A group of students at the Golden Isles College and Career Academy got one step closer this week to being workforce-ready.
Nearly 40 students received free Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, 10-Hour training at school on Wednesday and Thursday from Stefanie Corbitt, an OSHA regulatory specialist.
The training is designed to teach workplace safety and reduce job site hazards. It is required for many industrial employees.
“I knew it would really help me get a job in welding, or at any kind of industrial company,” said Leah Branson, a GICCA student in the welding program.
Susan Faulk, apprenticeship and work-based learning coordinator at GICCA, said the students will now be OSHA certified and will have cards on hand to show potential employers.
“This will be another item in their toolbox when they’re trying to find employment, whether if that’s during high school when they’re students or beyond high school,” she said.
Corbitt volunteered to provide the training, and she said she dedicates that time to GICCA because these students could be the future workforce in this area.
“This is an atypical audience, and it’s unique to Glynn County in that we’re actually teaching high schoolers that OSHA 10 class,” she said.
Corbitt is an independent consultant and owner of SSI OSHA, a private business.
During the two-day training, Corbitt went over emergency plans, protective equipment, communication, machine safety and more with the students.
She also took them on a trip around the Career Academy to look for various safety hazards in some of the labs.
“I wanted to learn what’s important in a workshop,” said welding student David Blair, as the students looked around the precision machining lab for exposed wiring and other safety issues. “And if I ever start my own business, I want to make sure people don’t get harmed or get in any accidents.”
Jeff Holland, the construction instructor at GICCA, said this training will give the students a leg up among others in the hiring pool when they’re applying for jobs.
“It’s something a lot of major employers will require for their employees, especially industrial-type companies, like so many are in our area,” he said. “A lot of them also require the employee to go pay for that training.”
And he said the academy is unique in offering this training to the students.
“We’re one of the only high school settings in the country where this is offered to high school students, so we’re very fortunate to get that,” he said. “This is something that, not only is it good training for the students, but it gives them a credential that’s recognized nationally, anywhere they go to work.”