GNTC Celebrates Skilled Trades During Industrial Career Day

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Approximately 800 regional high school students and members of the community had a chance to speak with representatives of Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) industrial programs, employers and former GNTC students about the benefits of learning a skilled trade during Industrial Career Day on Friday, Sept. 13.

The day was held to expose students to the many possibilities for future employment in the skilled workforce.

The featured guest speaker for Industrial Career Day was Josh Bone, a renowned professional speaker in the construction industry. Bone has been implementing, training and presenting construction technology solutions to AEC&O (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners) professionals for more than two decades.

Bones presentation emphasized the use of advanced technology in today’s construction workforce and how drones, augmented reality and other advanced technological devices have become ubiquitous in the construction industry.

“Drones are a profession on their own in the world of construction,” said Bone. “If we want to go out and inspect a ridge we are not going to do it in the traditional way where we had people hang out on the side of the ridge.”

“We have dedicated drone pilots just for the world of construction doing work every single day,” continued Bone.

Alison Castro (left) of Armuchee High School watches a demonstration being led by Steven Price (right), a Precision Machining and Manufacturing student at GNTC.
Alison Castro (left) of Armuchee High School watches a demonstration being led by Steven Price (right), a Precision Machining and Manufacturing student at GNTC.

Students from Trion High School, the Floyd County College and Career Acedemy, Rome High School, Chattooga High School, Dalton High School, Sonoraville High School, North Cobb High School, Cedartown High School, Rome Transitional Academy and Phoenix Learning Center, Unity High School, Rockmart High School, LaFayette High School, homeschooled students and more attended the event.

The activities took place at Industrial Alley on GNTC’s Floyd County Campus (FCC). The alley is located adjacent to Buildings B, C, D and F which contain a majority of the college’s industrial programs. This provided a centralized location with access to most of the industrial labs on the Rome campus. Additional Industrial programs from other GNTC campuses, and other locations on the FCC campus, set up booths in the alley with activities and demonstrations relevant to their programs.  

Industrial program directors were on-hand to discuss their programs and provide tours of their labs. There were demonstrations, simulators, and hands-on learning activities for the industrial programs offered by GNTC. Local employers and former students also spoke with participants about the benefits of learning a skilled trade.

GNTC alumnus and SkillsUSA World Team Welder Ryan Fincher of Cedartown visited the welding lab during Industrial Career Day to speak with students. Fincher recently won the Medallion for Excellence at the 2019 WorldSkills Welding Competition – a prestigious international competition in Kazan, Russia.

WorldSkills Kazan 2019 took place Aug. 22-27 and brought together 1,354 competitors from 63 countries and regions. Fincher placed sixth overall out of the 38 countries and regions that competed in the welding competition.

Some of the industrial activities included a small car show hosted by the Auto Collision program, a Dynamometer (DYNO) demonstration presented by the Automotive Technology program, the 1955 DeSoto Fireflite used in The Great Race presented by the Automotive Technology program, a hammer and nail competition hosted by the Construction Management program, a tractor-trailer provided by the Commercial Truck Driving program, a welding simulator provided by the Welding and Joining Technology program and the Precision Machining and Manufacturing Technology program provided a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) demonstration.

Featured GNTC industrial programs included Air Conditioning Technology, Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Commercial Truck Driving, Construction Management, Cosmetology, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Systems Technology, Horticulture, Industrial Systems Technology, Instrumentation and Controls, Precision Machining and Manufacturing and Welding and Joining Technology.

As part of the day’s activities, one of the qualifying rounds for the 2019 IDEAL National Championship took place in the electrical lab. The competition was a way to showcase the skills of electrical professionals, students and apprentices.

Winners with the fastest times from each of the territories holding qualifying events are awarded tool kits and the opportunity to compete in the 2019 IDEAL National Championship. The national competition will be held Nov. 7-9 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. and over $500,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

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.

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