BRAT Hosts Manufacturing and Industry Excellence Leadership Luncheon

November 1, 2018
Left to right: Stan Crance, Existing Industry Coordinator & Project Manager, Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, Dr. Tina Anderson, President, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Brandy Wilkes, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and Joe Sumner, Associate Vice President for Program Development, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Valdosta, Georgia- The Business Retention Action Team (BRAT) through the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority hosted a luncheon on Thursday to highlight Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s (WGTC) new Manufacturing and Industry Excellence Leadership Academy. Managers, Front Line Supervisors and Lead Position employees from local industries heard from Joe Sumner, Associate Vice President of Program Development for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College on how the new leadership academy can benefit them and their employees.

The leadership academy is designed to help companies develop their workforce from within.

“Veteran employees who are invested in the company and familiar with the company’s requirements for success are often looking for upward mobility with the organization,” said Joe Sumner, Associate Vice President of Program Development at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.  

“By providing leadership development opportunities, companies can not only provide the opportunity for advancement for their employees but can also ensure that employees are prepared and equipped to succeed at the next level,” said Sumner.

The courses in the academy have been chosen by local manufacturers and are geared specifically for individuals working in the manufacturing environment. Course topics include, the Art of Effective Communication, Challenging Negative Attitudes, Creative Problem Solving, Diversity Awareness Training, First Time Manager and much more.  Companies can request training on additional topics and WGTC will custom design the training to fit the needs of that company.

“It is important for business and industry to provide opportunities for advancement to their employees. By hosting these luncheons, we hope to continue to add value to our current and future workforce,” said Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority. 

The luncheon was held at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Brooks Hall.

For more on the Business Retention Action Team visit,


About Business Retention Action Team (BRAT):

The Business Retention Action Team (BRAT) is made up of individuals from eight different community and state organizations who are committed to serving and strengthening our local businesses. BRAT provides the necessary services, information, solutions and contacts to facilitate local company’s success and growth. BRAT also encourages business partnerships with local schools, which in turn strengthens the community through career education and job placement of our local high school graduates.


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