A special reception was held recently to honor and congratulate Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s 2019 GOAL and EAGLE award winners and students who were medalists at SkillsUSA Georgia.

The program, held at the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, also recognized faculty and staff that provided support and were mentors for SkillsUSA.

Brandon Neighbors, GNTC’s Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner for 2019, and Harley Chastain, winner of GNTC’s EAGLE Award for 2019, were both recognized during the program. Neighbors and Chastain were regional finalists in the state GOAL and EAGLE competitions.

“Participating in the GOAL process helped me to become a better public speaker and has improved my leadership skills,” said Neighbors.

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 21-23.

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 is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce,” said Heidi Popham, executive vice president of GNTC.

Highlights from SkillsUSA Georgia included GNTC winning the gold and silver medal in Practical Nursing, GNTC’s 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner receiving the gold medal in Automotive Service Technology, the TeamWorks team winning the gold medal for the fourth consecutive year and more.

The national SkillsUSA competition will take place, June 24-29, in Louisville, Kentucky.

GNTC students that were gold medalists in SkillsUSA Georgia included Cole Allen, Internet of Things and Smart Home of Chattooga County; Norberto Castaneda, Industrial Motor Controls of Floyd County; Kimberlee Hall, Practical Nursing of Gordon County; Brandon Neighbors, Automotive Service Technology of Catoosa County; and TeamWorks (team competition) Ryan Banks of Whitfield County, Jesse Flanagan of Polk County, Gabriel Lopez of Bartow County, and Joel Paez of Whitfield County.

Additional Medalists from the statewide SkillsUSA competition include: Josh Barlow, Medical Terminology of Floyd County; Autumn Donaldson, Medical Assisting of Whitfield County; Julianna Matthews, Extemporaneous Speaking of Lee County; Chris Roberson, HVACR of Polk County; Brittany Square, Practical Nursing of Henry County; Welding Fabrication (team competition) Dakota Green of Gordon County, Timothy Myers of Catoosa County, and Luke Shehee of Catoosa County; Ethan Mitchell, Electrical Construction Wiring of Gordon County; and Colby Wyatt, CNC Technology of Chattooga County.

GNTC was recognized as a Level 1 Quality Chapter and also received the Gold Chapter of Distinction during the 2019 SkillsUSA Georgia opening ceremony. Susan Bowman and Missy McLain are GNTC’s advisors for SkillsUSA.

GNTC faculty that were recognized during the event for their contribution to GNTC’s SkillsUSA program included Susan Bowman, Scott Carter, Jeremiah Cooper, Wayne Henderson, Donny Holmes, Tracey Mercado, Troy Peco, Phil Shirley, Jennifer Stephenson and Sharon Vaughan.

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