(Media release from Georgia Northwestern Technical College):

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) will host a “Diamond Jubilee” Celebration Oct. 3-14 to celebrate the college’s 60th anniversary.

GNTC, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, offers technical and academic instruction through traditional and distance learning leading to associate degrees, diplomas and certificates of credit programs, as well as through non-credit continuing education, economic development and adult education services.

GNTC serves the nine counties of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker and Whitfield, with six campus locations in Calhoun, Dalton, Ringgold, Rockmart, Rock Spring and Rome. 

“As GNTC prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, our college remains dedicated to providing quality technical education and workforce development opportunities throughout the communities of northwest Georgia,” said Dr. Heidi Popham, GNTC president.

The two-week celebration will feature a student event on each campus with food, giveaways, photo booths and games, and the Whitfield Murray Campus in Dalton will hold Industrial Career Day on Oct. 7.

The GNTC Foundation will host a Diamond Jubilee luncheon for donors, former faculty, staff, board members and trustees. At the end of the two-week celebration, GNTC will hold an employee appreciation luncheon for current faculty and staff.

GNTC traces its roots to two technical schools established in the 1960s.

Coosa Valley Technical College was established in 1962 in Rome in Floyd County. In 1989, the Adult Education program was added.

The Gordon County Campus was added in Calhoun in 1997, and the Polk County Campus in Rockmart was added in the following year. In 2008, the Aviation Training Center at the Richard B. Russell Regional Airport in Rome was added.

In December 2006, Coosa Valley Technical College became accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Originally named the Walker County Area Vocational-Technical School, Northwestern Technical College was established in 1964 off Highway 27 in Rock Spring in Walker County and added the Adult Education program in 1989.

SACSCOC initially accredited Northwestern Technical College in 1997.

The college purchased additional land in 2006, expanding the campus from 34 to 70 acres.

In 2008, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia approved the merger of Coosa Valley Technical College and Northwestern Technical College, which became effective July 1, 2009.

GNTC continued to grow after the merger and opened the Woodlee Culinary Arts Center in 2010.

In 2011, the Technical College System of Georgia announced Murray and Whitfield counties would become part of the GNTC service area. The Whitfield Murray Campus in Dalton began instruction in fall 2011. The Adult Education program for these counties was awarded to GNTC in 2014.

In January 2011, GNTC held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 46,000 square foot Administration and Classroom Building on the Gordon County Campus.

In June 2013, the State Properties Commission approved the purchase of land on Alabama Highway/Georgia 151 and Holcomb Road for the construction of the GNTC Catoosa County Campus. Instruction began in fall 2016.

In September 2019, GNTC celebrated the completion of a major campus addition with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new 80,000-square-foot administrative and classroom facility located at the Whitfield Murray Campus.

“Our history demonstrates the impact of the college and how important training and educational opportunities have been and will continue to be to the citizens of northwest Georgia,” Popham said.