Like Father, Like Daughter - Wiregrass SkillsUSA Legacy

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Radiology Tech student Hannah Rayburn recently received a silver medal for her t-shirt design in the State SkillsUSA competition.  When accepting her award Hannah stepped into the same shoes as her Dad 31 years prior.

Thirty-one years ago in the spring of 1989 Hannah’s Dad, Darel Rayburn, would walk across the stage to receive his silver medal in the VICA Skills Olympic, which is now known as SkillsUSA competition.  Darel competed in the HVAC Competition representing Valdosta Tech.  He attended Valdosta Tech from 1986-1989, was enrolled in the HVAC refrigeration course, and graduated in 1989.  He is currently employed by the Lowndes County School System as a HVAC Service Technician.

After high school graduation, Hannah enrolled at Wiregrass full-time to pursue a degree in Radiologic Technology.  “I chose to pursue the Radiologic Technology program because I had been interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry,” shared Hannah. “Learning to take x-rays, and having a job where I was able to help people really interested me.”  She is expected to graduate in May and is looking to work as a Radiologic Technologist for a few years before going back to school to get a degree in Radiation Therapy.   Darel shared, “My wife and I have been very impressed with the quality of the program at Wiregrass, and we believe that the college has given Hannah the best opportunity to succeed when she graduates.”

Wiregrass’ SkillsUSA Chapter was recently named a Gold Chapter of Distinction for Georgia for the second year in a row, and the Chapter was recognized for the Largest Member Growth and Largest Chapter again this year.  The college brought back 26 gold, 23 silver, and 10 bronze medals in the skills competition among other colleges.  The college medaled in 83% of the contests the students competed in, and 67% of Wiregrass students who competed earned a medal. Hannah shared that she would encourage students to participate in SkillsUSA because it’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone, and it helps you learn skills that will help you succeed in your education and in the workplace.

Wiregrass is offering a new Associate Degree in Technical Studies beginning Summer Semester.  Those who have graduated and completed 45 credit hours in a technical or industrial program such as Welding, Automotive, Telecommunications, or any program under Technical and Industrial studies, can return to complete a Technical Studies Associate Degree.  This degree could be obtained by taking 15 hours of core classes.  Many managerial or supervisory positions require an associates degree, and with Wiregrass’ offering this would allow those with a technical and industrial diploma to pick up some extra classes to qualify for those positions.  Many of the required core classes are offered online.

For those seeking admission into one of the popular Allied Health programs, Summer Semester is the perfect time to get in those required core classes.  Many programs are accepting new students for Summer admission.