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Lanier Tech may add more programs

President Perren says he would also like to create lake-centered programs

POSTED: November 19, 2013 11:24 p.m.

Ray Perren

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Different programs of interest may be in the future for Lanier Technical College.

“None of these are chiseled in stone by any means,” President Ray Perren said. “These are things we’re looking at.”

Under consideration are programs such as marine engine technology, culinary arts, hospitality management and automotive technology.

“We’ve got this big, beautiful lake here,” Perren said, referring to Lake Lanier. “We want to be sure we’ve got programs in place that support the economy around the lake.”

Perren was speaking at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast meeting on Tuesday.

The college may also add a new two-year degree for nursing, filling a void as other colleges move to bachelor-degree nursing programs, Perren said.

“All the statistics and surveys point out that there’s going to be a great shortage of technical and skilled workers as we grow (as a region),” Chamber President Kit Dunlap said. “The two that we hear from in this area that we need (are) industrial maintenance, and welding and machinery.”

Perren replied that Lanier Tech has all three of those programs.

“The challenges we have, particularly with the welding and machine tools, is the lack of physical space,” he said. “Our welding shop is in what was originally the maintenance building. We’ve got 15 welding stations out there. We could fill it if we had 45 welding stations (and) every graduate would get a job.”

“One of the things I ask the community to support, as we build in the future, is to build a welding lab that really meets the needs of our area,” he added. “The same thing for (the) industrial systems (course). We’ve got about 80 students in there right now. If we had the space, we could easily enroll twice that number.”

Lanier Tech, which serves seven area counties including Hall, served 18,211 students in 2013 in various programs, including adult education and continuing education.

According to Perren, 17 percent of adults older than 25 in the region do not have a high school education or a GED. In Hall County, that number is closer to 20 percent.

“That’s an issue that we’ve got to address, when one out of five (adults) do not have a high school education,” he said. “That makes it difficult sometimes to attract new businesses.”


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