Plus a Little Bit More

Gwinnett Technical College LogoEach time I’ve ever visited Gwinnett Technical College, I’ve ended up leaving the campus feeling much more energized than when I first arrived.

Today was no exception.

I was fortunate enough this morning to serve on a panel of five judges representing the business community.  We were given the difficult task of choosing one winner from the final four Gwinnett Tech finalists to represent the college in competing for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL).

We heard four very different presentations, each with one important theme.

Every finalist gave all they had to reach towards their goal – plus a little bit more.

Each battled adversity, but got up one more time – giving it all they had, plus a little bit more.

Gwinnett Technical College, along with the other technical schools around the state of Georgia and across the country are filled with students, some traditional and others not so traditional, who give all they have – plus a little bit more.

I know from speaking with faculty and staff at Gwinnett Technical College, they take pride in giving it all they have – plus a little bit more.

Yet when you look at the skills gap that currently exists in the career market, there is clearly a need for more qualified applicants for technical jobs – the types of jobs that lift up communities, as well as the living standards for individual families.

Medical Scanner and Technician

With a 99% job placement rate, Gwinnett Technical College seems to be doing all that the traditional four year colleges are doing to place students – plus a little bit more.

When we consider that Georgia’s technical institutions receive approximately 3% of state’s education budget, providing a return on investment of approximately $1.2 billion worth of economic activity, it’s exciting to think what would happen if they were to receive the same amount of support – plus a little bit more.

Gwinnett Technical College and all of the other technical institutions deserve more of our attention.

Of the nearly 7,100 students who attend Gwinnett Technical College, approximately 70 were nominated by faculty to compete for GOAL.  Of that number, 40 students worked through the elimination process bringing the number of remaining finalists down to 4 earlier today.

goal-winner-2016

A winner was selected, but in all of our minds each finalist is a winner.  Each student nominated is a winner, and each student who worked through the process is a winner.

Congratulations to all!

I look forward to hearing about the results of the state competition.

Maybe the five judges were the biggest winners of all today.  We had the chance to become inspired by the stories of four outstanding students.

My time spent at Gwinnett Technical College today was all that I could have asked for – plus a little bit more.

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