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Wallace Community College helps kickoff year three with GTech

8/26/2019

Dothan, Ala.— Wallace Community College (WCC) is excited to start its third year of partnership with the Geneva Regional Career Technical Center. Monday, GTech held orientation for students and had an array of special guests, including WCC President Dr. Linda Young, to speak and wish them well this school year.
“You are creating your future here today, and it’s a bright future in the career fields that you’re involved in,” Dr. Young told the students. “A career decision is one of the most important decisions that one can make, because it determines so much about your future.”
Along with Dr. Young, Alabama Senator Donnie Chesteen, GTech Principal Dr. Chris Kennedy, and area superintendents and community college leaders spoke to the students.
“You’re going to have the training and the skillset to [get a good job],” Chesteen said. “The only limitations … that you will have are those that you place on yourself. You are given the foundation right now to take you anywhere.”
Chesteen told the students that the first two years of GTech have been very successful, and he is waiting on the day when they need to expand ahead of increased enrollment at the school.
“I can’t wait to get the call … that we need another building,” Chesteen said. “And you know what? We’ll make it happen.”
GTech opened in the fall of 2017 as a partnership between the National Guard, Geneva City and Geneva County school districts, and the Alabama Community College System. 
The center is focused on training students to become good employees, and in doing so, they teach them how to work in their fields.  
“I just want to say congratulations to all of you students that are here today,” Kennedy said. “Instead of receiving a student handbook, you’ll be receiving an employee handbook.”
He went on to say that in the handbook, GTech is referred to as a company, while each program is considered a department within the company. Instructors are considered supervisors and the guidance counselors are considered the human resources department, and the principal is the CEO.
When the students arrive each day, they are required to clock in before reporting for class.
Damean Davis, a senior at Slocomb High School, is going in to his second year at GTech. “When you want to apply for a job, they’d look at this school and your experience, and that would help you,” Davis said. “This year I feel like is going to be a good year.”
Davis’s instructor, WCC Welding Instructor Kenneth Hagen, said he believes this program is a huge benefit to the students.
“This has such a tremendous impact. They are immature when they get here, and going through our program and simulating a work environment that we produce here at GTech and Wallace Community College, it helps them to grow. It helps them to mature,” Hagen said. “When they start with me as a junior, they come in and they’re given responsibilities and they work through those responsibilities and learn from them. Then when they return as seniors, I see a huge turn around in them and their personal growth.”
GTech offers high school students specialized training in health science, welding, aviation and auto mechanics. The school is going into its third year in partnership with Wallace Community College, Enterprise State Community College and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.

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