Walker County and Georgia Northwestern Partner To Train An Educated Workforce


Nearly a hundred people stand a two-story staircase in the 500 Building on the Walker County Campus at GNTC.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Walker County Schools (GNTC) cut the ribbon on the Walker Launch @ GNTC. The academy which educates students from both LaFayette and Ridgeland High Schools is held on the Walker County Campus of GNTC. GNTC President Pete McDonald and Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines are among those leading the ceremony.”


(Northwest Georgia) – Walker County Schools and Georgia Northwestern Technical College saw the full support of its community Tuesday as the new academy, “Walker Launch,” held a ribbon cutting. Several dozen administrators and instructors from both educational outlets, as well as business and community leaders from across Walker County, Georgia, were on hand for the ceremony.


Nearly two dozen students from both LaFayette and Ridgeland High Schools in Walker County are enrolled in the pilot year of Walker Launch. The students began attending high school and college courses on the Walker County Campus of GNTC this past August. Walker County Schools administration hopes to see the enrollment of the new academy to expand to 200 students in the near future.


“Our hope is to help students get into high-demand jobs,” said Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines. “We are training these young men and women for careers in everything from healthcare to logistics. But, it’s not only about that. It’s about teaching the future of Walker County to live smarter; to avoid a lifestyle which forces so many families to live paycheck-to-paycheck.”


Among those in attendance at the ribbon cutting held in the 500 Building on the Walker County Campus of GNTC were Raines, GNTC President Pete McDonald, Walker County Schools Coordinator of Innovation Matt Harris, Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson, Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield, Walker County School Board Member Karen Stoker, along with nearly two dozen other officials and business and leaders from NW Georgia.


For more information about the program, students and families can speak with the guidance counselor’s office at their high school. Students interested in joining the program will be required to apply to enroll in Walker Launch, as well as meet certain program guidelines.


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, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.