GNTC unveils Shaw Industries Automation Engineering Lab

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) is proud to announce its partnership with Shaw Industries through the company’s recent sponsorship of the Automation Engineering Technology lab on the Whitfield Murray Campus (WMC) in Dalton.

The Shaw Industries Automation Engineering Lab will give GNTC students hands-on experience with the same equipment used daily by automation engineers and other professionals in the fields of advanced manufacturing and industrial production.

“The Automation Engineering program prepares students to design, implement and troubleshoot various automated industrial processes,” said Brian Cooksey, director of Workforce Development at Shaw Industries. “Earning a degree in Automation Engineering will provide a well-rounded skill set for individuals to equip them for success in advanced manufacturing.”

The demand for these roles is high, Cooksey added. “This program further provides existing technicians who already work in the manufacturing industry with opportunities to advance their skills and grow their careers.” 

Front row, from left to right: Deanna Mathis, Shaw director of Corporate Outreach; Emily Lightsey, Shaw plant manager; Linda Case, GNTC Board of Trustees Vice Chair; Chad Anderson, Shaw director of Collaborative Innovative Manufacturing (CIM); and GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham.

Back row, from left to right: Darrell Huggins, GNTC program director and instructor of Automation Engineering Technology; Colin Drafts, Shaw plant manager; Winston Massengale, Shaw vice president of Automation and Engineering; and Brian Cooksey, Shaw director of Workforce Development.
Front row, from left to right: Deanna Mathis, Shaw director of Corporate Outreach; Emily Lightsey, Shaw plant manager; Linda Case, GNTC Board of Trustees Vice Chair; Chad Anderson, Shaw director of Collaborative Innovative Manufacturing (CIM); and GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham. Back row, from left to right: Darrell Huggins, GNTC program director and instructor of Automation Engineering Technology; Colin Drafts, Shaw plant manager; Winston Massengale, Shaw vice president of Automation and Engineering; and Brian Cooksey, Shaw director of Workforce Development.

“This support from Shaw is greatly appreciated,” said Linda Case, vice-chair of GNTC’s Board of Trustees. “The GNTC Foundation couldn’t do its work without strong partners like Shaw Industries.”

“GNTC could not train tomorrow’s workforce without the support of our business and industry community. Shaw Industries has been a longtime supporter of GNTC and employer of our students and graduates,” said Dr. Heidi Popham, president of GNTC.  “Shaw’s valued partnership is essential to our workforce development success.”

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. supplies carpet, resilient, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone, synthetic turf and other specialty products to residential and commercial markets worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. with more than 20,000 associates worldwide. Shaw is headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, with salespeople and/or offices located throughout the U.S. as well as Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

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 aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,820 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,591 students and an additional enrollment of 3,229 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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