GNTC students get dressed for success

Over 65 Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students, faculty, staff and their families showed up to the J.C. Penny Suit-Up event on Sunday night at the Mount Berry Square Mall in Rome where they had the opportunity to shop for career apparel for a discounted price.

For three hours the department store opened its doors exclusively to GNTC families with discounts on dress clothes as high as 60% off as well as extra coupons at the door. The event was organized by Trish Wiggins, coordinator of recruitment and student life and Larry Blanchard, strengthening institutions program coordinator, who wanted to do something different and useful for the students, faculty and staff of the college.

“This is something J.C. Penny does for other large colleges,” Blanchard said. “We figured since GNTC is so career oriented, having an event like this would be beneficial to our students.”

Larry Blanchard (left), strengthening institutions program coordinator, hands Daisy Reyes (right), a GNTC student working on an associate degree in Medical Assisting, a J.C. Penny gift card during the college’s Suit-Up event Saturday evening. Legare Price, director, enrollment services, watches after making the announcement Reyes had won a prize.
Larry Blanchard (left), strengthening institutions program coordinator, hands Daisy Reyes (right), a GNTC student working on an associate degree in Medical Assisting, a J.C. Penny gift card during the college’s Suit-Up event Saturday evening. Legare Price, director, enrollment services, watches after making the announcement Reyes had won a prize.

GNTC student Aimee Dean, who is working on her surgical technology degree, shopped for dresses with Andrea Dean, a GNTC graduate now working as a bookkeeper, said the deals Sunday night were amazing. Dean, along with her fellow students, had a chance to win gift cards and other prizes every 30-mintes during the event.

Jim Moore, an English instructor on the Walker County Campus, said he has seen other colleges do suit-up events and wanted one closer to his home in Floyd County. Moore was getting fitted for a suit courtesy of J.C. Penny staff who were giving free measurements for suit jackets and dress shirts during the event.

On top of trying to dress students for success, Wiggins said the event is also a part of the effort to expand student life onto GNTC campuses. Most students work full-time or have families she said. They come and go based on their schedule so the college is trying to give them a way to connect with each other.

“It is important to have these activities where students can come and hang out,” Wiggins said. “We want them to enjoy being in school.” 

GNTC will hold another Suit-Up event in the Spring at Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga to accommodate its Northern campuses. All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the spring event as well.

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. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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