Watt, West Join Experts In Month Long Series With Industry Leader
(Northwest Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College Computer Information Systems Program Director Dr. Dwight Watt and Georgia Northwestern Technical College Computer Technology Instructor Jill West spoke to information technology specialists around the globe October 11. It was part of the month-long international webinar series, “CyberFest 2018.”
CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, hosted the event. The session hosted by Watt and West was called, “What Is Your Network Built With? Hay, Sticks, or Bricks?” It’s all part of a series helping promote National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the non-profit National Cybersecurity Alliance first launched the initiative in 2011.
Attendees from the United States, Sweden, India, Thailand, and other nations took part in the two-hour online event. “It was a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people around the world and help them take the next step in information technology,” said Watt. “Sharing what we know with our students in the classroom is an amazing opportunity for us throughout the year. Of course, getting a chance to make an impact on someone on the other side of the planet is also pretty impressive.”
The session covered networking and computer technology issues in the home, workplace, and in the classroom. The series also offered a special focus on end-user security, IT project management, infrastructure security, and Cloud security.
Watt is a Doctor of Education (University of Georgia) who holds more than 30 certifications in various areas of information technology expertise, as well as taught courses in the industry on the collegiate level for more than 35 years. He also writes a newspaper column helping users with miscellaneous computer technology issues.
West holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education (University of Memphis). She has taught computer technology to all education levels from elementary school through college level coursework. West has also co-authored networking textbooks during her career.
CompTIA is one of the world’s premier information technology trade associations. The CyberFest 2018 series is offered through the CompTIA Instructor Network. Learn more about the association at CompTIA.org.
Watt teaches CompTIA certification preparation courses at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. For more information on those courses, or any of the areas covered by the college’s programs in Information Technology, visit the GNTC.edu website. Or, you can call Georgia Northwestern at 866.983.4682. GNTC offers courses online, as well as on six different campuses across Northwest Georgia.
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.
We’re ready for you! See you at the INDUSTRIAL CAREER DAY TOMORROW (Sept. 21) on the FCC!
Learning Mechatronics Through State’s Registered Apprenticeship Program
(Walker County, Georgia) – “We want to push major manufacturing and the jobs that come with it back into the United States,” said Scott Brown, Roper Corporation President. “With this apprenticeship program, we are planning to advance the skill sets of our workforce.” Brown and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) President Pete McDonald met to sign on the dotted line on a three-year Registered Apprenticeship project to train the next era of skilled workforce at the Northwest Georgia manufacturing giant.
Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, GNTC will sponsor the new apprenticeship agreement with Walker County, Georgia’s largest employer. The pilot year of the apprenticeship project will begin with selected workers of Roper’s 1,800-strong workforce heading to GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold, Georgia. “We are going to be sending our workers to train in the college’s Mechatronics program,” said Scott Lee Reece, Roper Corporation Organizational Development Leader. GNTC’s Whitfield Murray Campus currently takes part in two other registered apprenticeships with Mohawk Industries and The HON Company. In those two cases, however, it’s the companies that are sponsoring the projects.
With “Baby Boomers” at Roper, as well as throughout the nation’s workforce, planning to head off into retirement, companies now face a tough task. They hope that either they will find the skilled workforce they need from within their communities or provide their current staff with the next generation training needed to fill the gaps. “Our workforce is aging,” added Alan Lyles, Roper Corporation Maintenance Team Leader For Assembly. “There aren’t enough workers available that have the skill sets we need now and in the near future. So, with the help of this apprenticeship program, we’ve decided to train some of our own.” With more than 1,800 in its workforce, the Roper Corporation is Walker County, Georgia’s largest employer. This major component of G.E.’s Appliance Division is also one of the largest employers across the Tennessee Valley.
The shortage companies of all sizes are facing is what the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) calls the Labor Skills Gap. The bureau’s most recent numbers show that job openings have increased nationwide. However, at the same time, the number of new hires made by companies around the country has decreased. The percentage of skilled labor available in the U.S. has steadily decreased every year since 2010. That’s where the Georgia Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program steps in.
