The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Workforce Advancement division and the South-Central Workforce Development Board (SCWDB) recently celebrated the Super Stars of Workforce with a luncheon for employers and employment supportive services agencies.
“This was a terrific opportunity to thank our employers – and the agencies who support them – for their positive contributions to our economic base,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director. “It also provided a chance to share enhancements to the Work Ready Foundations program as well as bring to light increasing tuition assistance opportunities through programs such as the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant and Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act,” she continued.
During the luncheon, employers learned about the SVHEC’s Work Ready Foundations training program, funding options for the program, and SCWDB opportunities available to employers. SVHEC Director of Industry & Workforce Advancement, David Kenealy, described the Work Ready Foundations program as real world, effective, and for the employer. “The name of the training is not random—it is truly about preparing individuals for the workplace. We hire instructors based on their work experiences and competencies, and we train participants using hardware and software that replicates what employers have in their workplaces,” he stated.
The intensive, 11-week training provides broad, foundational training that includes safety, reading blueprints, material handling, and basic electrical concepts including gearboxes, switches, and AC/DC power conversion. Individuals who successfully complete the Work Ready Foundations program receive five industry recognized credentials including OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid, and NCCER Electrical One. The program has been revamped to be competency and project based, allowing individuals to progress through the curriculum as they meet established benchmarks.
An expanded partnership between the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), Danville Community College (DCC) and Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) will provide expanded access into DCC and SVCC information technology (IT) degree programs
On June 7th, Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director, Shannon Hair, Vice-President of Institutional Advancement and Development and designee of DCC president Dr. Bruce Scism, and Shannon Feinman, Vice-President of Finance and Administration and designee of SVCC president Dr. Al Roberts, expanded their partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will award college credit to individuals who earn industry-recognized credentials through the SVHEC IT Academy. IT Academy completers who want to continue their education in one of DCC’s or SVCC’s IT degree programs will now have an easier and more convenient pathway.
“We are excited about aligning the SVHEC’s noncredit credential programs with degree programs at our local community colleges. This promises to open up and streamline career pathways to Southern Virginia’s high demand technical jobs,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director.
"Partnerships such as this one are key to the success of our college and the success of the students in Southside Virginia in preparing for today's high-paying, in-demand information technology careers,” said Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC president. “This agreement highlights the value of cooperation and collaboration that makes the best use of our resources to serve the educational and workforce training needs of the region.”
This fall, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC)
IT Academy (ITA) will expand its advanced training courses with its first cybersecurity course. The course will be taught by new ITA instructor Thomas Hendricks, computer scientist and retired US Department of Defense manager.
Hendricks worked as a computer scientist and manager with the U.S. Department of Defense for over 32 years until his retirement in 2013. In this capacity, he worked with many cutting-edge technologies including large scale, high speed networking, information assurance, cyber security defense, vulnerability assessments, cyber security education, and related areas of technology.
Hendricks also has an extensive record of teaching in the computer science and cyber security disciplines for several different universities, including Johns Hopkins University, James Madison University, and Norwich University. From 2001 to 2006, Mr. Hendricks’ served as the NSA Visiting Professor to the US Naval Academy.
Trainees in Welding@SVHEC Cohorts 6 and 7 have successfully completed the training program, and taken their place as Southern Virginia’s newest certified welders. Tara Bailey, Clarence Crews, Eric Ford, James Holt, Stacy Morris, Justin Overby, William Ridgeway, Chris Terry, Jordan Wagstaff, and Ernest Womack successfully completed the 13-month training program, and obtained several certifications including the nationally recognized NCCER welding certification.
“Welding@SVHEC is a hands-on training program designed to give our trainees the skills and knowledge needed to begin a successful career in the in-demand field of welding,” said Scarlett Brandon, Program/Marketing Coordinator for the SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence.
After completing the program, program completers receive job placement assistance. Currently, 70% of cohort 6 and 7 have been successfully placed in welding positions. “Our trainees have worked diligently during the course of their training program, and we look forward to seeing their continued success as they start their new careers as certified welders,”Brandon stated.
Individuals in Welding@SVHEC receive instruction in MIG, TIG, Stick, and Pipe welding, and earn a portfolio of stackable, industry-recognized credentials. Successful Welding@SVHEC program completers will be invited to participate in the SVHEC’s Workforce Completion Ceremony on August 10th.
To learn more about the Welding@SVHEC program, contact Scarlett Brandon at 434-572-5473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.