South Georgia Technical College celebrating 75 years of success

Published 1:35 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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From Staff Reports

AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) is celebrating 75 years of success as an institution of higher education and over 100 years of serving as an aviation maintenance training facility.

“South Georgia Tech was one of the first technical colleges established in Georgia and is the longest continuous aviation maintenance training facility in the United States,” said SGTC President Dr. John Watford.  “We have a very proud past and a promising future.  From the school’s inception, it has garnered tremendous community support – support that continues today!”

South Georgia Trade and Vocational School opened on February 16, 1948 offering Upholstering & Woodworking, Basic Radio Service Communication & Code, Sheetmetal Construction, Air Conditioning, Diesel Mechanics, Automotive Mechanics, General Aircraft Mechanics, and Aircraft Engine Mechanics.  Seventy-five students were enrolled the first term.  However, the grounds and infrastructure date back 30 years prior, to 1917, when it began operation as a World War I and II army air corps training facility.

Versions of those original programs as well as new educational programs, are still being offered today to provide the workforce training and education needs of businesses and industries throughout Georgia and the southeastern United States.

Today, South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) in Americus offers over 200 different associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate of credit programs including aviation maintenance, air conditioning technology, diesel technology, automotive technology, electronics, practical nursing, electrical lineworker training, precision machining and manufacturing, electrical systems technology, drafting, industrial mechanical technology, commercial truck driving and more.

Programs vary in length from eight weeks to four or six semesters.  In-state students have access to the HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant and the HOPE Career grant which makes tuition in some programs practically tuition free for eligible students.  SGTC also accepts PELL federal grant in aid.  The college provides the use of textbooks at no cost to students.

In addition to top-notch academic programs, South Georgia Technical College provides students with the “Complete College Experience” which includes:  on-campus living accommodations, a cafeteria, gymnasium, tennis courts, baseball/softball field, outdoor volleyball court, fish pond, and a student center complete with video games as well as recreational and exercise equipment.  The college also has nationally recognized men’s and women’s intercollegiate Division I basketball teams that are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).


An aerial photo of South Georgia Trade and Vocational School in 1948
Photo by SGTC

South Georgia Technical College has been ranked as the top community college in Georgia for four consecutive years by two different organizations.  The SGTC Lady Jets women’s intercollegiate basketball team remained ranked as the top NJCAA team in the nation this season and made its 10th trip to the NJCAA National Tournament this season.  Together, the Jets and Lady Jets have made 13 trips to the NJCAA National Basketball Tournaments in 21 years.

The college has premiere partnerships with employers such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Delta Air Lines, Robins Air Force Base, Thrush, Metro Power, Georgia Power and other large industries.  The college has a 99% job placement rating for graduates.

The school began using buildings and property developed for the training of aviators in World War I and World War II on property then known as Souther Field.  The famous American Aviator, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, who captured the hearts of Americans during his successful non-stop flight from New York to Paris in the “Spirit of St. Louis” on May 20th, 1927, purchased his first airplane and learned to fly in May of 1923 on the grounds of what is now South Georgia Technical College.

In 1948 when South Georgia Trade and Vocational School first opened its doors, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States of America, a gallon of gas cost 16 cents, a loaf of bread sold for 14 cents, and the technological advances that year included Random Access Storage Devices, Long Playing Records, Velcro, and the Transistor Radio.

“We have come a long way in the past 75 years,” said President Watford.  “Thousands of individuals have attended and graduated from this institution over the past seven and a half decades.  We are very proud of those individuals as well as the faculty, staff, and administration who have been crucial to our success.  We will be celebrating these successes over the next 12 to 24 months.  If you or a loved one attended this institution, we want to document your successes and experiences here.”


Aerial photo of South Georgia Technical College today
Photo by SGTC

As part of its 75th anniversary, South Georgia Technical College is asking alumni to share their experiences and success stories of life after South Georgia Technical College.  Alumni can share their stories on social media by using the hashtag “#SGTC75” or by calling the Foundation and Marketing office at 229-931-2248 or emailing

For more information about South Georgia Technical College visit: