Shot Strange Shares Reasons to Support Education
By Halei Lamb | October 23, 2017 9:15 am
Article by Mike Lisenby
I am a member of the Swainsboro Exchange Club and a board member of Southeastern Technical College’s Foundation, and, in those capacities, I have come to know and respect Mr. Shot Strange who also is a member of each of these organizations. I am certain that everyone knows Mr. Shot to be a seriously important benefactor to Emanuel County Charitable causes. Recently, I visited Mr. Shot, and asked that he speak to me about some of his reasons for donating to Southeastern Technical College, given that he and I share a strong interest in supporting this college. I went to Mr. Shot’s home in Oak Park and wrote down what he had to say.
Shot began by saying this: “I revere, respect, support, and cherish both of Emanuel County’s colleges of higher learning, East Georgia State College and Southeastern Technical College. They each offer important and vital educational resources critical and necessary to the vitality of the Coastal Plain of Georgia, including importantly Emanuel County. I cannot say enough about the value of East Georgia State College and the economic blessing that it provides our community. East Georgia also gives us a critical base of knowledgeable business, technical and medical men and women necessary to supply our workforce and to complete additional higher education levels.”
Mr. Shot added, “But, let’s not forget our friends and colleagues at Southeastern Technical College, as this institution addresses a different but equally important need to supply a trained and able workforce. To put it in perspective, we need to remember that Southeastern Tech has a huge capital commitment to Emanuel County and the City of Swainsboro, as they have a 35 acre property, with buildings comprising nearly 150,000 finished square feet, with administrative offices, labs, and classrooms right here in the middle of our County. They employ over 50 people located in Swainsboro, alone. Several of their programs are offered only on the Swainsboro Campus. These include Diesel Technology, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Manufacturing, Wildlife/Fish and Game Management, and Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Bridge. In the last few years, they invested over $17,000,000 in facilities and equipment, building or upgrading nearly 80,000 finished square feet of classrooms, world-class labs/equipment, and administrative offices in our County, on the Swainsboro Campus. Their President, Mr. Larry Calhoun, resides in Swainsboro. Mr. Calhoun is active in the Swainsboro Exchange Club, and in collaborating with Dr. Boehmer at East Georgia State College, to bring an Associate Degree Nursing to Bachelor Degree Nursing bridge program to Emanuel County.”
Mr. Shot then turned to the value-added by improving the work force, saying: “The most important value-added by Southeastern Tech is their graduating over 150 trained workers from the Emanuel County campus each year. These students are hired at a 98% success rate, and many of them remain in our county or in close proximity to our county. These graduates will replenish several necessary workforce careers, such as nurses, commercial truck drivers, welders, diesel mechanics, electricians, CNC manufacturing specialists, cosmetologists, childcare providers, criminal justice professionals, and business administrative technicians. These include trained medical professionals who we must have in Emanuel County to support our healthcare system. It is not easy to overstate the importance of our having technical professionals gainfully employed and acting as productive and high performing members of our community.”
Mr. Shot ended with these observations: “I would summarize by saying that we as a citizenry of Emanuel County have many reasons to financially support Southeastern Tech, and I urge you to give what you can afford. We all need to do our part, especially for the students that are in need of additional funds from STC Foundation scholarships to help them complete their programs.”