“With the shortage of people having the right skill sets in some industries, this is a great way for a company to hire beginning workers and equip them with what they’ll need to perform well,” said Dr. Mindy McCannon, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Vice President of Academic Affairs. “They’ll get the knowledge for their expertise from their coursework at the college. Then, they will get to apply what they’ve learned when they return to their company through the guidance of a journeyman. Apprenticeship is an idea that has been around for a long time. But now, it is getting renewed interest because of the skills gap we are facing.”
The Technical College System of Georgia, which GNTC is a unit of, is helping provide this occupation-related instruction to qualified candidates in Georgia’s workforce. “Georgia Northwestern has been a fantastic test pilot for the Registered Apprenticeship program,” said Sarah Henderson, Regional Apprenticeship Coordinator for Georgia WorkSmart. The program can also help employers recruit and target employees eligible for the program. Companies which take part can potentially have access to state and federal assistance towards the apprenticeship process for its workforce. And, for the apprentice, it means a guaranteed raise in pay with each pre-determined benchmark they surpass during the Registered Apprentice process.
When an apprentice completes the Registered Apprenticeship program, they receive assistance with their career in the future, as well. “When an apprentice completes a program, they will get a designation through the Georgia Department of Labor that says they are a registered apprentice,” added McCannon. “That recognition is looked highly upon across many industries. It shows that this person has acquired a certain level of knowledge and skill, as well as put those skill sets to work, successfully. A level that will assure employers that the apprentice has the right set of tools to perform well.”
The Georgia Department of Labor defines apprenticeship as a work-based training method that combines formal instruction with on-site, occupation-related training. Apprentices typically work 30-40 hours per week and receive classroom training through part-time attendance at technical colleges, universities, or approved training providers. Using the apprentice model can help businesses grow their own talent and build a motivated and qualified workforce. Employers use apprentice programs to recruit and train new employees and to upskill their current workforce.
“We are going to do everything we can to help Roper succeed,” said Pete McDonald, President of Georgia Northwestern Technical College. “This is a program that we believe will see a lot of growth in the future. We are hoping to expand this to more and more industries as we proceed.” For more information on the Registered Apprenticeship program, you can contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development at 404-962-4000.
For details on enrolling at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, or to ask questions about any of the more than 200 programs the college offers on-campus or online, call the college at 866-983-4682. If you are interested in applying to GNTC for fall semester, applications are due by July 24. You can also visit the college at GNTC.edu. Plus, the college’s Student Help Centers can help you with any question you have. Visit a Student Help Center on the Catoosa, Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, or Whitfield Murray Campuses Monday through Friday between 7:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. 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, 14,151 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,956 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,195 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. For additional information, you may also visit GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.
(Walker County, Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College and the Roper Corporation, a division of General Electric, officially entered into an agreement Friday afternoon to launch a “Registered Apprenticeship” program.
Through coordination with Georgia WorkSmart, the state’s apprenticeship program, both GNTC and Roper will begin training apprentices in the Mechatronics program.
What is Apprenticeship in Georgia? The Georgia.org website defines it as, “…a work-based training method that combines formal instruction with on-site, occupation-related training. Apprentices typically work 30-40 hours per week and receive classroom training through part-time attendance at technical colleges, universities or approved training providers. Using the apprentice model can help businesses grow their own talent and build a motivated and qualified workforce. Employers use apprentice programs to recruit and train new employees and to upskill their current workforce.”
Stay tuned for the full story next week on this new partnership between one of the region’s largest employers and the region’s largest college.
More than three dozen students from all six campuses of GNTC will strap on their helmets and compete at Georgia SkillsUSA next week in Atlanta, Georgia!
Good luck to all of our SkillsUSA competitors!
Revolution Begins At Home For GNTC Student, Kazakhstan native
(Northwest Georgia) – Nikita Kovalevskiy is half a planet away from his homeland, Kazakhstan. The world’s largest landlocked nation is home to more than 17 million people. That’s about 16,930,000 more people than where he now calls home: Walker County, Georgia. What’s more amazing is how this Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student ended up in the United States.
Today, “Nikita’s” homeland is under the microscope for everything from controversial religious laws to human rights violations. But since leaving the old Soviet republic, Nikita has spent the past eight years in a new land, more than 10,000 miles away from Auliekol, Kazakhstan, his birthplace. Major changes may be on the way in the old country, but this 26-year-old Industrial Electrician student at GNTC is making his own changes towards a better life right here in the Peach State.
