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December, 2017, SVCC Welding Graduates

Recent successful completers of the Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development Welding Skills Certification course December 13, 2017 at the Southside Virginia Education Center.  

This is an 11-week program utilizing the NCCER Curriculum at the accredited training and education facility.  Those finishing the most recent class are shown (Left to Right) Donald Brown of Bracey, Michael Walker of Lawrenceville, Jason Vincent of Emporia, Stacy French of Emporia, Monta' Gray of Skippers, Rasha Green of Emporia, Andre Clary of South Hill, Derrond Vaughan of Lawrenceville and Dr. Marcus Bridges, SVCC Welding instructor. 

Thanks to a Truck Driver

By Dr. Al Roberts

Santa may rely on a sleigh and reindeer, but other folks who want holiday packages delivered to distant destinations typically rely on trucks. In fact, the entire U.S. economy depends on the trucking industry. Every year, our nation’s truck drivers carry more than 10 billion tons of freight, a total that represents 70% of all shipped domestic tonnage.

Hauling all these goods is a task that requires more than 3.5 million commercially licensed drivers, and the trucking industry currently faces a shortage of qualified job candidates. In October, the American Transportation Research Institute released a study identifying the driver shortage as the industry’s most critical issue. The report noted, “An optimistic trucking industry outlook, based on improving economic growth in the United States, has many in the industry concerned that the demand for truck drivers will further outpace the supply of qualified drivers. To this end, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates a shortfall of 48,000 drivers, with projections that the shortage could increase to 175,000 by 2025.”

Southside Virginia Community College is helping address this need through the continuing expansion of its Truck Driver Training School, which has already educated more than 2,500 students. SVCC’s Truck Driver Training School was established in 1996 at Ft. Pickett in Blackstone. We added a location in South Boston in 1999 and another in Emporia in 2007. More recently, SVCC has entered into a partnership with Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College to offer the successful program across a broader region. SVCC’s truck driver program has a graduation rate of 85%, and 75% of program graduates have found employment in the industry. They hold jobs with more than 70 companies in capacities that include long distance (coast to coast), regional, dedicated, and local routes.

SVCC’s leadership in truck driver training is also recognized beyond the borders of our region. Earlier this year, Duncan Quicke, the program’s coordinator, traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the invitation of Schneider National to participate on their Truck Driver Training Advisory Board, a forum for exchanging ideas and best practices in areas such as safety, training, regulatory compliance, and technology. Schneider is one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, and representatives from only 11 schools around the nation were selected to be included.

Students in SVCC’s Truck Driver Training School participate in a six-week program during which they receive 240 hours of instruction and hands-on practice. The class day mimics a normal workday, and activities include pre-trip inspections, keeping logbooks updated, highway driving, and maneuvering procedures such as twisting, turning, and backing up.

For information about driver qualifications, student prerequisites, and upcoming class schedules, call the Truck Driver Training School at 434-292-1650.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Learn About the SVCC Power Line Worker Training Program

Learn more about the Power Line Worker Training Program of Southside Viirginia Community College on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center.  The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the center located at 1041 W. 10th Street, Pickett Park, Blackstone, Virginia.

This session will offer information on admission requirements, schedule, cost, housing, job prospects and scholarships.  Join the over 100 graduate of this program that started in 2016. 

Pizza will be served.  Please register at powerlineworker@southside.edu or call Susan Early at 434 292 3101.

Deloris Whitfield Success Story

Deloris Whitfield started with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act(WIOA)youth program in April 2017. She has a passion for helping others so she enrolled in the Nurse Aide program in May 2017 attending Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

 While continuing to work on her credential, Whitfield participated in the 2017 WIOA Youth Summer Program and was involved in quite a few activities. She obtained a work experience with the Hazelwood House in South Hill, Virginia as an Adult Day Care worker. From this experience, she received a phenomenal reference letter for her work ethic.

During the summer program, she also completed the Tools for Success work readiness training.  Whitfield participated in the 3-D Imaging Dream It Do It Camp. She was one of the selected winners for her project and presentation of the skills she had learned in the camp.

She completed her CNA training in July of 2017 and successfully completed the WIOA youth program also.  She later successfully obtained her CNA licensure and gained full-time employment with Meadowview Terrace on as a Certified Nurse Aide.  She hopes to further her education with a stackable credential in Medication Aide.

A native of Brunswick County, she now lives in South Hill.

The W.I.O.A. Youth (OSY) program assists eligible students, between the ages of 14 and 24, in reaching the goal of high school graduation or obtaining the GED. We provide a variety of services to assist the student in making reasonable strides toward this goal. These services include tutoring, additional counseling, mentoring, transportation reimbursement, childcare assistance, career exploration, incentives and supply provisions if there is documented need for these services. The funding for this program is provided by the WIOA through the South Central Workforce Investment Board.  The contract for the Youth Programs is awarded to SVCC which provides the direction and coordination of the youth services.

