Mon, May 20, 2024

Local businesses building beneficial relationships with future employees

Augusta Technical College has launched a program designed to connect students with local businesses in a mutually beneficial partnership.

Called “Cougar Community Partners,” it offers a collaboration between students and local businesses everywhere that Augusta Tech has a footprint.

“We service five counties, and so, saying that, with the student population that we have, income that we generate as a college, we just see the value of having this partnership to support our local business communities while also asking them to consider hiring our students and providing our students and employees discount in their place of business,” Mylinthia Kelly, Workforce Development Coordinator at the Augusta campus, explained for ABD.

Kelly said the program is open to any local business in the CSRA that wants to grow a customer base and potential employee pipeline while boosting their business’ brand across the region.

“We say local, because it’s a little bit harder to get into the corporate companies that have to get approval,” she said. “So, the gamut could be from any type of hospitality, insurance, the sectors can vary. We’ve had insurance companies, we’ve had wellness and fitness centers to participate, restaurants, and childcare.”

Among the first businesses to participate is Taco Madre at the Augusta Mall and Café at 226 8th Street in Downtown Augusta. Participating businesses receive a “Cougar Community” logo they display in their location. Any business sporting the logo offers a 10% discount to Augusta Tech students and staff.

Kelly said it is a win-win for both sides. Businesses can enjoy increased foot traffic while students and staff receive a discount on goods or services.

But she said there is another benefit. Businesses can cultivate a potential employee, while students develop relationships at companies where they would like to work.

“If we can connect that and create that synergy, this is the goal. It’s just so many facets. We can provide services to local businesses, that’s just invaluable. Even internships. It doesn’t have to be a paid internship; it can be an unpaid internship. But if you’re getting a skill set, and being immersed into that work environment, you say, ‘Wow, this is a really good hire, we’re going to take you on.’ We had nuclear engineering students coming out, we have computer science and cyber security. It’s from military to students completing dual enrollment opportunities.” Kelly said.

Participating businesses will also have access to Augusta Tech’s Career Services link. They can post job openings through the link.

Businesses interested in joining the partnership can find more information at or by calling Mylinthia Kelly at 706-771-4863.

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