Welding Basics for the At Home Welder Course Back By Popular Demand

Welding Basics for the At Home WelderFlyer Back by popular demand, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) “Welding Basics for the At Home Welder” will be offered this October. This six-week course provides instruction on safety and basic welding processes including MIG, stick, and flux core welding for the do-it-yourselfer.

“We wanted to offer a non-credential, hands-on training class to individuals in the community who wanted to learn a little bit more about welding for their personal use,” said Scarlett Brandon, program/marketing coordinator for the SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence. “We offered the first 
six-week training class this spring, and it was a great fit for everyone,” she continued.

Developed with the recreational welder in mind, no previous welding experience is needed to enroll in the “At Home Welder” course. Classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00am-1:00pm and will be taught by certified Welding@SVHEC instructors. Each participant will have an opportunity to complete a project in class or to bring in a personal project from home.

One of the first individuals to enroll in the first “At Home Welder” course was Denise Hudson, owner of Hudson Farms. “This is a great adult learning program that has provided me with a working foundation on how to safely and productively weld. I loved the hands-on instruction which was perfect for adult learners like me,” she said.

“Welding Basics for the At Home Welder” begins Tuesday, October 24th. Registration is open, and seats are limited.

For more information, or to sign-up for “Welding Basics for the At-Home Welder,” contact Scarlett Brandon at 434-572-5473 or scarlettbrandon@svhec.org.

For the first time, the Capital One Coders Experience for Middle School Girls will be held at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center on Saturday, October 21st. The event is free, and open to any girl in 6th-8th grades. No prior coding experience is required; meals will be provided.

Coders Experience is an exciting, one-day event where young women learn how to create their own mobile app. During the day, participants will work individually and in teams to learn software development and to hone problem solving skills. Teams will compete for prizes, including a trip to the Women in Technology Experience in Richmond, Virginia.

Middle school girls in Southern Virginia are encouraged to attend this exciting event. For more information and to register please visit https://www.regonline.com/CapitalOneCodersExperience


coders experience flyer

Will Soyars, Ricky Gordon Complete Mechatronics Training and Earns Highest Level of Siemens approved certification 

Soyars Gordon Receive CertificatesSoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence (SoVA CME) trainers Will Soyars and Ricky Gordon recently completed the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) and earned Level 3 certification. With two certified trainers on staff, SoVA CME in South Boston, VA can now offer all levels (1-3) of the SMSCP program.

“The SVHEC is extremely fortunate to have first-rate instructors like Will Soyars and Ricky Gordon. With their newly-earned teaching credentials from Berlin, the SVHEC can now offer regional manufacturers the full complement of SMSCP training, recognized globally as the premier Mechatronics training option,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director.

To earn Level 3 certification, Soyars and Gordon traveled to Berlin, Germany for two weeks of training at the Siemens Technik Academie. With students from around the world, they were placed on teams to design and build an automated system able to heat printed circuit boards.

Level 3 Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Professionals are considered experts on complex integrated systems and are able to troubleshoot, repair, and design these systems. The SVHEC is the only institution in the world offering non-credit Siemens Level 3 training and certification.

mattie cowan webMattie M. Cowan has been named chairman of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Board of Trustees. She was nominated by the Board’s Nominating Committee and unanimously selected by the entire Board of Trustees. Cowan conducted her first meeting on September 6th.

“The SVHEC has been blessed with a series of very strong board chairmen. Mattie Cowan fits this mold perfectly. Her previous board experience, knowledge of the region, and record of industry achievement will serve us well. I look forward to her leadership.” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director.

Cowan is a life-long resident of Halifax County, Virginia, and is recently retired from Centurylink Telecommunications Company with 39 years of service. She served in several management positions and upon retirement was Lead Process Analyst for the Eastern Region local engineering and construction organization which included the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Active in the community, Cowan serves as vice-chairman on the Halifax County Planning Commission, and is a member of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s board. She is president of the Halifax County Business and Professional Council, a member and past president of Wind Beneath the Wings, Inc., and immediate past president of the Virginia State Baptist Ushers Union.

The SVHEC Board of Trustees is made up of business and community leaders who are devoted to Southern Virginia and to the belief that education is the catalyst for change. For more information, please visit www.svhec.org.

Work Ready Foundations trainee assembles solar generatorGo from Zero to Career in Less than a Year with the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Work Ready Foundations program.

Work Ready Foundations (WRF) is a short-term, hands-on training program to prepare individuals for success in entry-level manufacturing and technical positions. The hands-on training program focuses on teamwork, applied math, resume writing, OSHA 10 safety, interview skills, and other concepts that lead to long-term employment success. Individuals who successfully complete the program participate in a mini-job fair, and receive job placement assistance.

Recent WRF program completer Brandon Fisher stated, “The skills I’ve learned in Work Ready Foundations have better prepared me for the workforce.” Fellow completer Kenny Wilson echoed Fisher’s statements saying, “I have learned how to become a better worker because of Work Ready Foundations.”

Individuals ready to earn the skills they need for long-term workplace success are encouraged to attend an information session at the SVHEC Innovation Center on the following dates and times:






2pm - 4pm










09/20/17 Wednesday 10am-12pm
09/26/17 Tuesday 10am-12pm
10/03/17 Tuesday 2pm-4pm
10/05/17 Thursday 10am-12pm

To register for an information session or to make an appointment, email workforce@svhec.org or call 434-572-5593 and toll free 1-800-283-0098 ext 5593.

Governor’s Chief Workforce Policy Advisory Serves as Guest Speaker

Workforce Training Completion Ceremony

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) recently celebrated 47 trainees who successfully completed its workforce training programs. Held in the banquet hall of the Prizery, family, friends, and supporters gathered to recognize program completers in Mechatronics, IT Academy, Welding@SVHEC, and Work Ready Foundations.

Sara Dunnigan, Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development and Governor McAuliffe’s Chief Workforce Policy Advisor, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. “Finishing something you’ve set out to do is worth celebrating in life,” she said. Dunnigan shared her experiences of finding her way in the workforce, and encouraged program completers to keep moving forward. “Constantly ask yourself what’s next,” she said.

Dunnigan has been instrumental in implementing the Commonwealth’s Workforce Credential Grant Program which pays up to two-thirds of the cost of non-credit, credential based programming like the SVHEC’s Workforce Training Programs. “It’s exciting to see the trainee’s success and to know the Workforce Credential Grant contributed to that,” Dunnigan stated.

Nearly 80% of the individuals recognized during the completion ceremony received financial assistance through the Credential Grant Program. SVHEC officials have described the CGP program as a “gamechanger” for their workforce training efforts.

“Successful workforce development programs like those offered at SVHEC not only change the lives of students, but these initiatives are also preparing the region’s workforce for high-demand jobs in the New Virginia Economy, and positioning Southside Virginia as an economic development destination,” said Nathalie Molliet-Ribet, the Commonwealth’s Deputy Secretary for Education, who was in attendance at Thursday’s ceremony.