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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.

SkillsUSA Qualifier At GNTC Sends 48 To State

The Best of NW Georgia High School Specialists Headed To Atlanta

 

Two men working with tools and wood in an outside location.
“Carpentry contestants competing in the High School SkillsUSA regional qualifier held at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Walker County Campus on November 30.”

 

 

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Twenty-eight high schools from across Northwest Georgia competed in the SkillsUSA Region 1 Qualifying Competition hosted by Georgia Northwestern Technical College November 30. Hundreds of competitors represented their schools hoping to qualify for SkillsUSA Georgia being held in Atlanta next March.

 

Contestants placing first or second in their respective categories at the regional event earned a spot in the state competition in 2019. High-school contestants competed in 25 different professional skill categories on the Walker County Campus of GNTC Rock Spring, Georgia.

 

The students who placed at the qualifier are as follows:

Advertising Design

1st Place           Alexandra Almour       Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School

2nd Place          Hannah Alexander       Heritage High School

3rd Place           Stone Nicholson          Gordon Central High School

 

Architectural Drafting

1st Place           Norma Solis                 Gilmer High School

2nd Place          Jakob Liggins               Pepperell High School

3rd Place           Tristan Alverson           Heritage High School

 

Automotive Refinishing                 

1st Place           Hunter Forsyth             Cedartown High School

 

Automotive Service Technology

1st Place           Caleb Batcliff                Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

2nd Place          Andrew Hollis             Cedartown High School

3rd Place           Jesse Taff                     Rockmart High School

 

Cabinetmaking

1st Place           Spencer Youngblood Cedartown High School

2nd Place          Dalton Bray                   Chattooga High School

3rd Place           Banks Hathcox             Calhoun High School

 

Carpentry

1st Place           Forrest Todd               Gilmer High School

2nd Place          Emmanual Cornejo       Cedartown High School

3rd Place           Jonathan Pearson         Model High School

 

Collision Repair Technology

1st Place           Piper Ramirez               Rockmart High School

2nd Place          Austin Ledbetter          Cherokee High School

3rd Place           Johnny Angle              Cedartown High School

 

Cosmetology

1st Place           Faith Jenkins                 Cass High School

2nd Place          Harmony Shaw            Cedartown High School

3rd Place           Jessica Forsyth             Adairsville High School

 

Early Childhood Education

1st Place           Jada McGill                  Model High School

2nd Place          Kaitlin Bostick               Coosa High School

3rd Place           Aspen Burton              Murray County High School

 

Electrical Construction Wiring

1st Place           Cody McNeese           Gordon Central High School

2nd Place          Steven Vargas              Coosa High School

3rd Place           Logan Cundiff              Chattooga High School

 

Esthetics

1st Place           Estefania Segura           Cass High School

2nd Place          Reagan Brown              North Murray High School

3rd Place           Sandra Daniel              Cedartown High School

 

Extemporaneous Speaking

1st Place           Sasha Melbourne         Cherokee High School

2nd Place          Kendell Arnold             Cass High School

3rd Place           Clara Smith                   Gilmer High School

 

First Aid/CPR

1st Place           Emilie Leyssens             Dalton High School

2nd Place          Courtney Burchfield     Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

3rd Place           Ethan Lester                 Cedartown High School

 

Graphic Communications

1st Place           Taylor Harris                 Armuchee High School

 

Job Interview

1st Place           Emma Long                  Pickens High School

2nd Place          Savannah Martin           Cass High School

3rd Place           Lincoln Puryear Murray High School

 

Job Skills Demonstration A

1st Place           Payton Goodson         Rockmart High School

2nd Place          Skyler Nold                  Pickens High School

3rd Place           Luke Crump                 Gilmer High School

 

Job Skills Demonstration Open

1st Place           Joe Huynh                   Dalton High School

2nd Place          Philena Lewis               Woodland High School

3rd Place           Alexander Duncan      LaFayette High School

 

Masonry

1st Place           Kevin Fraire                   Gordon High School

2nd Place          Devon Bishop              Chattooga High School

3rd Place           Seth Reed                    Ringgold High School

 

