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GNTC holds Special Reception to Celebrate Success in SkillsUSA and Phi Beta Lambda Competitions

Ashley Davenport
Ashley Davenport will compete in the Cosmetology contest in the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky.


(Calhoun, Georgia)A special reception was held recently at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) to honor and congratulate students that participated in SkillsUSA and Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda statewide competitions in 2017 and are eligible to compete at the national level this summer.


The program was held at the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun and also recognized faculty and staff that provide support and mentorship for SkillsUSA and Phi Beta Lambda.


Georgia Northwestern students competed against students from other colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia at the SkillsUSA statewide competition in Atlanta on March 23-25. The competition allowed students to take the skills, knowledge, and experience that they have gained in their program of study and apply it to a real-world project based on industry standards.


“SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical, and professional skills training,” said Heidi Popham, executive vice president of Institutional Effectiveness at GNTC. 


The national SkillsUSA competition will take place, June 19-24, in Louisville, Kentucky. GNTC students that will compete in the national competition are: Branton Bailey (Cabinetmaking); Beck Maxwell, Melvin Mitchell, and Dusty Powell (Career Pathways Industrial); Melisa Fajardo, Kate Hendricks, and Brandy LeVan (Chapter Display); Ashley Davenport (Cosmetology); Eric Vargas (Electrical Construction Wiring); Stone Dowling (Information Service Technology); Barry Arrington, Bo Dooley, Shawn Clark, and Noah Wilson (Teamworks); Ryan Fincher (Welding); and Daniel Lopez, Isaiah Jackson, and Jacob Hargrove (Welding Fabrication).


Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) is the largest career student organization in the world. Each year, FBLA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business. The PBL National Awards program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas.


Georgia Northwestern students attended the state PBL conference in Atlanta, April 7-9, and received 19 state awards. All entries at the state competition that placed first or second in performance events, as well as all entries that placed first, second, or third in written events, are eligible for competition at the National Leadership Conference this summer.


Students that will compete in the 2017 National Leadership Conference, June 22-28, in Anaheim, California are: Ronal Bueso and Jonathan Herrera (Business Sustainability, Team Event); Selena Spivey (Computer Animation); Elisabeth Harp and Amanda Teeters (Desktop Publishing, Team Event); Miguel Ramirez (Management Concepts); Nicholas Post, Cage Gary, and Brett Notabartolo (Management Analysis and Decision Making, Team Event); Cage Gary and Brett Notabartolo (Marketing Analysis and Decision Making, Team Event); Elisabeth Harp (Networking Concepts); Allie Long (Organizational Leadership); and Corey Carlile (Small Business Management Plan).


Miguel Ramirez was also named GNTC’s 2017 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner for 2017 and Corey Carlile was the 2016 GOAL winner at GNTC.


Additional Medalists from the statewide SkillsUSA competition include Chris Ballew, Kelsey Mann, Lindsey Thomas, Kelsey Stanley, and Philip English. Other students that placed in the top five of the State PBL conference include Melisa Fajardo, Meagan Casker, Jalen Hamilton, and Cynthia Kirk.


There also was a special recognition for GNTC faculty and staff and others that provide mentorship and support to students that participate in SkillsUSA and PBL.


The Chapter Excellence Program honors chapter achievement relative to SkillsUSA’s framework of developing personal, workplace, and technical skills. GNTC faculty that were recognized as a Chapter of Distinction included: Susan Bowman, Joe Burrage, Scott Carter, Jeremiah Cooper, Wayne Henderson, Logan Hendricks, Donny Holmes, Troy Peco, Susan Stephens, Jennifer Stephenson, Sharon Vaughn, and Anna Williams.


Rocky Spurlock and Dwight Watt provided additional guidance to students in the SkillsUSA competition. Jeremiah Cooper was also named GNTC’s Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for 2017.


The President’s Service Award, which included a letter from the president of the U.S., was given to individuals, families, and groups who have volunteered their time to SkillsUSA and document the hours served. With over 800 hours documented, the following recipients were recognized: Melisa Fajardo, Elisabeth Harp, Kate Hendricks, Brandy LeVan, Logan Hendricks, Selena Spivey, and Amanda Teeters.


Susan Bowman and Missy McLain served as GNTC’s primary SkillsUSA advisors.


GNTC faculty that helped prepare students in their field of study for the Phi Beta Lambda competition include: Graceful Beam, Beverly Fritts, Leyner Argueta, Mark Upton, Doug Cooper, Gerald McFry, and Ron Vick.


PBL advisors that meet, assist, and travel with students include: Brittny Burns, Patty Hart, Rhys Turner, Mark Upton, and Dione Waddington.


