High school students in the northwest Georgia community had a chance to explore various career pathways and educational opportunities during Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Career Preview Day on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Floyd County Campus in Rome.

This was the first Career Preview Day that GNTC has held this academic year. The next one will take place in early spring at the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun. The events are designed to give students a chance to explore GNTC’s Aviation, Business, Health, Industrial and Public Service programs.

“I’ve not seen our Adult Education students light up like this” said Karen Craven, lead teacher and site manager for Adult Education in Floyd County, as the students learned about 3-D printing and making molds for plastic bottles in the Precision Machining and Manufacturing lab.

Courtney Huber, Adult Education instructor at GNTC, said she and other program staff escorted approximately 30 Adult Education students around the campus to familiarize the students with programs offered at GNTC.

“This is the first time we have brought Adult Education students to this event,” Huber said. “A lot of students come to GNTC to get their High School Equivalency diploma and are not always aware of all programs GNTC offers, and some students aren’t sure what careers they are interested in.”

More than 300 high school students from Calhoun High School, Dade County High School, The Dalton Academy, Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy, Gordon Central High School, Polk County College and Career Academy, Rome City Schools College and Career Academy, Rome High School, Sonoraville High School and Trion High School also attended the event.

“I definitely want to come here. I’m so excited,” said Kaylin Brewer, a senior at Rome High School. Brewer is already receiving college credit for some Dual Enrollment Cosmetology courses she is taking in high school currently, which will transfer to GNTC.

Christopher Bice, a junior at Rome High School, said he spoke with GNTC Welding and Joining Technology instructor Brandon Johnson to learn more about that field but is also considering pursuing an automotive career.

Johnson said he spoke with more than a dozen students who were interested in careers in Welding, and some of those wanted to know more about jobs that include a lot of travel.

“I tell people if you want to make money while seeing the country, travel welding is where it’s at,” Johnson said. “Travel welding pays good money.”

Pete Lute, instructor of Automotive Technology at GNTC, said he encourages students to try different career paths. He has had several careers following his 10-year stint in the U.S. Navy.

“Career Preview Day shows high school students who don’t plan to attend a four-year college that technical college may be a good choice for them,” Lute said.

Program directors were on-hand to discuss their programs and provide tours of their labs.

Featured GNTC programs included Air Conditioning Technology, Automotive Technology, Automotive Collision Repair, Cosmetology, EMS professions, Horticulture, Industrial Systems Technology, Instrumentation and Controls, Medical Assisting, Practical Nursing, Precision Machining and Manufacturing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, Sonography, and Welding and Joining Technology. There were demonstrations and hands-on learning activities for the programs offered by GNTC.

C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. and Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, a national workforce development initiative designed to attract students and young adults to technical careers, also participated in the event with simulation booths and discussed careers in technical fields with students.

“We are looking for work-based learning interns, summer interns and graduates who want to start a career in heavy highway construction,” said Jeremy Whitaker, director of Training and Recruitment at C.W. Matthews. “A lot of students say they want to apply. I look forward to seeing their applications.”

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 aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,601 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,071 students and an additional enrollment of 3,530 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.