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Welding World Tour: GNTC Alum Heading To Europe, Preparing For Championships


SkillsUSA World Team Welder Ryan Fincher will travel to Germany to prepare for competition in Russia

Man in his 20's holds trophy while wearing white jackets with dark collar. He is also wearing a red shirt beneath the jacket. He is standing in front of a lightly-colored backdrop.
GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown poses for a picture with the trophy awarded to him at a special presentation during the opening ceremony for SkillsUSA Georgia in March. Fincher was recognized for being selected as the SkillsUSA World Team Welder to represent the county at the WorldSkills Welding Competition in Kazan, Russia.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alumnus and SkillsUSA World Team Welder Ryan Fincher will be traveling to Germany as part of his preparation to represent the nation at the WorldSkills Welding Competition in Russia.

Fincher will take part in “Specialized Competitor Training for WorldSkills Kazan 2019,” from April 29 to May 3 in Eisenberg, Germany. He will train with other WorldSkills welders who are representatives of their home countries.

The training, sponsored by Lincoln Electric, will simulate the upcoming WorldSkills Welding Competition in Kazan, Russia. The elite international competition will take place Aug. 22-27.

According to Fincher, the training in Germany is meant to not only help the international welding competitors get prepared for the WorldSkills Welding Competition, it will also be a chance for the welders to get to know one another before they go to Russia.

“All of the WorldSkills competitors that I have met so far have been really great people,” said Fincher, a resident of Cedartown. “The most interesting thing has been that different countries use different methods to get the same end product.”

Fincher was chosen to be the U.S. representative at an awards program hosted by the American Welding Society (AWS) in February.

As the SkillsUSA World Team Welder, Fincher will receive a $40,000 scholarship in addition to representing the nation against the best WorldSkills welders from other countries.

“Ryan is the first person in the State of Georgia to become the SkillsUSA World Team Welder,” said Matt Hayden, instructor of Welding and Joining Technology at GNTC.

Hayden is also an instructor of Metals and Welding at Cedartown High School/Polk County College and Career Academy and has been coaching Fincher since he was high a school student.

Fincher is currently working as a part-time lab assistant in the Welding and Joining program at GNTC and has been practicing and preparing full-time for the international competition. Fincher practices at GNTC’s welding labs and the welding labs at the Polk County College and Career Academy.

As a GNTC student, Fincher won the gold medal in the Welding Competition at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in 2017 and became the college’s first ever national champion. Fincher graduated from GNTC in 2017.

“The Welding and Joining Technology program at GNTC helped prepare me not only for these competitions, but also for the real world,” said Fincher.

Fincher already has experience in international welding competitions. This past summer, he was selected by the AWS to be the American representative in the China International Welding Competition 2018 in Beijing and won the bronze medal. There were representatives from China, Mongolia, Korea, Russia, Australia, and other countries at the competition in Beijing.

He will return to China for additional WorldSkills training. Fincher and other WorldSkills welders will travel to Gansu, China on May 27 to prepare for the competition in Russia.

“I will also go to a three week training session in St. Louis and spend a month in Utah preparing for WorldSkills,” said Fincher. “Life has been very exciting for the past year to say the least.”

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, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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It’s going to be a Bobcat Summer!

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Get Focused. Get Hired. Georgia Northwestern.


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Gold Rush! GNTC Students Take Top Honors at 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia Competition, Lock In On Nationals

Four men in khaki work clothes in front a black back drop and wearing medals
For the fourth year in a row, GNTC won the gold medal in the TeamWorks competition at the 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia competition. (From left to right) Gabriel Lopez, Ryan Banks, Joel Paez and Jesse Flanagan.


Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students had an outstanding performance at the 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference, March 21-23, in Atlanta. GNTC competed in 15 categories and took home 13 medals; five gold, six silver and two bronze.

Highlights from SkillsUSA Georgia include winning the gold and silver medal in Practical Nursing, GNTC’s 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner receiving the gold medal in Automotive Service Technology, the TeamWorks team winning the gold medal for the fourth consecutive year and more.

“Our students worked very hard to showcase their talents in the competitions at SkillsUSA Georgia,” said Missy Mclain, SkillsUSA advisor for GNTC.  “We are so very proud of the success of our students and how well they represented GNTC.”