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 more information about GNTC, visit us at or contact a Student Help Center on any one of our six campus locations at 866-983-4682.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Georgia Northwestern Prepping For March Madness

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s 2016 SkillsUSA TeamWorks members Bo Dooley, left, returns for a chance to take home the national title in 2017. Also shown in this picture from the 2016 state competition in Atlanta, Georgia is 2016 team member Burt Burns. In the background, from left, is Tanner Boyd and Barry Arrington. Arrington will also be returning for the 2017 competitions.”


SkillsUSA 2017 To Showcase Bobcat Professional
Skills Teams In Atlanta, GA
(Northwest Georgia) – The post-season is officially underway as schools across Georgia get ready to showcase the state’s top programs. One Peach State college that saw its run for a national championship fall short in 2016, hopes to bring home the hardware in 2017.
More than three dozen students from all six campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will strap on their helmets and compete for the title “Number One In Georgia” in just five weeks. A capacity crowd is expected at the Georgia International Conference Center as Bobcat teams will be competing at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference March 23-25 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Although “March Madness” is a phrase most basketball enthusiasts are familiar with this time of year, the catchy nickname definitely applies to the third weekend in March.  “We have 41 students competing in 25 professional skill categories,” said Missy McLain, GNTC SkillsUSA Coordinator. “We hope to see even more national qualifiers this time around.”

After taking top honors in the TeamWorks category at the state competition last year, GNTC’s TeamWorks crew placed third at the national event in Louisville, Kentucky. Well, the Bobcats will be sending another team in that category, as well as 24 other areas of expertise to the state competition next month.
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. Barry Arrington and Bo Dooley, members of the 2016 team that placed nationally, will be on the team once again setting its sights for the 2017 crown.
This year’s qualifying teams from GNTC are as follows: James Garrett (Aragon, GA) in Auto Refinishing Technology; Philip English (Flintstone, GA) in Automotive Service Technology; Branton Bailey (Resaca, GA) in Cabinetmaking; Beck Maxwell (Euharlee, GA), Melvin Mitchell (Cartersville), and Dusty Powell (Aragon, GA) in Career Pathways in Industrial and Engineering Technology; Melisa Fajardo (Dalton, GA), Brandy LeVan (Rock Spring, GA), and Kate Hendricks (Rock Spring, GA) in Chapter Display; Dakota Maddox (Calhoun, GA) in Collision Repair Technology; Ashley Davenport (Rome, GA) in Cosmetology; Kelsey Stanley (Dalton, GA) in Customer Service; Wendy Neighbors (Ringgold, GA) in Early Childhood Education; Eric Vargas (Rome, GA) in Electrical Construction Wiring; Kevin Long (Rossville, GA) in First Aid/CPR; Savannah Almond (Cedartown, GA), Tevannah Johnson (Rome, GA), Kimberly Kelly (Lindale, GA), and Tiffany Mascote (Cedartown, GA) in the Health Knowledge Bowl; Bryan Shirley (Rome, GA) in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning; Chris Ballew (Buchanan, GA) in Industrial Motor Controls; Stone Dowling (LaFayette, GA) Information Technology Systems; Bryan Tapia (Rome, GA) in Job Interview; Amanda Teeters (Chickamauga, GA) in Job Skill Demonstration “A”; Selena Spivey (Dalton, GA) in Job Skill Demonstration Open; Kelsey Mann (Rome, GA), Brittany Orr (Rome, GA), and Ned Sanders (LaFayette, GA) in Medical Mathematics; Lindsey Thomas (Rome, GA) and Faith Trammell (Rome, GA) in Medical Terminology; Jalen Hamilton (Rome, GA) in Prepared Speech; Noah Wilson (Fairmount, GA), Barry Arrington (Calhoun, GA), Shawn Clark (Calhoun, GA), and Bo Dooley (Resaca, GA) in TeamWorks; Elisabeth Harp (Calhoun, GA) and Geovani Ramirez (Dalton, GA) in Technical Computer Applications; Ryan Fincher (Cedartown, GA) in Welding; and Jacob Hargrove (Ringgold, GA), Isaiah Jackson (Dalton, GA) and Daniel Lopez (Dalton, GA) in Welding Fabrication.

Those earning top honors on the state level will earn a spot in the national competition at the 53rd National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky the week of June 19-23. SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit student organization that has developed more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers, educators, and industry leaders. SkillsUSA programs include local, state and national competitions in which students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. At the annual SkillsUSA National Championships, nearly 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas.
For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s SkillsUSA program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at, 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.




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