For the past seven years, Nikita has worked for Shaw Industries Plant 67 in LaFayette, Georgia. Currently, Nikita is a machine operator for the flooring giant. And now, with several years under his belt with Shaw, he hopes to go after his next career within his plant. “I decided to enroll at the Catoosa County Campus in Ringgold,” said Nikita. “They have an Industrial Electrician certificate I want to earn. It will help me have a chance to advance. Whatever it takes to make things better, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The Catoosa County Campus of Georgia Northwestern opened its doors to students officially for the Fall 2016 semester. The Ringgold, Georgia site is the college’s sixth campus in operation in Northwest Georgia. The other campuses are located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield County, Georgia.
Industrial Systems Technology instructor Matthew Sosebee teaches the coursework for Nikita and all of those attending the Catoosa County Campus for work within the Industrial Systems Technology program. “Mr. Sosebee is a pretty good teacher,” said Nikita. “He is really good at explaining what we need to learn. If there is anything you don’t know about the material, he is really helpful and makes sure you understand.”
Understanding one another is what Nikita can vouch for, first-hand. “When we first met in Kazakhstan, I was trying to teach her Russian,” said Nikita of his California-native wife. “She was there working with the Peace Corps when we first met. I was just 19 at the time. But, we became good friends and got to know each other.”
In 2009, he made the decision to pack his things and head to a new place. One that would ultimately give him a new lease on life. It would be in LaFayette, Georgia that Nikita and Chelsea would become husband and wife. The two would begin their young family in 2013 when their son, Nikolai, was born. Then, their daughter, Anna, came along two years later.
Nikita was still a toddler himself when Kazakhstan declared its independence from the now disbanded Soviet Union. As a youngster who grew up just a couple of hours from Russia, Nikita and his friends had plenty of dreams.
“I remember wanting to play professional basketball when I grew up,” said Nikita. “Your dreams change as you get older. I’m looking forward to what’s next after I finish college. But, I do miss some things from back home from time to time.”
Among the things he misses, Nikita says one of his mother’s recipes is near the top of the list. Among the dishes he listed was his mother’s Shashlik. The closest relative to it on the American Menu is a Shish Kebab; a skewer of grilled lamb, pork, or beef. Nikita still speaks with his family back home a couple of times each week.
Not so long ago, this 20-something father of two had once hoped for an opportunity just like the one he has in front of him today. One that would allow him to make his mark in the world.
From one young Peace Corps worker learning the language of her future husband, to an industrial technology instructor making sure a student from overseas is prepared better than ever for his future, Nikita Kovalevksiy and his family truly “understand” what it takes to make a dream come true.
For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Industrial Systems Technology program, 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.
Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates 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.
Lieutenant Governor, NW Georgia Leaders Discuss Preparing Workforce, Growing Business
(Calhoun, Georgia) – Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle is spending his second of two days in Northwest Georgia at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus. With several hundred of Northwest Georgia’s industry and education leaders joining in, Cagle is helping lead the conversation on the region’s future in the Ninth Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Business and Education Summit.
Key decision makers in economic development, community partnerships, and leadership in the region are actively taking part in getting a first-hand look at the current state of Northwest Georgia’s ability to train the future workforce and sustain and grow Georgia business in the future. Cagle, as well as the executives leading area industries, are looking for ways to keep Georgia’s workforce market-ready to handle the ever-changing needs of the economy.
Monday, day one of the summit, was a field day of sorts. Morning tours were led through plants at Shaw Industries in Ringgold, Mohawk Industries in Dalton, and Anheuser-Busch in Cartersville.
Summit participants spent the afternoon at the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy in Calhoun. Business and economic leaders discussed the state’s growth and the impact on the communities, the power of apprenticeship programs that international companies in Georgia are utilizing, and the benefit of community relationships in the classroom, as well as innovation and a new way of thinking in teaching the future workforce.
Tuesday, day two of the summit, focused on innovative leadership both in the workplace and the classroom. Leaders of the area’s top industries, as well as the Technical College System of Georgia, GNTC, and the region’s college and career academies, spoke about what’s being done today to help improve Georgia’s 21st century workforce tomorrow.
All six of Northwest Georgia’s College and Career Academies, as well as GNTC, donated time and resources to help make the summit possible. For more information about GNTC, you can call 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on their 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.
Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates 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 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.