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Friday February 12th, 2016 7:35PM

LTC graduates 1,000+

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GAINESVILLE - More than 1,000 students graduated from Lanier Technical College on Friday during the school's 48th graduation ceremony. <br /> <br /> Dr. Ray Perren, President of Lanier Technical College, energized the audience and graduates. <br /> <br /> "You see before you the men and women who are taking their rightful place as the central part of the workforce for Northeast Georgia," LTC President Ray Perren told the graduates. "From air conditioning to IT to people who work in our doctors' offices and hospitals to the people who will repair our damaged automobiles to people who will weld our buildings, Lanier Tech graduates are in every part of our workforce. You cannot go anywhere without running into a Lanier Tech graduate."<br /> <br /> Students from over 40 different programs were eligible to participate in the ceremony with 16% earning the Associate of Applied Science degree, 43% earning a College Diploma, and 63% earning a Technical Certificate of Credit. The Practical Nursing Program had the largest number of graduates at 18%, Early Childhood Care and Education had 13%, Medical Assisting graduated 12%, Welding and Joining Technology had 11%, Cosmetology 10%, and the remaining 36% earned their credentials from the remaining programs. <br /> <br /> In all, there were 1,100 graduates.<br /> <br /> Of the graduates, 26% are from Hall County, 16% represent Forsyth County, 13% from Jackson County, Barrow County 9%, Dawson County 7%, Lumpkin County 4%, and Banks County had 3%, and 23% of the graduates came from outside of Lanier Tech's service area. <br /> <br /> Of the total number of graduates, 70% are women and 30% are men. The oldest graduate is 64 years old, and the youngest graduate is 16 years old. <br /> <br /> The keynote speaker, Dr. David Byers, the Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia, charged the graduates to embrace adversity. Dr. Byers, the Program Director of Lanier Tech's Dental Hygiene Program, is the first-ever Rick Perkins recipient from Lanier Technical College. <br /> <br /> "Tonight IS a big deal. Many times you don't realize the impact that you make at other levels. Last year Georgia was rated as the number one location in the nation where businesses want to build or expand. We all know how the economy has been over the past years. So how do you improve the economy? You create jobs. How do you create jobs? That's what the Technical College System of Georgia is doing. That's Lanier Tech's mission; we train people to get jobs. To make a difference with the economy, to entice these businesses to want to build in Georgia, we train a workforce. The major enticement to those businesses is you, the graduates. You are the cutting-edge workforce that these businesses are looking for. You have the skills, you have the knowledge, and you have the motivation to make a difference. You deserve the praise from tonight."
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