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Welding Completers December 2015It was a day of celebration as the first 15 students to enroll in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Welding program walked across the Prizery’s stage to receive their certificates of completion. The completion ceremony marked the end of a journey started 16 months ago for these newly minted welders.

“Livelihoods and America are depending on you and your skills. Go out from here and make your impact on the world,” said keynote speaker Leslie “Tyke” Tenney. Tenney is the executive director of Virginia Technical Institute, which serves as the official sponsor of the SVHEC’s welding program.

Program completer Garrie Dye gave reflections on his time in the program. “I not only gained welding experience but also life experience like determination and perseverance. I came to the class looking for a new job, but in graduating
I have the opportunity for a new career not just a job,” he stated.

Students in the first cohort to complete the Welding@SVHEC program earned a combined total of 88 stackable, industry-recognized credentials. Students earned credentials for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) CORE & Welding Levels 1-3, the American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE program, and the National Career Readiness Certificate. The students’ AWS credentials acknowledge they have met basic requirements to sit for AWS certification.

“Having the NCCER nationally recognized credential means they can go to any state, show their blue card, and have their skills recognized,” Tenney said.

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) recently celebrated the successful completion of the third cohort of Work Ready Foundations students. Students Antawn Work Ready Foundations CompletersMarrow, Shirley Lamb, Matthew Conner, Raheem Braxton, and Deborah Irvin completed the 
7 ½ week job training program, and now have the hard and soft skills needed for successful employment.

Students who successfully complete the WRF program earn 10 college credits and eight industry-recognized credentials including the National Career Readiness Certificate, OSHA 10, Lean Principles, 5S, and Standard Work Certificate.  Once they have completed the program, WRF assists students with finding employment. To date, the program has a 90% job placement rate for successful program completers.

For more information about Work Ready Foundations visit or contact Deloris Jones, Project Coordinator at, 434-572-5593, and toll free 1-800-283-0098 ext. 5593.

welding svhec 2016

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) will hold a completion ceremony for the inaugural Welding@SVHEC cohort on Thursday, December 10th at 2:00pm. The ceremony will be held at the Prizery in the Chastain Theatre with refreshments, simulation demonstrations, and tours immediately following. Individuals attending the completion ceremony are asked to RSVP by December 2nd by emailing or by calling 434-572-5662.

“We are extremely proud of the hard-work and dedication put forth by our students. Several entered the program with little or no welding experience, so it’s amazing to see the transitions they have made,” said Vashon Canty, Associate Director of Workforce Advancement.

Students participating in the December 10th ceremony began the Welding@SVHEC program August 2014, and are the first group of students to complete the hands-on training program. Successful program completers receive a portfolio of stackable, industry-recognized credentials for CORE & Welding Levels 1-3 from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), and the American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE program. AWS credentials acknowledges that students have met basic requirements to sit for AWS certification. Students also take the ACT WorkKeys assessment leading to the National Career Readiness Certification.

Click here to view WDBJ-7's news coverage of Work Ready FoundationsWork Ready Foundations 041514 0001

The SVHEC's Work Ready Foundations© (WRF) training program is recruiting for the April 2015 cohort. Information sessions for interested individuals will be held on March 19, 23, 26, 30 at 10am and 2pm at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Innovation Center.

WRF boasts a 90% job placement rate for successful program completers. WRF program completers are now working in a number of local industries including Presto, TMI Auto Tech, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, Comfort Systems USA, Fluor Construction, and Sunshine Mills.

“Individuals attending Work Ready Foundations have unique opportunities to develop soft skills as well as technical skills. I see the transformation in participants from the first day of class through the conclusion of the program, ” said Deloris Jones, Work Ready Foundations Project Coordinator. “WRF offers comprehensive and relevant learning experiences. When a program completer comes by or calls to say ‘I got the job,’ it confirms that this program had made a positive difference in his or her life,” Jones continued.