William James Middle School Eighth Grader, Aaliyah Lonon, Wins Second Place in 2019 Student Design Contest

Posted on Apr 22, 2019 at 13:52 PM


ATLANTA – April 18, 2019 — Aaliyah Lonon, an eighth grader at William James Middle School, celebrated with Gov. Brian Kemp today at the Governor’s Awards Luncheon. Lonon won second place in the 2019 Manufacturing Appreciation Week (MAW) student design contest in the sixth through eighth grade category. She received a $300 scholarship check presented by Anne Kaiser, Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Georgia Power, during the luncheon on April 18 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga.

“A lot of inspiring things went into [my design],” Lonon said. “My family does a lot of crop growing and I have other family that works at the Georgia Ports Authority and drives trucks. I just thought I would incorporate all of it.”

Lonon, whose design includes depictions of agriculture and the ports, also included the logos of manufacturers throughout the state of Georgia.

Students from around the state submitted design entries featuring Georgia manufacturers and their products. From William James Middle School, Lonon also represented Ogeechee Technical College. 

“The design contest exposes students to the rich 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.”

“We are so proud of Aaliyah, and commend her for her talent,” said Lori Durden, Ogeechee Technical College president.  “Congratulations to Aaliyah for a job well done!”  

The Governor’s Awards Luncheon is the highlight of MAW, celebrated this year April 15 through 19. Co-hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, MAW brings attention to the tremendous contribution manufacturing makes on Georgia’s economic growth. According to Gov. Kemp, nearly 9,802 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, providing 406,602 jobs and generating more than $22.7 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens. He noted manufacturing contributed more than $61 billion to the state’s economy last year.

This is the 25th year celebrating Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. This year’s sponsors included the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Power, and Aprio. 



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