GNTC TeamWorks Squad best in nation

The Georgia Northwestern Technical College TeamWorks squad members work on their National SkillsUSA Competition worksite in Louisville, Kentucky. TeamWorks squad members included Ryan Banks (from left), Gabriel Lopez, Jesse Flanagan and Joel Paez.

The Georgia Northwestern Technical College SkillsUSA team recently earned the first place national champion title.

GNTC TeamWorks squad members Ryan Banks, Whitfield County, Jesse Flanagan, Polk County, Gabriel Lopez, Bartow County, and Joel Paez, Whitfield County, won the first place title in construction. Less than half of national-qualifying teams completed their TeamWorks projects.

“I am still trying to let it sink in that our GNTC team is the national champ,” said GNTC Construction Management Director and SkillsUSA Advisor Donny Holmes. “These four guys worked harder than any team before. They gelled together nicely as an actual team. If you can do that, that’s half the battle.”

Teams of four students were required to build a construction project demonstrating their ability to work together. Over a two-day period, the teams constructed an 8-foot by 8-foot-structure complete with masonry, electrical, plumbing and carpentry details.

Holmes and his GNTC TeamWorks squads have been competing in SkillsUSA the past four years.

“We are proudly building a culture of success,” said Holmes. “I promote it in the classroom. I explain to everyone what is expected and what the responsibilities are between practices, as well as the actual state and national competitions. We have been doing this for a while now. Each year, I learn a little more that I can pass along to the next team. I’m just really proud of this team and their championship.”

Kimberlee Hall, Gordon County, also earned a bronze in practical nursing during the competition.

Now in its 55th year, the SkillsUSA National Competition saw more than 6,500 high school and collegiate qualifiers compete in front of nearly 1,500 judges in more than 100 categories.

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