NGTC Hosts Annual Economic Development Summit

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Clarkesville, GA – North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) recently hosted the annual economic development summit with more than 200 business and industry partners and community stakeholders in attendance. White County Color and Honor Guard kicked off the event with a tribute to veterans followed by welcome remarks from NGTC President John Wilkinson.  

Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, provided the keynote address focused on the new Georgia economy and the future of our workforce. Clark has served as president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber since 2010. Prior to joining the chamber, he served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, executive director of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, and deputy commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development among other positions. Clark is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and Georgia College and State University.  

The economic development summit also featured a panel discussion on recruiting, retaining, and developing employees moderated by NGTC Director of Contact Training, Tim Bennett, as well as presentations from the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Technical College System of Georgia’s (TCSG) Office of Adult Education, the NGTC Foundation, and Workforce Strategies Group. Panelists included Whitney Blair, director WorkSource Georgia Mountains; Adam Fulbright, NGTC advanced manufacturing instructor; Doug Hitchon, executive vice president and CEO of ASI Southeast; Kubota Manufacturing of America senior human resources manager; and Gail Welborn, Habersham EMC director of human resources. The event concluded with closing remarks from TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier.  

The event was sponsored by platinum sponsor, Ethicon; gold sponsors, ASI Southeast and Kubota Manufacturing of America; silver sponsors, Georgia Power and Sage Automotive Interiors; and bronze sponsors, Harbin Lumber and the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce.  

“The community support for our Economic Development Summit was evident through the great attendance and generous sponsorships we received,” said NGTC Vice President of Economic Development Leslie McFarlin. “We were honored to have Chris Clark, CEO of the Georgia Chamber, as our keynote speaker. He brough vital information to our attendees. Each one of our speakers and panelists provided resources and relevant information. It is our sincere hope the summit proved beneficial to our community partners.”  

For more information regarding North Georgia Technical College’s Economic Development division or programs and admission, visit or call 706-754-7700.  


Pictured (left to right): Commissioner Greg Dozier, Technical College System of Georgia; Leslie McFarlin, NGTC vice president of economic development; and Chris Clark, Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO  
Pictured: Georgia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Clark during his keynote address at the annual economic development summit  


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