Two women in blue scrubs in front of a black backdrop and wearing medals.
Kimberlee Hall (right) won the gold medal in Practical Nursing and Brittany Square (left) won the silver medal in Practical Nursing at the 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia competition.

Listed below are gold, silver and bronze medalists including the student’s name, competition and county of residence. Team competitions are listed with the competition name first:

Listed below are gold, silver and bronze medalists including the student’s name, competition and county of residence. Team competitions are listed with the competition name first:

Gold Medal

Cole Allen, Internet of Things and Smart Home, Chattooga County.

Norberto Castaneda, Industrial Motor Controls, Floyd County.

Kimberlee Hall, Practical Nursing, Gordon County.

Brandon Neighbors, Automotive Service Technology, Catoosa County.

TeamWorks (team competition): Ryan Banks, Whitfield County; Jesse Flanagan, Polk County; Gabriel Lopez, Bartow County; and Joel Paez, Whitfield County.

Man in blue shirt with red lanyard sits at laptop computer with a car in the background.
Brandon Neighbors, GNTC’s 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner, won the gold medal in the Automotive Service Technology competition at SKillsUSA Georgia.


Silver Medal

Josh Barlow, Medical Terminology, Floyd County.

Autumn Donaldson, Medical Assisting, Whitfield County.

Julianna Matthews, Extemporaneous Speaking, Lee County.

Chris Roberson, HVACR, Polk County.

Brittany Square, Practical Nursing, Henry County.

Welding Fabrication (team competition): Dakota Green, Gordon County; Timothy Myers, Catoosa County; and Luke Shehee, Catoosa County.

Man in orange shirt, red lanyard, and white worksite helmet stands at a metal console.
Norberto Castaneda won the gold medal in the Industrial Motor Controls competition at SKillsUSA Georgia.


Bronze Medal

Ethan Mitchell, Electrical Construction Wiring, Gordon County

Colby Wyatt, CNC Technology, Chattooga County.

The award ceremony was led by Julianna Matthews, this year’s president of SkillsUSA Georgia. Matthews is a Construction Management major at GNTC and earned a silver medal in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition.

“I want to thank my advisors and other individuals that believed in me,” said Matthews. “I would not have the opportunity to see myself as I do now if it wasn’t for them and SkillsUSA.”

During the opening ceremony for SkillsUSA Georgia, a special recognition was held for GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher, the 2019 SkillsUSA World Team Welder. Fincher was selected to represent the nation at the WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. The best welders from around the world will take part in the elite international competition.

GNTC was recognized as a Level 1 Quality Chapter and also received the Gold Chapter of Distinction during the 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia opening ceremony.

Gold medalists will advance to the SkillsUSA national competition in Louisville, Ky. The national competition will be held the week of June 24.

Man in jacket holds a trophy in front of a lightly-colored backdrop.
During the opening ceremony for SkillsUSA Georgia a special recognition was held for GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher, the 2019 SkillsUSA World Team Welder. Fincher was selected to represent the nation at the WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. The best welders from around the world will take part in the elite international competition.


Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) 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, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Returning Students and Free Money

FREE MONEY!

GNTC is pleased to announce a new way to apply for Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation Scholarships.AwardSpring will facilitate and streamline your scholarship application process. All returning GNTC students who have completed one semester of study are encouraged to apply.


Apply now for summer term GNTC Foundation scholarships at AwardSpring:https://gntc.awardspring.com/

For questions contact Michelle Beatsonmbeatson@gntc.edu

You may also visit http://www.gntc.edu/community/foundation/scholarships/for more details!

GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an EOI.

GNTC and Norfolk Southern, Partnering In Safety

Many thanks to our Georgia Division for their recent $2,000 contribution to the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC). The college plans on using the funds for a start-up campus police department. We are proud to help assist in making this project a reality. Pictured left to right: Chad Cardin (Campus Police Chief), Neil Palmer (director of transportation services – NS), Gary McConathy (Campus Police Lieutenant/Training Coordinator), and Dee Pearson (special agent in charge – NS Police)

Less Time, Register Next Week

Georgia Northwestern Reloads For Title Run

SkillsUSA National Stage Becoming Common Place for Northwest GA College

(Northwest Georgia) – After taking home a bronze medal and multiple Top-10 finishes in the SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Kentucky last summer, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) has an entirely new team of collegiate specialists with their eyes on a championship.

