Kyrsten Ledbetter, an eighth grade student attending Rockdale County’s General Ray Davis Middle School, received the State’s First Place Award in the 6th – 8th grade category of the 2018 Manufacturing Appreciation Week (MAW) Student Design Contest at the annual 2018 Manufacturing Appreciation Week Governor’s Awards Luncheon. Ledbetter received both her award and a $500 scholarship check from The Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia.
“I liked the idea of building Georgia up,” said Ledbetter, when asked about what inspired her submission. “I wasn’t expecting to win, but I’m very happy to be here.” Ledbetter’s entry was the third consecutive entry from the Rockdale County middle school and its first design award.
Students from throughout the State of Georgia submitted design entries featuring Georgia manufacturers and their products. Georgia Piedmont Technical College invited all students attending elementary, middle and high school (within their 4-county service area – DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Morgan) to submit an original design. The college submitted all entries received from the respective schools. Ledbetter’s drawing was selected as the First Place winner from among all of the statewide middle school entries and was acknowledged as representing the Newton Campus of Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
“The design contest exposes students to the diversity of career opportunities available in manufacturing, and it fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for how critical manufacturing is to the prosperity of their own local communities,” said Richard Warner, noted Georgia journalist and emcee of the event. “Now more than ever, we need to make young people aware that manufacturing is an area where they can express their creativity, and where their skills are rewarded.”
The Governor’s Awards Luncheon is one of the highlights of the annual Manufacturing Appreciation Week, which is celebrating its 24th Anniversary this year. MAW, co-hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, brings attention to the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes on Georgia’s economic growth. According to Governor Deal, more than 9,000 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, providing 396,339 jobs, generating more than $23.1 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens, and contributing more than $100 billion to the state’s economy each year. Ninety-seven of those manufacturers are located within Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s service areas.
Each year, in addition to nominating outstanding students, Georgia Piedmont Technical College consults with local chambers of commerce and other economic development entities to identify companies to nominate for the Manufacturer of the Year competition.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s 2018 nominees were:
Small Business Category
Bulldog Steel Fabrication
Evans Tool & Die, Inc. /Evans Metal Stamping, Inc.
ZYCI CNC Machining
Medium Business Category
Michelin Tread Technologies
Large Business Category
Golden State Foods