Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) was recently presented with the Southern Company Partnership Excellence Award for their role in the Instrumentation and Controls Academy – an educational partnership between GNTC, Southern Company, Central Georgia Technical College, and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.


The academy provides students with hands-on training on the same equipment and simulators that Southern Company uses to train its employees.


As part of The Instrumentation and Controls Academy, all three colleges have a state-of-the-art facility on their campuses that provides both training to students seeking an associate degree in Instrumentation and Controls, and advanced training for employees of Southern Company.


“The I&C Academy is two part,” said Tom McNeal, workforce development specialist at Georgia Power. “It is training our workforce that we already have and it is also getting I&C students prepared for great careers with us and our customers which benefits economic development efforts throughout the state.”


Georgia Northwestern’s Instrumentation and Controls Academy is located on the Polk County Campus in Rockmart. Students pursuing the associate degree in Instrumentation and Controls, who also excel in the program, have the option of entering the I&C Academy.


“To be eligible for the academy an Instrumentation and Controls student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average, meet certain work ethics, and then I do an evaluation on them,” said Dick Tanner director of the Instrumentation and Controls program at GNTC. “Based on that evaluation they are eligible for the academy.”


McNeal says that with technology constantly changing additional training will be required for the workforce which is what makes educational partnerships such as the Instrumentation and Controls Academy significant.


“Georgia Northwestern has always been an excellent partner and we couldn’t ask for a better group of people who care about the community and they help make us better,” said McNeal.


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, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.