Georgia’s tech college system planning furloughs, layoffs

Building automation instructor Robert Croom works with student Adam Lovell on a controller board with input/output devices during a class in the Building Automation Systems program at Georgia Piedmont Technical College on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Clarkston.CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Building automation instructor Robert Croom works with student Adam Lovell on a controller board with input/output devices during a class in the Building Automation Systems program at Georgia Piedmont Technical College on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Clarkston.CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

The system that runs Georgia’s 22 technical colleges introduced a plan to its board Wednesday that proposes furloughs and layoffs to meet the state government’s demand to cut its budget by 14% for the 12-month fiscal year that starts July 1.

The plan does not specify how many employees would be laid off. The system said it still in the process of evaluating to determine an exact number.

Regarding furloughs, the system is planning a tiered approach that includes up to 12 days. The furloughs would begin July 1. The system’s commissioner, Greg Dozier, would participate in the furlough plan, a spokesman said.

State officials earlier this month asked all departments and agencies to come up with the 14% cuts in response to revenue declines created by the coronavirus pandemic. The proposed 14% cuts total $52.3 million across the technical college system, with more than $46 million coming from general education programs and the rest from its adult education budget, administrative costs and other programs.

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Dozier told board members that some educational programs being done on multiple campuses would be consolidated, such as auto collision or fire services. Some adult education programs would have more students and more classes would be taught online.

The system has metro Atlanta colleges in Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties and the city of Atlanta.