b'LEADERSHIPWiregrass President RetiresHer favorite day is commencement, where she often Our missionstops the flow of graduates coming across the stage is workforceand celebrates with each individually. Giving a thumbs up and a bright smile, Anderson development. Everyhelps students search for their family members and day, we get up andfriends in the audience as they snap a photo. Her goal is to make each graduate feel as if they are the come to work withcenter of attention. Commencement: Dr. Anderson enjoys celebrating with each graduate. the thoughts: HowIm going to miss watching students when they come in, and their lights come on, she says. I say In 2007, she served as interim president of Valdosta Technicalare we traininglights because there are a lot of lights that come on for them, and then they go out and find their College [later Wiregrass Georgia Technical College]. In 2008, shepeople? How are wepassion. Isnt that wonderful as a human being when became acting assistant commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Office Technical Education.educating studentsyou find something that youre really passionate about?She came back to Wiregrass Tech as president in 2013 andto go into businesses immediately began knocking on the doors of local businesses. ItsMore than technical knowledge, Anderson says important that we listen to our industry leaders, she says. Ourand fulfill the jobsWiregrass students are equipped with critical job is to drill down and find out what skill sets they need. that they need? Smile: Dr. Anderson takes time for a selfie with herthinking skills and work ethics.As part of her Talks with Tina, where she met directly withWiregrass Family. Our students actually receive a grade in work industry and business leaders, Anderson always asked, What are- DR. TINA ANDERSON ethics, she says. We also have a warranty program we not doing that you need us to start? These conversations were the starting point. When theyfor our students.talk about specific skill-sets needed in workers, thats a gift, she says, It allows our team to go back and startAlong with all TCSG institutions, Wiregrass Tech fulfilling those needs. guarantees graduates meet curriculum standards that have been developed from direct involvement Wiregrass Tech students are skilled and ready to enterwith business and industry leaders.the workforce, and Anderson is proud of the colleges nearly 99 percent job placement rate. We have a highIf a TCSG graduate is deficient in one or more job placement rate, and one of the reasons is we onlycompetencies, the technical college will retrain the teach skills that are relevant to businesses and industriesemployee at no instructional cost to the employee or in our service region.the employer.From meeting with program advisory committeesMilestonesto million-dollar donors, Anderson has fosteredUnder Andersons leadership, Wiregrass Tech relationships with top business and industry leaders toreached many achievements, including having its ensure students have access to the latest trends in theAssociate of Science in Nursing (RN) program industry.named the No. 1 program in Georgia. The ranking is When asked about her favorite part of being president,based on National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-Anderson says, Without a doubt, its the students. RN) pass rates.Shes been known to give students a pep talk justAnother source of pride is Wiregrass Techs before national testing or stopping by the CosmetologySkillsUSA team, which has received multiple state lab for a quick haircut, showing students she trusts theirand national awards, including being one of the top Workforce: Dr. Tina Anderson joins Wiregrass Tech and Lowndes High Schoolskills. chapters in the nation two years in a row. students participating in Ace Electric apprenticeship signing. 24 SG MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 BUSINESS + CULTURE 25'