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OTC Invites Public to Track Progress of Locomotive Donation

Locomotive to roll onto Waycross Campus – Check Facebook & Web for date

Waycross, GA – It’s not every day you get to see a train engine roll down the highway! Soon, if all goes well, Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) students who enroll in rail programs will have access to an operable locomotive for training. The locomotive, donated by Progress Rail Services, is an Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) SD40, six-axle, fully operational engine.

OTC President Dr. Glenn Deibert and OTC officials encourage the public to check OTC’s Web page and Facebook page frequently for updates on the locomotive donation and the locomotive relocation day. “Locomotive 3066 has “bags packs” and is ready to make the journey to its new home at OTC, “ stated Cindy Tanner, OTC public relations director. “And we can’t wait.”

“Progress Rail Services, CSX, and Utilco Railroad Services have stayed the course as we’ve worked through issues to make this happen,” continued Tanner. They have all contributed time and resources to the project, a project that means a great deal to the College and will benefit students tremendously.”

 “The period of time from the decision date to the actual date of the move could be short,” stated Tanner. “We may not get much notice because several companies and agencies are involved, and all conditions must be right for each party in order to move forward. Everyone’s working to find an agreeable day. When we get a firm date and route, we will notify traditional media sources. However, with such a short timeframe, we’ll rely heavily on social media and word of mouth.”

According to Dr. Melanie Thornton, vice president for academic affairs, several critical elements must be in place for TCSG colleges to offer a new program, and one of those elements is program-specific equipment. “The locomotive is crucial to the startup and success of the rail program, which will benefit the rail industry and the community.” stated Thornton.
With input from area rail employers, OTC staff developed an array of credentials to support the railroad industry. The curriculum includes noncredit and credit programs for entry-level hiring and advanced training needs. Plans are underway to create customized training programs, as well.

In addition to several technical certificates of credit (TCCs) and an associate degree, the curriculum includes a unique career path for high school students who may desire to pursue a career in the railroad industry. High school students may begin their junior year with a basic welding certificate, progress in their senior year to a more advanced welding certificate, and then, after graduation, attend OTC for one semester and qualify for employment as a Locomotive Car Repairman.

Follow our progress on www.okefenokeetech.edu and www.facebook.com/okefenokeetech. For more information, contact Cindy Tanner at (912) 287-5829.

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