Gubernatorial mission increases international educational opportunities

(From left to Right) Chris Carr, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Laura Laganá, Director, Centro Paula Souza (CPS); Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia; and Marcio Franca, Vice Governor of São Paulo.
(From left to Right) Chris Carr, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Laura Laganá, Director, Centro Paula Souza (CPS); Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia; and Marcio Franca, Vice Governor of São Paulo.

College students in Georgia and Brazil will soon be able to take advantage of additional reciprocal educational and training opportunities, thanks to an agreement between the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and São Paulo’s technical education system, Centro Paula Souza (CPS). A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Brazil by TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and CPS Director Laura Laganá during an economic development mission led by Gov. Nathan Deal.

“International companies in Georgia look to our technical colleges every day to provide the skilled workforce they need to stay competitive,” said Commissioner Corbin. “This agreement with São Paulo’s technical system is not only key to expanding TCSG’s global outreach, it is an outstanding educational opportunity for students in both Georgia and Brazil. It encourages joint educational and economic development activities, exchange of staff and students and the exchange of visiting scholars to conduct research and professional development.”

“TCSG and CPS Colleges of Technology, through this partnership, have a myriad of opportunities for mutual cooperation on the field of professional higher education, which will effectively contribute to the development of both states,” said CPS Director Laura Laganá.

The MOU provides a formal pathway for TCSG and CPS students to engage in internships, language training, short-term cultural exchange trips for staff members and students, joint student projects and traditional semester exchanges. In addition, the agreement facilitates increased cooperation between the educational agencies and local and regional chambers of commerce, municipal and provincial or state governmental agencies, hospitals, local and regional businesses, and manufacturing and industrial enterprises.

These cross-border educational opportunities will benefit students and faculty and provide world-class workforce training and management development for industries and other organizations, both in Georgia and in São Paulo. The MOU will be administered in Georgia by TCSG’s International Center for Technical Education, which collaborates with countries and colleges to develop and improve their technical workforce through higher education partnerships and the sharing of people, programs and best practices. The office works closely with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the University System of Georgia, and TCSG’s own Quick Start customized workforce training program.

Georgia has had representation in Brazil for more than two decades. More than 12,000 Georgians are employed by 40 Brazilian-owned businesses. Gov. Deal is leading a delegation of state and local business leaders on an economic development mission in Brazil to establish new business relationships, strengthen existing ties and promote Georgia as an excellent tourism destination and quality source for products and services. The Georgia delegation represents some of Georgia’s greatest economic development assets in business, education, tourism, trade and workforce.

Another international education initiative is taking place between GNTC, Savannah Technical College, and TCSG partner school; Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in Ireland. The three colleges are joining forces to offer Georgia culinary arts students a unique opportunity to participate in a culinary arts summer school next year.

Ireland has emerged as a premier European culinary center and is home to an ever increasing “specialty food” sector. WIT is the leading provider of culinary education in Ireland. Highly experienced faculty and professionals from across the food industry will direct practical and theoretical sessions and lead field trips to sites of culinary, cultural, and social significance.

“Growing up in my hometown, there was a travel agency with a large marquee that stated ‘See the world before you Leave it,’” said Chef Greg Paulson, director of the Culinary Arts program at GNTC. “That was a very impressionable declaration for me and I have genuinely always guided my career path based on that statement.”

“Because of that, I implore all of my students to travel and discover the vast culinary experiences, both regional and international,” he continued.


About Centro Paula Souza

CPS is an agency of the State of São Paulo, linked to the Department of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Innovation. The agency manages 218 state technical high schools and 64 Colleges of Technology, which serve over 283,000 students in middle-level technical courses and technology majors.

About the Technical College System of Georgia

The 23 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers, serving more than 140,000 students each year and providing customized training for regional, national and international businesses and industries. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions.

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities.  Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC.  This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.