Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s new president says she is ready to get started.

Heidi Popham, the current executive vice president at GNTC, will take over the role as president of the school on June 16 and says she wants to work with community partners to ensure graduates have the skills they need to go into the job force.

“There will be a tremendous focus on student success from start to finish,” she said. “We want to meet students where they are.”

Popham said she wants to work on what she sees as a middle skills gap in the area. Students don’t need a four year degree to have a successful career, but they do need some training after high school, she said.

Popham would like to continue working with business and industry partners to meet their needs with the graduates of GNTC. The college currently works with local businesses along with high schools in Northwest Georgia to prepare students for their next step through dual enrollment and certification courses.

Popham also said she wants to continue bringing a career fair to the Floyd County GNTC campus as well as expanding it to the other campuses in the state.

“I am honored to be chosen as Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s next president,” said Popham. “This college is a tremendous asset to the community and I intend to build on its legacy of providing northwest Georgia with a skilled workforce that meets the needs of the 21st century economy.”

Her career at the college began when she was hired as the executive assistant to the president in 1995. Since then, Popham gained significant leadership experience having held positions as director of institutional effectiveness, vice president of institutional effectiveness, and in her latest role as executive vice president.

“Dr. Popham is a strong leader for Georgia Northwestern Technical College,” said Matt Arthur, Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner. “Her years of experience in technical education certainly equip her for the job, but it’s her passion for students and her commitment to developing a workforce within the community that make her the right choice to lead Georgia Northwestern Technical College going forward.”

Popham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Covenant College, a Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Georgia. Popham will assume her new role effective June 16.

The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia approved Commissioner Arthur’s appointment of Heidi Popham on Thursday in Atlanta.

Past GNTC president Pete McDonald retired at the end of April.