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ITA cohort5 webThe SVHEC's IT Academy (ITA) is now recruiting for classes beginning January 8, 2018. The enrollment period opens on October 12th and ends on December 5th.

The IT Academy offers short-term, hands-on training leading to CompTIA credentials in A+ and Server+. Classroom instruction and online study tools are paired with hands-on activities in a fully equipped repair center and data center that simulates the real world working environment. ITA participants complete the entire core curriculum within four months, and have the training and skills necessary to start, or advance, their career as an IT technician.  

“I chose the IT Academy because the content was right, the schedule was right, and the timing was right to take a huge step towards earning highly recognized industry certifications," said Tina Morgan, ITA cohort 4 completer.

A number of program completers have gone on to work at the datacenters in Clarksville and Boydton, as well as regional school systems and healthcare systems. Individuals who were already employed in an IT career were able to obtain the credentials they needed to advance their careers.

To join Southern Virginia's growing IT workforce, attend an upcoming information session:

  • Thursday, October 12th at 5:30pm
  • Friday, October 13th at 11:00am
  • Thursday, October 19th at 5:30pm
  • Thursday, October 26th at 5:30pm

Information sessions will cover valuable information including the ITA application process, skills learned during training, and available financial assistance. Information sessions are open to the public, but registration is requested. To register for an information session or to learn more about the IT Academy contact Kelly Shotwell, IT Academy program coordinator and trainer, at kellyshotwell@svhec.org, 434-572-5660, and toll free 1-800-283-0098 ext 5660.

 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.

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.

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.