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SVHEC's Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Link to Resources
COVID-19 Closing: SVHEC is closed and staff is teleworking. Email info@svhec.org or TEXT 434-272-8742 for assistance. 
Community College Students: Please click here for an important notice.

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.

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.

sara dunniganOn August 10th Sara Dunnigan, Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development and Governor McAuliffe’s Chief Workforce Policy Advisor, will be the  guest speaker for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) workforce training completion ceremony. The ceremony will recognize individuals who have successfully completed one of four training programs: information technology through the IT Academy, Mechatronics, Welding@SVHEC, or Work Ready Foundations.

“It is an honor to have Sara Dunnigan participate in our completion ceremony. Her leadership in rolling out the Commonwealth’s Workforce Credential Grant Program (CGP) has had a direct impact on many of the completers who will be recognized,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC executive director.

Dunnigan has been instrumental in implementing the 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. Implemented by the General Assembly in 2016, CGP funding provides financial assistance to allow individuals to receive training in a high demand field, and earn an industry-based certification or state licensure.

Nearly 80% of the individuals to be honored at the SVHEC Workforce Training completion ceremony were supported in their training through the Credential Grant Program. “Without the benefit of the CGP, these programs would have been unaffordable and, therefore, out of reach for these individuals. Instead of receiving credentials and securing new jobs these many of these completers would remain stuck in low-, no-, or under-employment situations,” Adams stated.

The SVHEC’s Workforce Training Completion Ceremony will be held on August 10th at 2:00pm at The Prizery (700 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA). RSVPs are requested to svhecevents@svhec.org. 

More information: SVHEC Workforce Training Programs