Pin Design

1st Place           Logan Drake                 Creekview High School

2nd Place          Ellen Tyrell                    Heritage High School

3rd Place           Sisly Mann                    North Murray High School

 

Plumbing

1st Place           Conner Bennett            Adairsville High School

2nd Place          Oliver Nolasco             Rockmart High School

3rd Place           Cole Ray                      Cedartown High School

 

Prepared Speech

1st Place           Emely Perez                 North Murray County High School

2nd Place          Evan Holder                 Cedartown High School

3rd Place           Diane Nave                  LaFayette High School

 

Quiz Bowl    

1st Place           Floyd County College & Career Academy

2nd Place          Cherokee High School

3rd Place           Coosa High School

 

 

 

Technical Drafting

1st Place           Matthew Funderburk   Heritage High School

2nd Place          Zach Garrett                 Pepperell High School

 

T-Shirt Design

1st Place           Lanie Roland                Cherokee High School

2nd Place          Byranna Darnell             Gordon Central High School

3rd Place           Elijah Pehison               Heritage High School

 

Welding

1st Place           Tucker Mobbs             Cedartown High School

2nd Place          Sage Owings               Chattooga High School

3rd Place           Dakota Roper               Coosa High School

 

 

“The competitions went very well this year,” said GNTC SkillsUSA Advisor Missy McClain. “The talent was exceptional this time around and our high schools in Northwest Georgia will be well represented. 2019 should be a very good year for our area.”

 

GNTC is known for its prowess on the national stage of SkillsUSA at the collegiate level. This past summer, GNTC sent 17 national qualifiers to the 2018 SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Kentucky in June. Seven of those finished in the top 10 in the nation. In 2017, GNTC’s Ryan Fincher of Cedartown, Georgia won the national championship in the category.

 

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.

Georgia Northwestern Student Leading The Way For Georgia’s Next Workforce

Matthews Making Strides in Construction Management, Storms Pave Way To Career

 

Two women in red coats and dress slacks standing against a tan colored wall.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College SkillsUSA Advisor Missy McClain, left, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Julianna Matthews stand outside the offices of U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop (GA) during the 2018 SkillsUSA Leadership Training Institute in Washington, D.C.”

 

 

(Northwest Georgia) – One of the top representatives of Georgia’s next Workforce is a student of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Construction Management programs. The online educational offering is the only one of its kind in the state. Now, Julianna Matthews is getting training in the management side of construction from GNTC.
As the President of Georgia’s SkillsUSA Post-Secondary chapter, Matthews was invited to attend the SkillsUSA Leadership Training Institute in Washington, D.C. during the week of September 22. Matthews was one of only two collegiate SkillsUSA members nationwide to win a Robert Flint Student Leadership Development Scholarship to help pay for the trip to our nation’s capital.

 

Matthews is neither GNTC’s first winner of the Flint Scholarship, nor is she GNTC’s first state officer to represent Georgia on the national level. GNTC’s Brandy LeVan of Catoosa County, Georgia served as Secretary of the very same Georgia SkillsUSA Post-Secondary chapter in 2017-18.

 

The Leadership Training event taught Matthews everything from the congressional process involved with lawmaking to learning how to make sure the right messages are heard about technical trades and workforce issues on a local, state, and national level. This year-long journey from college to capital began with a 36-year-old woman’s desire to work in carpentry and construction; a desire born out of disaster.

 

It was just over a year ago when the mother of two uncovered her career path after deadly storms turned Southwest Georgia upside down. “Neighborhoods were destroyed, trees fell through roofs, and so many families lost everything,” recalls the Leesburg, Georgia resident. “Certain neighborhoods were so damaged they were unrecognizable after the storms passed. I began working with a contractor at that time. It was that work which really helped me find my passion.

