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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.

GNTC’s Fincher Wins Nationals, Headed To Russia

GNTC alum Ryan Fincher selected as the U.S. representative for an international welding competition in Russia

Man with gray button-down shirt holds trophy while posing for outside picture at night. Soft lighting in the distance.
GNTC alumnus Ryan Fincher of Cedartown was selected as the U.S. representative for an elite international competition in Russia against the best welders from around the world.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alumnus and 2017 SkillsUSA welding national champion Ryan Fincher was chosen to be the U.S. representative in an elite international competition against the best welders from around the world.

On Thursday, Fincher was selected as the SkillsUSA World Team Welder to represent the nation at the WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia.

The announcement was made at an awards program hosted by the American Welding Society (AWS) in Huntsville, Ala. The WorldSkills Competition will take place Aug. 22-27.

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

“It is an honor to be able to represent the U.S.,” said Fincher. “I have always dreamed about this every since I heard of WorldSkills.”

A resident of Cedartown, Fincher has been competing in a four-stage process for the past several months to become the SkillsUSA World Team Welder.

The final stage of the competition took place Feb. 16-21 at Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Tanner, Ala.

“Ryan is the first person in the State of Georgia to win this competition,” said Matt Hayden, instructor of Welding and Joining Technology at GNTC.

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

Every two years, the AWS invites the top 48 welding competitors from the National SkillsUSA Championships to compete in the four-stage competition to decide the SkillsUSA World Team Welder. All competitors were state champions and have competed at the National Level for SkillsUSA.

In 2016, Fincher was a top six finalist to become the SkillsUSA World Team Welder.

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.

Fincher’s trip to China was part of his preparation to compete in the four-part Team USA Welder Selection competition. There were representatives from China, Mongolia, Korea, Russia, Australia, and other countries at the competition in Beijing.

“I was amazed at the quality and level that the other welders at the competition in China were operating at and it has given me a goal to try to be better than what I have seen them accomplish,” said Fincher.

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 four-part competition for the past several months. Fincher practiced at GNTC’s welding labs and the welding labs at Cedartown High School.

“Since the beginning of August, Ryan quit working full-time and has been practicing full-time for this competition,” said Hayden.

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.

“These competitions have pushed me to always find better ways and more efficient ways to be a better welder and strive for perfection each time I step into the booth,” said Fincher.

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.

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.

GNTC Works With Recruits at FutureFest in Dalton

Welding and Joining Instructor Wayne Henderson speaks with some recruits about his program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College during FutureFest hosted by Dalton Public Schools February 1. Approximately 3,000 students were in attendance from Dalton Public Schools.

Dalton Public Schools hosted their First Annual Future Fest at the Dalton Convention Center February 1. Approximately 3,000 students were on hand to visit with the colleges and companies of Northwest Georgia.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College brought booths from 10 different areas to be able to share with the recruits from the Dalton Public School system. On display for GNTC were Business Administration Technology, Business Management, Computer Support Technology, Early Childhood Care and Education, Industrial Systems Technology, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Technology, Social Work Assistant, Welding and Joining Technology, Dual Enrollment, and Recruiting and Admissions.

The students in attendance were mainly from eighth through 12th grade.

Cora Pyles, left, and Niki Hammock with GNTC High School Initiatives took their morning to speak with approximately 3,000 students in attendance from Dalton Public Schools at FutureFest on February 1.

Program Director and Instructor of Web Design and Computer Information Systems Rocky Spurlock speaks with some recruits about his programs at Georgia Northwestern Technical College during FutureFest hosted by Dalton Public Schools February 1. Approximately 3,000 students were in attendance from Dalton Public Schools.

GED® Is Ready For You!

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.

High School Freshmen Facing College Choices At Younger Age

Focus on Careers and Education in Catoosa County, Georgia

(Northwest Georgia) – College recruits don’t always drive their cars to campuses they want to visit. In Catoosa County, Georgia, one group of future talent, not old enough drive, traveled by school bus to tour Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) as part of the Catoosa County School System’s Career Exploration program.

“Business owner Jonathan Connell speaks with students from Ringgold High Schools’ Career Exploration program during a visit to Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold, Georgia.”

The brand new program, geared towards high school freshman, is in its pilot year at Ringgold High School. More than two dozen ninth-graders from the program took a first-hand look at GNTC January 23. In addition, if the school system’s plan continues to grow, these underclassmen won’t be the last looking so far into the future, so early in their high school careers.

“In Catoosa County Public Schools, we believe we have a responsibility to help students prepare for college and career,” said Catoosa County Schools Communications Specialist Marissa Brower. “It’s more than just walking across a stage to receive a high school diploma these days. It’s about what happens tomorrow. So, we need to do our part today to make sure students are prepared to continue their post-secondary education or credentialed to enter a career.”

GNTC specialists spoke with the students about their collegiate future during their visit with the region’s largest college. Students learned about recruitment, dual enrollment, and future career possibilities available through a GNTC education. The students also took a tour of some of the GNTC Catoosa County Campus facilities during their visit.

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Electronics Technology Instructor Cody Brewer speaks with students from Ringgold High Schools’ Career Exploration program touring GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold, Georgia.”

“This will be the cornerstone for how we market our College and Career Academy to students,” added Brower. “Students in the From HERE to CAREER exploration class take the YouScience aptitude and interest assessment to identify careers that are a good fit. The pilot will be refined, and this will be a required class for all 9th graders in the fall.” The Catoosa County School system currently works with GNTC through Dual Enrollment. Also, the system will open a College and Career Academy in August 2022. It would be built upon nearly five acres of land donated by the county to the school system in 2018.

“Young people need to begin thinking about professional options earlier in their academic careers,” said GNTC Associate Vice President of Special Projects Dr. Ginger Mathis. “Every student has special skills and abilities that would serve them well in specific fields. This Career Exploration program is a valuable tool that will allow Catoosa County students, at a younger age than usual, to begin considering their strengths and matching them to a potential path in the future. It will also help parents and families to look at things such as dual enrollment which would allow students to get college credit at no cost.”

Local entrepreneur Jonathan Connell spoke with the students and administrators before their tours to share his story about coming from Northwest Georgia and finding a career path that not only suited him, but also made him very successful along the way. “I learned to live on half of my paycheck at a very young age,” Connell told the students. “Doing that, I was able to save enough money to begin my own business and begin my own future.” Connell is a Dade County, Georgia native and United States Marine Corps veteran who has owned multiple businesses throughout the past two decades. After selling most of them, he is currently the owner of MedSTAT Medical Supply Company; Xenon Group, LLC, Real Estate; and JTalks LLC which provides training, education, and motivational speaking services.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.

GNTC Closed Tuesday

Shredder will be watching the skies over Northwest Georgia all day long.

Attention: All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will be closed Tuesday, January 29, following the directive from Governor Brian Kemp that all state offices will be closed. All day and evening classes, events and activities are canceled. A decision regarding delays or closures for Wednesday will be made Tuesday afternoon. Shredder will be watching the skies throughout the day!

Shorter Classes, Registration Begins Today

Registration is now OPEN for Spring 2019’s “B Term!”Last day to register is February 22.Classes begin March 4.

#shorterclasses4u

#getfocusedgethired

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