During the late 1950s, the Georgia State Department of Education began the construction
of area technical schools. Several research projects and studies within the state
had shown the great need for these schools. Industry was moving into the state while
agricultural jobs were decreasing at an accelerated rate. Georgia was rapidly changing
from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy. This necessitated a rapid transition
from the previous general education to the training of technicians, craftsmen, skilled
and semi-skilled workers. Georgia now has twenty-three technical colleges, located
strategically throughout the state.
In 1964 planning began for the funding and construction of the Gainesville-Hall
County Area Vocational Trade School. The school would be under the governance of
the Hall County Area Board of Education. The Georgia State Board of Education adopted
the charter of the institution in December 1964 and became a partner in the governance
of the new vocational school which was renamed ten months later as Lanier Area Vocational-Technical
Lanier Technical College began its first classes in the Fall of 1966. The first
classes were conducted in local schools, churches, and civic buildings. In January
1967 the classes were moved into a new administrative and classroom building. During
the mid-1970s, Lanier Technical College's facilities were expanded to include a
modern industrial training facility with classroom, shop, and administrative space.
Six additional buildings were constructed on the Oakwood campus over the next three
decades adding classrooms, laboratories and office space needed as the enrollment
grew and new programs were added. The College expanded into Forsyth County in 1997.
Two buildings were constructed on this new site providing instructional and administrative
spaces. In partnership with the Forsyth County government, a third building was
completed in 2010 housing additional instructional space as well as a conference
center. Three other College expansions occurred. First, in 2002 the College's service
delivery area expanded to include Barrow County. A location openedin the City of
Winder with the assistance of the City of Winder, Barrow County government, Barrow
County Board of Education and Barrow County Industrial Authority. Enrollment expanded
beyond the capacity of this building so a new facility was opened in January 2015.
Second, in 2003, a site was opened in Commerce in an existing storefront with the
help of the Jackson County government. Finally, in 2005 a facility was opened in
Dawsonville through a partnership with the Dawson County School System and Dawson
County Economic Development Authority. The College soon outgrew the facility and
so the building was razed and replaced with a new facility in 2012.
Lanier Technical College provides Adult Education classes in a seven county area.
Many classes are taught on our Forsyth and Jackson campuses; however, GED and ESL
classes are also held in specialized facilities in Banks, Barrow, Hall, and Lumpkin
Counties. In 2003, we opened a new facility in Lumpkin County. In 2007 an additional
Adult Education Center opened in Banks County, and in 2008 another Center opened
in Dawson County. In 2014, the Hall County facility divided to house ESL instruction
at the Stallworth Street location in Gainesville and GED instruction at Wood's Mill
Adult Education Center in Gainesville. When the College opened the new Barrow Campus
in 2015, the old facility converted to the Winder-Barrow Adult Education Center.
In 2006 The Governor's Center for Innovation in Manufacturing Excellence opened
at the college's Oakwood campus. This center provides research, training, and support
services in advanced manufacturing techniques. Also, in 2006 The Manufacturing Development
Center opened in the Featherbone Communiversity campus in Gainesville. The Manufacturing
Development Center is attached operationally to the Center of Innovation and is
an incubator devoted to assisting and renting space to small start-up companies
specializing in manufacturing.
In 2006 the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center opened at the college's Oakwood
campus in Building 500. This center provides research, training, and support services
in advanced manufacturing techniques. Also, in 2006 The Manufacturing Development
Center opened in the Featherbone Communiversity in Gainesville. The Manufacturing
Development Center is attached operationally to the Technology Center and is an
incubator devoted to assisting and renting space to small start-up companies specializing