 

Matthews would soon enroll in Albany Technical College in Albany, Georgia. She recently completed her Carpentry diploma at the Technical College System of Georgia school. However, it was this past summer when Matthews would meet GNTC Director of Construction Management Donny Holmes. “He (Holmes) was leading one of our Georgia teams at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky,” said Matthews. “After getting to know more about him, his program, and his dedication to his students, I made the decision to pursue the online Construction Management Associate’s Degree from GNTC.”

 

Matthews and her daughters, Kayla, 17, and Aniyah, 13, are now all excelling in education. Kayla is an academic honors student at Lee County High School and Aniyah’s academic testing scores sit at the top of her class at Lee Middle School East Campus where she also serves in leadership roles. “I’m still researching where the best place to plant roots in Georgia would be,” said Matthews. “I’m not only looking for a dedicated company that will utilize the skill sets and passion I bring to the table, but I’m also looking for a place that the three of us can truly call home.”

 

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.

GNTC’s Matthews In Washington, Wins Leadership Development Scholarship

DnvLAAqU0AASQRW.jpg

SkillsUSA Georgia Post-Secondary State President Julianna Matthews from GeorgiaNTC received the Robert Flint Student Leadership Development Scholarship at the Washington Leadership Training Institute this week! She is a student in the Online Construction Management Program at GNTC.
Congratulations, Juilanna! Thanks for doing a great job representing us!
#skillsusagaps

Bobcat SkillsUSA Teams Lead Way At Nationals

Georgia Northwestern’s Fincher wins college’s first national gold, two more medal in Louisville

 

GNTC's Ryan Fincher Winning Gold At Nationals
“Cedartown, Georgia’s Ryan Fincher becomes Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s first-ever national champion in the 2017 SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Fincher, shown third from the left, poses alongside his other Top-10 finishers on the medal stage in Louisville, Kentucky. Fincher is a three-time Georgia SkillsUSA champion, twice on the high school level and once on the collegiate level.”

 

 

(Northwest Georgia) – After the dust settled on a competition floor large enough to house more than 15 football fields, the students of Georgia Northwestern Technical College would find themselves among the best in the nation at the 2017 Nationals SkillsUSA Competition. More than 6,000 students qualified in their home states to compete at the national competition this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. But when the competitions would close on more than 100 professional skills categories, it would be the Bobcats standing near the top of the next generation workforce.

Leading the way and standing tall atop the medal platform for Georgia Northwestern Nationals SkillsUSA Team was Cedartown, Georgia’s Ryan Fincher. The 2017 Georgia SkillsUSA Welding Champion became GNTC’s first-ever national champion. Fincher, a product of GNTC’s Welding Technology program, is no stranger to the national stage, though. In his junior and senior year at Cedartown High School, Fincher was a two-time state champion in welding at the Georgia SkillsUSA Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Also, placing nationally for GNTC were Bobcat teams in the Chapter Display and Career Pathways categories. Taking home the bronze in Chapter Display was the GNTC team of Brandy LeVan (Rock Spring, Georgia), Melisa Fajardo (Dalton, Georgia), and Kate Hendricks (Rock Spring, Georgia.) Another Bobcat crew also grabbing a third place finish at nationals was the college’s Career Pathways team. Beck Maxwell (Euharlee, Georgia), Melvin Mitchell (Cartersville, Georgia), and Dusty Powell (Aragon, Georgia) made up the bronze medal entry from GNTC.

GNTC’s total medal count (7) from the national competition was among the tops from qualifiers in the Peach State. The college, along with other teams from the Technical College System of Georgia, qualified 111 contestants for slots in Louisville. In all, Georgia Technical College entries brought home a total of 53 medals: 24 gold, 12 silver, and 17 bronze. The lofty medal count made Georgia the winningest state in this year’s skills competition.

As for other great performances from the Bobcat contingency, enter Ashley Davenport (Rome, Georgia). Davenport would finish fifth in the nation in the Cosmetology category. Only 37 points out of a possible 1,000 points separated Davenport (952.67) from the top spot. Davenport finished second at the state level of SkillsUSA in March, therefore, she did not originally qualify for a trip to the national competition. However, just one week before the competition, Davenport was told that the state’s winner was unable to take part in nationals and she would be taking the spot.

