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Alford to head technical colleges

CONYERS - Dean Alford has been instrumental in helping guide education in the state and has now been tapped to oversee all the state's technical colleges.

The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia unanimously elected Conyers resident Dean Alford as its next chairman, TCSG announced Thursday.

Alford said Thursday afternoon that he was very flattered that the board has confidence in him to lead them over the next two years.

"I'm happy to do it," said Alford, who also is co-chairman of Gov. Sonny Perdue's educational work group and president and CEO of Allied Energy Services in Conyers.

When his term begins July 1, Alford said he hopes to increase the recognition of technical colleges in Georgia, which have seen a 15 percent increase in enrollment, even with the severe economic conditions.

"During the next several years, it's very important for technical colleges to continue to provide job skills and training and hopefully move out the economic situation quicker," said Alford, who Perdue appointed in January 2007 as a representative of the Fourth Congressional District.

Alford said the state needs to find more ways to be innovative and develop a good work force for the 21st century.

Perdue appoints the 22 board members of the TCSG to oversee standards, regulations and policies for 33 technical colleges that make up the system.

Along with the new appointment, Alford said he also plans to continue his involvement on Perdue's education committee, which recently recommended several ideas for the future of Georgia's educational system, including creating a comprehensive community college system and refining the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum. Although the group submitted those recommendations as its final report, Perdue asked the group to continue to meet to discuss more options.

The TCSG board also unanimously elected Paul Holmes of Monticello as its next vice chairman.