of field competencies (hands-on training).

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