Also making his presence known was Branton Bailey (Resaca, Georgia). Bailey would take home a top-10 finish claiming eighth place in the nation in Cabinetmaking. Only 67 points out of a possible 1,000 points separated Bailey (921.5) from the title. Both Bailey and Davenport, along with nine others from Georgia Northwestern, earned enough points to qualify for gold medal consideration. Those entrants receive a “Skills Points Certificate” to recognize their high-level of performance. Among those entrants from GNTC were top finishers Fincher, LeVan, Fajardo, and Hendricks; as well as Electrical Construction Wiring entry Eric Vargas (Rome, Georgia); and TeamWorks entry competitors Barry Arrington (Calhoun, Georgia), Bo Dooley (Resaca, Georgia), Shawn Clark (Calhoun, Georgia), and Noah Wilson (Fairmount, Georgia). This is only the college’s second time competing in the TeamWorks category. Last year, the team took home the bronze for the third best performance in the nation in the construction-based classification. Arrington and Dooley made repeat appearances from the 2016 squad.

Additionally, Georgia Northwestern Technical College received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Families and Groups. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States. It recognizes the best in American spirit and encourages all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation. In March, the college chapter was awarded Georgia SkillsUSA’s highest honor, the Chapter of Distinction award. GNTC SkillsUSA Advisor Missy McClain, along with the instructors of the college, helps organize the events and train the contestants for each year’s team beginning every winter.

Winners in each category of the competition take home prize packages that complement their chosen vocation. Fincher took home thousands of dollars in tools and equipment for his first place finish in Louisville. “It’s just a great opportunity for this next generation of skilled worker,” said Scott Carter, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Electrical Systems Technology Instructor. “Our college really performed excellent. But it’s about more than the competition itself. One of our students heard that industry recruiters at this event will sometimes make job offers to specific contestants they would like to hire.  Before the event, the student said he was moving to Bakersfield, California this fall and didn’t want to take any new jobs right now. Then, one company rep approached him during the competition to offer a job. He told the rep he was moving to California soon. The rep asked him if he would be moving anywhere near Bakersfield because that’s where I was going to offer you a job!”
Each year, the National SkillsUSA Competition takes place during the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. Now, in its 53rd year, the competition saw more than 6,000 high school and collegiate qualifiers compete in front of nearly 1,500 judges 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 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.

SkillsUSA National Qualifying Teams On The Contest Floor In Louisville LIVE!

Rome Home Builders Association Honors GNTC Construction Management Students

(Rome, Georgia) – The Rome Home Builders Association recently honored Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Construction Management students that won gold medals in the statewide SkillsUSA competition in March and will move on to compete in the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 19-23.

 

The five students that were recognized won first place in the TeamWorks and Cabinetmaking contests in SkillsUSA Georgia and are currently pursuing their associate degrees in Construction Management.

 

In the TeamWorks competition, a team of four students are required to build a construction project. The team has to build a little structure and utilize carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and electrical skills that demonstrate their ability to work as a team.

 

Last year’s TeamWorks squad won the gold medal in the statewide SkillsUSA competition in 2016 and went on to place third in the national competition. It was the first year GNTC competed in the TeamWorks category. Two students from last year’s team returned to compete this year.

 

“We set the standard last year, so if we didn’t win the gold medal at Atlanta this year it would’ve been disappointing,” said Barry Arrington of Calhoun, GNTC TeamWorks member.

 

TeamWorks Group Picture
Bo Dooley of Calhoun, GNTC TeamWorks member; Thurmon Morris, president of the Rome Home Builders Association; Barry Arrington of Calhoun, GNTC TeamWorks member; Shawn Clark of Dalton, GNTC TeamWorks member; Donny Holmes, director of GNTC’s Construction Management program and Residential Energy Efficiency Technology program; and Jason Gamel, director of the Foundation at GNTC pose for a picture after the RHBA meeting.

 

All five students were presented with a check for $100 by the Rome Home Builders Association. Students that were recognized included Barry Arrington, Shawn Clark, Bo Dooley, and Noah Wilson (TeamWorks); and Branton Bailey (Cabinetmaking).

