Covington -- The new year brings new accolades to a DeKalb Technical College employee.
Rahl Smith is joining an elite group after completing a two year intensive training program to become a Certified Economic Development Trainer. The Peachtree City resident was recently honored at a reception in which he was presented his certificate by DeKalb Tech President, Dr. Robin Hoffman. Smith has worked at DeKalb Tech for the past four years and is currently the Director of Business and Community Services for Newton, Morgan and Rockdale counties.
The Certified Economic Development Trainer program is administered by Georgia Quick Start.
"Basically it is teaching you to help companies that come to town or existing companies to start up their business," said Smith.
The program trains participants to act as liaisons between the State of Georgia's Technical Schools and the business community. It gives the company help in dealing with tax credits that may be available as well as coordinating with local businesses to train potential employees.
The CEDT program is an intensive program that requires participants to work on projects that are graded by Emory University and Georgia Tech business professionals.
The most recent graduating class, of which Rahl Smith was a part, started with 25 participants. By the end of the two year program, only 10 people graduated.
"It's a great feeling and great accomplishment, there were projects that challenged your brain, and challenged you as an individual," Smith said.
The State of Georgia requires that all Technical Colleges have someone on staff that is certified in this area. DeKalb Tech now has three, including Richard Smith, Vice President of Economic Development, and Loretta Hicks, Director of Business and Community Services for DeKalb County.
DeKalb Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. The college currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and Technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations.
More information is available on its Web site, www.dekalbtech.edu.