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Georgia Trade School Builds Successful Skilled Workforce

May 20, 2016

This article is number 8 in a series of profiles of the Cobb Chamber’s 2016 Top 25 Small Businesses of the Year. Check back with Chamber Ink everyday in May for a new profile on a different Top 25 Business. We will wrap up the series on June 6 with the announcement of the 2016 Small Business of the Year.

Georgia Trade School (GTS) began with a single class in September of 2012 consisting of only 12 students, and by the fall of the following year the school added an additional class of 12. Now at 15 students per class GTS works with 45 students a day.

Being independent means one really has to create an economic model that can thrive despite the challenges one may face in the business environment. GTS is unique in that it does not accept any financial aid, grants or government support. Students flock to this independent model. GTS has been sold out for 40 consecutive weeks and retains a six month waiting list. That’s incredible when you consider that the State of Georgia offers free welding training at technical colleges.

Not Your Mama’s Trade School
Partnering with Fortune 500 companies has allowed GTS to bridge the gap between blue and white collar, making welding “very sexy and accessible.” The school has been able to leverage partnerships with these companies – co-branding, filming national commercials, and garnering local, regional and national media attention – to attract a suburban audience that is culturally predisposed to a four-year institution.

Community Involvement 
In 2015, students and staff fabricated the renovation at the American Legion North Cobb Post. The project included a bar, outdoor signage, flooring and debris removal. The school has also worked with charities such as The Terry Farrell Firefighter’s Fund, MUST Ministries and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Business Profile
Owner: Joanna Blythe, President

Industry: Trade School

Year Established: 2012

Location: Kennesaw

Number of Employees: Full -time: 6

Percentage of Growth in 2015: 15%

Did You Know?: Georgia Trade school has appeared in Yahoo! Finance and the Wall Street Journal among many other local and national print mediums all highlighting their efforts to rebuild America.


Social Media


Instagram: georgiatradeschool


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