 

Also announced during the meeting, the RHBA is going to start a scholarship for GNTC students working towards the completion of a degree or diploma in a construction-related program on the Floyd, Gordon, or Polk campuses.

 

Chartered in 1956, the Rome Home Builders Association is comprised of local members of the building industry and its affiliates. The Association serves as the voice of the building industry to provide affordable, quality housing and home ownership by supporting our members and the community.

 

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 GNTC.edu 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.

American Dream, Passion at Foundation of Local SkillsUSA National Qualifier

Whitfield County, GA welder to compete against best in nation

 

(Whitfield County, Georgia)  Wearing his American Flag bandana, 21-year-old Daniel Lopez looks up from his latest project on the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Whitfield Murray Campus (WMC) for a quick picture. But trying to sum up his life in a snapshot would be impossible. Although you wouldn’t call him your typical blue-collar worker, you may say Lopez already has a degree in hard work.

Of course, he comes by it honestly.

Daniel Lopez - Welding - SkillsUSA
“Whitfield Murray Campus welding technology student Daniel Lopez of Dalton, Georgia dons his American Flag bandana as he takes a look at a project being completed in the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Welding Technology lab. Lopez is part of a three-person welding fabrication team which has qualified to compete against some of the best young welders in the nation this summer.”

Less than two months from his trip to compete against some of the best welders in America at the National SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky, the Dalton, Georgia native’s story starts more than 20 years ago when his parents moved from Mexico hoping for a great life in the states. It would be their first-born that would really help make their dreams a reality.

The oldest child of Maria and Dionisio Lopez, Daniel is the first person in his family to go to college. However, working a full-time job Friday through Sunday at Dalton, Georgia’s Tandus Centiva and then part-time hours with Rossville, Georgia’s Warrior Guitars, Lopez is truly putting his blue-collar roots and servant’s heart to work every day of the week.

“I am a lot like my parents. My mom does in-home care for special needs kids and my dad is a maintenance man. They have good hearts and just work hard,” proudly stated Lopez. “Twelve-hour shifts at the plant and working extra hours whenever they (Warrior Guitars) need is a lot. But I like it. It’s worth it.” Lopez is an hourly employee at Tandus Centiva and helps make guitar bodies for the Walker County, Georgia music business in his spare time.

Spare time is not something this Southeast Whitfield alum has a lot of these days, though. You can blame that on his success.

Lopez, along with fellow Dalton, Georgia resident Isaiah Jackson, and Ringgold, Georgia resident Jacob Hargrove are scheduled to travel to the SkillsUSA National Competition June 19-23. These three comprise the college’s Welding Fabrication team; the event in which they took home top honors on the state level in March to help them earn the national bid.

“This is the first GNTC welding team headed to the national level to have someone from the Whitfield Murray Campus,” said GNTC Welding Instructor Wayne Henderson. “Just knowing Daniel and his work ethic, it doesn’t surprise me that he’d be a part of something like this. He’s meant for something big.”

Before Lopez won a Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation scholarship to attend the WMC in 2014, he previously caught the eye of SkillsUSA judges while competing on the high school level down in Raider country. As a Southeast Whitfield High School competitor, Lopez placed second in the state in a woodworking category. “I love working with wood, too,” said Lopez. “First thing I ever made was a wooden trailer for a remote-controlled car I owned. I wanted it to have a trailer and I couldn’t find one anywhere that anyone sold. So, I made my own.”

Lopez is now building a career for himself as he anticipates completing his Welding Technology diploma by the end of 2017. With younger siblings still in school and looking up to him, Lopez has no plans on slowing down now. “I have my own dreams,” said Lopez. “I’m just glad I’m getting a chance to make them happen. Just thankful for getting the chance to compete this June. I just want to be able to show what I can do.”

SkillsUSA is a national, non-profit 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 Championship, nearly 6,000 students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas.

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 GNTC.edu or contact a Student Help Center on any one of our six campus locations at 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 and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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