(Media release from Georgia Northwestern Technical College):

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students had an outstanding performance at the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 20-24, in Atlanta. GNTC competed in four categories and took home two medals: one silver and one bronze.

Highlights from SkillsUSA National include winning the silver medal in the TeamWorks team construction category and the bronze in Medical Assisting. Seven students represented GNTC and the State of Georgia in the national competition.

“After two years of cancellations and virtual competitions, it was great for our students to be able to participate in a face-to-face national competition,” said Missy McLain, SkillsUSA advisor for GNTC. “This experience allowed students from all over the United States to engage with each other and showcase their skills for everyone to see.”

“I am very proud of the students representing Georgia Northwestern Technical College at the SkillsUSA national competition,” said Dr. Heidi Popham, GNTC president. “SkillsUSA showcases the best technical education students in the nation. Last week, our students showcased their skills and knowledge in each of their areas of expertise. The students and advisors worked many hours preparing to compete for the national competition, and I congratulate each one for their success.”

Listed below are competitors representing GNTC including the competition, student’s name and county of residence:


TeamWorks (team competition): Leonardo Garcia, Whitfield County; Trey Posey, Gordon County; Tyler West, Walker County; and Finn White, Gordon County


Medical Assisting: Ashley Floyd, Gordon County

Also representing GNTC were Gordon County resident Will Holden in Carpentry and Floyd County resident Edgar Perez Ramos in Industrial Motor Control.

This is the third year in a row and the fourth time that GNTC’s TeamWorks team has medaled at the SkillsUSA national competition. The team took home the gold medal at the 2020 and 2021 competitions and also won the bronze medal in 2016. In the SkillsUSA Georgia statewide competition, the team has won the gold medal six years in a row.

Donny Holmes, director of Construction Management at GNTC, was the advisor for the TeamWorks team, and Jennifer Stephenson, director of Medical Assisting, and Tracey Mercado, instructor of Medical Assisting, were the GNTC advisors for the Medical Assisting competition.

“Our students worked hard and represented GNTC and Georgia very well,” McLain said. “I am very proud of their accomplishments and the success of our advisors.”

HGTV host Darren Keefe, known as “The Dancing Carpenter,” was the event’s keynote speaker.

According to SkillsUSA, more than 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students—all state contest winners—competed hands-on in 108 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations. Contests were run with the assistance of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies were set by industry professionals.