A $333,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), coupled with a $142,000 budget from Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), is the fuel behind a new program geared towards training brand new chemical lab technicians for the industries of Northwest Georgia.


Brent Lance, Director of the Chemical Technology Laboratory Technician program at GNTC, is excited about the possibilities of the new growth. “This will allow us to train students in these new careers with the latest technology currently available to local manufacturing industries,” said Lance. “This grant submitted by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, along with the college’s contribution, will help purchase industry-standard equipment. The best tools for the best students. Now, our employers here in our region will be sure they are getting ready-to-work graduates.”


Thanks in part to the grant, the latest in chemical analysis instrumentation will be available in the “Chem Tech” lab on the Whitfield Murray Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College by December. “We want the latest technology offers in place when spring semester begins,” added Lance. “The equipment and the training our students will have access to are not usually available at the technical or community college level in our region.”


The program is currently offered on the Whitfield Murray Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Dalton, Georgia. “I’ll be discussing with my advisory committee, which is made up of local industry officials, on possibilities of expanding the program to help both the companies and the future workers of our area,” said Lance. The changes are intended to enhance student learning and provide specialized training in the field of chemical analysis and chemical processing.


First developed to train chemical laboratory technicians to work in Northwest Georgia industries, the Chemical Technology Laboratory Technician program leads to a 29-credit hour technical certificate. “The program provides detailed training in chemical safety, lab work, and instrumentation,” said Lance. “It’s a well-planned program which is also flexible enough to adjust to specific needs of employers in the region as the need arises.”


Application deadline for Georgia Northwestern Technical College is November 30. Returning student registration is currently taking place through the end of the week (October 10-14). “This program can help us place ready-to-work graduates in careers in the area’s automotive manufacturing giants, as well as other corporations who rely on the work of chemical technicians for long-term success,” added Lance.


For more information on the Chemical Technology Laboratory Technician program, you can contact GNTC at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.


Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates 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.