“We’ve had really good showings on the state and national level of SkillsUSA over the years,” said GNTC SkillsUSA Coordinator Missy McClain. “The 2019 team really feels like it can perform just as well, if not better. We may be looking at a very successful competition season.”

Chattooga County, Georgia native Taylor Eagle placed third in the nation last summer at the National Leadership and Skills Conference, site of the SkillsUSA National Championship. Eagle competed in the Residential Systems and Installation Maintenance category.

“Taylor Eagle was a GNTC Bronze Medalist from the 2018 national championships in Louisville, Kentucky. The Chattooga County native competed in the Residential Systems and Installation Maintenance category.”

In 2017, Cedartown, Georgia native Ryan Fincher became Georgia Northwestern’s first-ever national champion in SkillsUSA. Fincher took home top honors in the welding category. Just one week ago, Fincher competed in a national competition in Huntsville, Alabama that earned his spot as the SkillsUSA World Team Welder. The team will compete in the WorldSkills Competition taking place in Kazan, Russia the week of August 22. Fincher was also a two-time high school (Cedartown HS, GA) state champion in the same category.

Members qualifying for the Georgia Northwestern SkillsUSA team, which will be competing for national spots at the Georgia SkillsUSA Competition March 21-22 in Atlanta, Georgia, are as follows:

Teamworks (Construction)

Jesse Flanagan – Polk County

Joel Paez – Whitfield County

Gabriel Lopez – Bartow County

Ryan Banks – Whitfield County

Welding Fabrication

Dakota Green – Gordon County

Luke Shehee – Catoosa County

Timothy Myers – Catoosa County

Welding

Jack Atwood III – Catoosa County

Automotive Service Technology

Brandon Neighbors – Catoosa County

Electrical Construction Wiring

Ethan Mitchell – Gordon County

Industrial Motor Controls

Norberto Castaneda – Floyd County


Practical Nursing

Brittany Square – Henry County

Kimberlee Hall – Gordon County

Kami Griswold – Bartow County

Medical Assisting

Ashley Hopper – Floyd County

Autumn Donaldson – Whitfield County

Internet of Things & Smart Home

Cole Allen – Chattooga County

Extemporaneous Speaking

Julianna Matthews – Lee County

Job Interview

Amy Waters – Chattooga County

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration

Chris Roberson – Floyd County

CNC Milling Specialist

Joshua Wyatt – Chattooga County

Medical Terminology

Josh Barlow – Floyd County

Vanessa Colgrove – Chattooga County

Latrina Travis – Cobb County

Medical Math

Chelsea Price – Chattooga County

Jessica Fincher – Polk County

Kyara Massey – Floyd County

Jasmine Poindexter – Cobb County

For those who place high enough to qualify, they will earn spots on the Nationals SkillsUSA Team representing the state of Georgia. Now, in its 55th year, the SkillsUSA National Competition will once again take place in Louisville, Kentucky during the association’s National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 24-28.


Contestants on the state and national stage of SkillsUSA compete in more than 100 categories ranging from Advertising Design to Welding and everything in between. SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators across the nation.


For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s SkillsUSA organization, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.


GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).


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, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 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.

Get Your Collegiate Engine Running At Peak Performance!

Students from Whitfield County Schools involved in Georgia High School Tech are touring the Walker County Campus of GNTC this morning. Here is one part of the group stopping by the Automotive Technology Program lab. Former Technical College System of Georgia Instructor of the Year Mr. Troy Peco takes a break from a class on transmissions to speak with the tour.

Take a look at a quick clip from a part of their tour right now!

Turn Knowledge Into A GED® Diploma!


Turn knowledge into a GED® diploma. Your future starts here. GED® preparation classes are FREE! Text MyGED to 70700, call 866-983-4682, or visit http://www.gntc.edu/community/adult-literacy-and-ged/ to learn more and find a testing center near you.

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