GNTC Construction specialists first to ever compete nationally in category from Georgia


Bronze Medal Award Podium Pic
“Moments after receiving their bronze medals, the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) TeamWorks squad, seen in red blazers, thanks the crowd at the 2016 National SkillsUSA Competition in Louisville, Kentucky this past weekend. Shown here are GNTC TeamWorks entry members, from left, Evan Brackett, Burt Burns, Bo Dooley, and Barry Arrington. GNTC’s entry was the first team from Georgia to ever qualify for the national TeamWorks contest.”


(Louisville, Kentucky) – A squad of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) construction aces made history in Louisville, Kentucky this past weekend. Barry Arrington of Calhoun, Georgia; Evan Brackett of Rome, Georgia; Burt Burns of Lindale; and Bo Dooley of Calhoun, Georgia became the first group to every qualify and compete in the TeamWorks category of SkillsUSA.


Of course, the GNTC unit thought since they were already making the trip to the Bluegrass State, why not make it all a little more historic? So, that’s what they did as the team from the Peach State would take home third place out of 14 states which qualified to compete nationally in the TeamWorks construction category.


The SkillsUSA TeamWorks category involves a construction project to be completed. It requires a team of four contestants to work together in reading blue prints and creating an action plan. Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and masonry skills are put to use during the project. From ordering the materials to be used to planning the completion of each phase of the job, judges looked closely at each team’s ability to work within building codes, jobsite safety and cleanliness, proper use and accountability of tools and equipment, and the overall efficiency of the team project.
“From start to finish, competing teams were given plans to build a project from the ground up,” said GNTC Director of Construction Management Donny Holmes. “During the week of competition, our students did incredibly well. It was an honor to just represent the college and the state. It was an added bonus to watch this team place on the national level.”


SkillsUSA Nationals was hosted by the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) during the week of June 22. More than 6,000 (high school and collegiate) students from across the country competed hands-on in more than a hundred various trade, technical, and leadership fields.


On June 20, the competition’s opening night, the team received a $750 award for being the first team to qualify and compete from the State of Georgia. GNTC’s entry received their bronze medals during a Friday night ceremony. Teams from Utah and Nebraska won the gold and silver medals, respectively.


Following the national awards ceremony, the team of Arrington, Brackett, Burns, and Dooley also won the Curtis Bell Award of Excellence at the State of Georgia Post-Secondary Banquet. The Bell Award is given to the team who earned the highest score among any entry from Georgia taking part in the competition. The squad scored a 91.4 out of a possible 100 points in their national debut.


This week, GNTC is holding Early Registration for the fall semester which kicks-off this August. Returning students in construction or any of the various programs GNTC offers on five different campuses, as well as online, can sign-up for classes during this time period. New student registration will be held July 28. New student application and testing deadline for the fall semester is July 18. For more information, visit or call Georgia Northwestern at 866.983.4682.


Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.