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SVHEC Workforce Advancement serves as a pipeline and connector to workforce training, data, resources, and services. Staff members work closely with regional business and industry to coordinate, develop, and deliver the training needed to advance Southern Virginia’s workforce.

We specialize in listening to the voice of the employer, and creating customized workforce training experiences so there is a perfect match between an employer’s needs and the training they receive. In addition, staff members use a proven method of environmental scans, research, and assessment to implement programs that will ensure that the region’s workforce is prepared for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The three encompassing areas of focus for Workforce Advancement:

  • Employer/Business Needs - meeting the needs of current & prospective employers
  • Worker Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) - preparing incumbent & future workers to meet employer needs
  • Data Driven Responses to Area Employers, Workers, and Job Seekers - reliance on valid data obtained from diverse sources to provide needed training and services.


  • 5,063: Participation in Workforce Advancement programming and activities


  • 2006 Director of Workforce Advancement hired
  • 2007 Regional Workforce Summit held
  • 2008 The Center of Nursing Excellence opened
  • 2009 TopSolid America @SVHEC created and first training held
  • 2010 First Workforce Forward Forum and Tri-County Job Readiness Training held
  • 2011 Relocation to the Innovation Center  & Workforce Readiness Initiative: Retention of Manufacturing in Southern Virginia began with Presto Products Company as the pilot
  • 2013  Work Ready Foundation started; Nine successful participants completed the program
  • 2014 SVHEC designated as an NCCER accredited training and education facility; Welding@SVHEC training program began
  • 2015 First Welding@SVHEC cohort finishes with 15 successful completers; SVHEC becomes a certified PearsonVUE Testing Center
  • 2016
    • Workforce Advancement plays an instrumental role in Halifax County being named a certified Work Ready Community;
    • Work Ready Foundations revamped to provide five industry recognized credentials;
    • SVHEC training programs gets approved for Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Funding
  • 2017
    • SVHEC receives approval to administer ACT Workkeys Assessment;
    • Work Ready Foundations revamps program to provide four industry recognized credentials;
    • Work Ready Foundations Cohort 5 has seven participants who receive industry recogznied credentials.
    • SVHEC has collaborated with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) to offer Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification training and become a MSSC assessment center. CPT will be a significant component of the Work Ready Foundation curriculum. CPT consists of the following four modules: Safety, Manufacturing Processes & Production, Quality Practices & Measurement, and Maintenance Awareness. Trainees are awarded a certificate upon successful completion of each module, however, they must complete ALL (4) modules to receive full CPT credential. CPT rollout is scheduled for early Fall 2018;
    • SVHEC Workforce trainers attend training; Instructional Dynamics for Technical Trainers offered through Averett University;
    • Sixteen students from Rivermont School received completion certificates in Work Ready Career Pathways; Rivermont students were introduced to careers in welding, woodworking and the use of Computer Numerical Controls (CNC), and mechatronics over a 10-week training period;
    • South Central Workforce Development Board approves Work Ready Foundations as a training program eligible for WIOA funding in Virginia.

Workforce Readiness Initiative: Retention of Manufacturing in Southern Virginia (Presto Products Company serving as pilot employer)

  • This four-year, $500,000+ training initiative ($301,400 funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission) piloted in the South Boston facility of Presto Products Company completed on September 29, 2015.
  • Major Impact of training project: With 723 participants trained and 14,510 training hours completed, the Workforce Readiness Initiative successfully improved the technical and soft skills of incumbent and future workers required for successful employment in a Southern Virginia manufacturing facility;
  • Because of our success with the Workforce Readiness Initiative, SVHEC was awarded an additional grant: Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp (Work Ready Foundations) grant.