Although that mill stayed around - just moving to a different location in the county - several of the county's textile mills did start to close down in the 1980s, Lisa Maloof, director of Lanier Tech's Winder-Barrow campus, said Friday.
And the end of that mainstay in the local economy, as well as a decline in farming, partly fueled last decade's boom of two-year colleges like Lanier Tech, Maloof
said Friday.Lanier Tech spreads across four campuses with a total enrollment of 3,053.Its main location in Oakwood, near Gainesville, has 1,808 students and was founded in 1964.The satellite campuses in Cumming and Winder have 942 and 249 students respectively; both opened after the mid 1990s.The college's newest satellite campus in Commerce opened this January and has 54 students.Offering everything from diplomas in welding classes to associate degrees in fire science and several technical "certificates of credit" programs, the school fills a needed niche in today's economy, Maloof
said that type of growth can also be seen at Lanier Tech.
The Winder-Barrow branch started with just 50 students and has grown significantly since its start, she
predicts enrollment will keep increasing, drawing a diverse array of students.