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On December 16, 2013, Deloris Jones started in her new position as project coordinator for the recently awarded $163,750 Advanced Manufacturing Boot Camp grant.Delores Jones, Workforce Project Coordinator

As project coordinator, Deloris will be responsible for grant implementation, documentation, tracking, reporting, and management to ensure goal attainment. She will oversee all aspects of the grant as well as day-to-day coordination of related activities.

According to Nettie Simon-Owens, Director of workforce services, "Deloris is quite knowledgeable of the training components involved in the new grant award, the Work Ready Foundations and the Manufacturing Technician I programs. She is also familiar with the potential partners who can help us extend these programs further into the Southern Virginia region." Simon-Owens said, "Deloris' experience and knowledge of the SVHEC, workforce services, and our grants are a good match for what is needed to move the Advanced Manufacturing Boot Camp initiative forward and to getting the projected results."

Deloris worked as administrative support specialist for Workforce Services@SVHEC since July 2012. She worked on the Workforce Readiness Initiative: Retention of Manufacturing in Southern Virginia under the leadership of Sandra Conner.

Deloris will continue to provide a variety of administrative and programmatic duties in support of workforce services and educational programs. Deloris' work area is located in the administrative suite of the SVHEC's Innovation Center. She can be reached at 434-572-5593 or via email:

Marque Medley, graduate of the Work Ready Foundations©work readiness-training program offered by Workforce Services at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Marque Medley with Deloris Jones and Dr. Nettie Simon-OwensCenter, recently earned his Manufacturing Specialist (MS) certification. The certification is part of Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA)’s Manufacturing Technology training program. This program is a highly specialized course based on the techniques and interrelationships found in high performance manufacturing and production.

To obtain the Manufacturing Specialist certification, Medley had to demonstrate skills attainment in 12 critical technical skills, and obtain passing scores on the Math and Measurement, and Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology assessment modules. Medley passed with a near perfect score, only missing two questions on the entire test. The MT1 assessment is offered as part of the Work Ready Foundations©program.

“By obtaining the Manufacturing Specialist Certificate, Marque now has a nationally recognized portable and stackable industry credential.  It shows employers anywhere in the region that he has attained a certain level of industry-wide technical skills in Math and Measurement, and Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology.  These core manufacturing skills are essential to all production-related occupations in modern manufacturing,” said Katherine DeRosear, VMA Director of Workforce Development.

The Manufacturing Specialist certification is an industry-wide technical skill certification that “stacks” upon the National Career Readiness Certificate (a credential Medley also holds). Together, the certifications give Medley an advantage in a competitive job market. “Having these credentials, especially the Manufacturing Specialist certification, has already given me the opportunity to interview for positions I otherwise would have been turned down for,” Medley stated.


The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TIC) has awarded the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) two grants to strengthen southern Virginia’s workforce. A grant in the amount of $163,750 will fund an Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp initiative, and a second grant in the amount of $20,886 will fund the initial cohort of participants in the SVHEC’s new welding lab.

We are most grateful to the Tobacco Commission for approving these grants. These resources allow us to continue responding to the immediate workforce needs being articulated by regional employers while laying foundational career pathways to prepare our advanced manufacturing workforce,” said Dr. Betty H. Adams, executive director of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

The Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp will use the SVHEC-developed Work Ready Foundations (WRF)curriculum and Virginia Manufacturers Association’s (VMA) Manufacturing Technician Program to prepare participants for success in entry-level advanced manufacturing positions.

Through a combination of lab exercises, demonstrations, and small-group instruction, participants obtain the skills needed for success in almost all manufacturing entry-level positions and a foundation for more advanced skill building. Successful program completers will earn a set of stackable, nationally recognized credentials including the National Career Readiness Certificate, OSHA 10, Lean Principles, Standard Work, and CPR & First Aid.

 The Workforce Services division was renamed Workforce Advancement in 2015.

Work Ready Foundation Completers 2013It was an afternoon filled with pride as the first eight students of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Work Ready Foundations program accepted their stackable industry credentials and certificates of completion and participation. Malcolm Carrington, Jonathan Farmer, James Lloyd, Marque Medley, John Murphy, and Joshua Paynter successfully completed the pilot job readiness-training program. Antwaun Jones and Kadeem Walton received certificates of participation and multiple, stackable workplace credentials. Work Ready Foundations was initiated by SVHEC’s Workforce Services division, and endorsed by the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Executive Roundtable.

Program completers earned six college credits and eight industry credentials including the National Career Readiness Certificate, OSHA 10, Lean Principles, 5S, and Lean Principles. One participant, Marque Medley, also earned the Virginia Manufacturer’s Association Manufacturing Specialist Certification. In addition, a mini-job fair was held for successful program completers and all six who interviewed are anticipating job offers from one or more local employers. The human resources representatives from each company provided valuable feedback and interest levels for each student. At this time, one participant has already received a formal offer and is completing the hiring process with the anticipation of starting work within the next 2-3 weeks. Project coordinator, Sandra Conner, is working one-on-one with each program completer to follow-up and be placed with interested employers.