Southside Virginia Community College Participates in Schneider Truck Driving School Advisory Board

School is among top programs placing new professional truck drivers in the industry with Schneider

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin and BLACKSTONE, Virginia (December 4, 2017) – Southside Virginia Community College recently attended the 2017 Truck Driving School Advisory Board meeting hosted by Schneider. One of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, Schneider regularly invites top truck driving schools to attend its biennial event. This year, 11 schools were selected to attend.

The event provides these top producing truck driving schools and Schneider senior leaders a two-day forum to exchange ideas and best practices in areas such as safety, training, regulatory compliance and technology – with the end goal of setting up graduates for success as professional truck drivers.

“We view this event as critical to our collective success in ensuring graduates are prepared for new careers as professional truck drivers,” said Rob Reich, Schneider’s senior vice president of equipment, maintenance and driver recruiting. “It is vital to our industry that new drivers are prepared for today’s trucking and the information and learnings exchanged keep us all abreast as to what trends we are seeing to ensure graduates’ expectations are met.”

The U.S. has been plagued by a driver shortage for years. According to the American Trucking Associations, it is estimated that the industry is currently short 100,000 drivers and the gap is expected to grow to 160,000 by 2022. This creates great, lucrative opportunities for those interested in joining the industry as over 70 percent of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. moves by truck.

“The experience we had with the Schneider team during the two-day meeting was invaluable,” said C. Duncan Quicke, coordinator of the truck driver training school at Southside Virginia Community College. “We have worked hard in our 21 years of existence to make the transition from school to employment as seamless as possible, and even though Schneider is the largest carrier that hires our graduates, they are able to offer those personal amenities that helps to make their drivers know that they too are an integral part of the trucking profession.”

A focus item at this year’s event was making it easier for those interested in attending a truck driving school. Schneider offers a $7,000 tuition reimbursement program to new hires and regularly attends the schools to present career opportunities and conduct interviews.

Another focus was learning about improvements in career opportunities for graduates. Items that Schneider shared were its shift to automated transmissions, driver pay increases in 2017 and new work opportunities that provide more home time for drivers. Over 75 percent of Schneider drivers get home weekly or more frequently.

For more information about professional driving positions with Schneider, visit www.schneiderjobs.com. Information about Southside Virginia Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program is available at www.southside.edu.

SVCC Faculty Recognized at VCCA Annual Meeting

Southside Virginia Community College was well represented at the Virginia Community College Association Annual Meeting.  Four members of the college were recognized as Showcase recipients for 2017.  This recognition is for leadership, dedication and hard work at their colleges and to the mission of the Virginia Community College System.  Three of those recognized from SVCC are (left to right) LaTrisha McCargo, Library Specialist and currently Acting Coordinator at the Estes Community Center in Chase City, Melissa Dunn Back, Assistant Professor of Biology on the John H. Daniel Campus, and Angela L. Jackson, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Finance and Administration. 

Alfonzo Seward (left) Associate Professor of Administration of Justice for the Christanna Campus of SVCC receives his Showcase award during the annual Virginia Community Colleges Association conference held recently.  Seward received a Showcase award in recognition of his leadership, dedication and hard work in promoting the mission of the Virginia Community College System. 

BENCHMARK BANK HONORS THE LEGACY OF MIKE WALKER WITH SVCC SCHOLARHSIP

 

Dr. Al Roberts,President of Southside Virginia Community College, Mike Walker, and Jay A. Stafford, President and Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark Community Bank  (Left to Right).

Benchmark Community Bank has established the Michael O. Walker Benchmark Community Bank Scholarship at Southside Virginia Community College.  This honors the leadership and legacy of Walker’s 43 years of service at the bank. 

In the bank’s most recent Annual Report, it notes, “The Mike Walker years will be remembered for the extraordinary progress made and the healthy growth of the bank, which almost doubled in asset size and added over 17,000 customers during that time.” 

Another aspect of Walker’s legacy is recorded as “his input was always greatly appreciated, sometimes awe-inspiring.”

Walker worked at the bank for over four decades and served as the President and CEO for 12 years until his recent retirement.  During his tenure, he introduced a robust secondary mortgage program, reorganization of loan operations, introduced a Benchmark credit card, construction of three new branch facilities and the completion of five major renovation projects.   He also spent ten years encouraging employees to “Make Southside Smile.”

This scholarship in his honor will continue Walker’s contribution to happy people in Southside Virginia.

Virginia Governor Attends SVCC Power Line Graduation

Graduates of Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Program

Front Row L-R: Jamall Walker (Blackstone), Hunter Cline (Gretna), Brandon Morgan (Farmville), Jackson Clay (Evington), Kyle Edwards (Amelia), Matthew Kirby (Montpelier), Scott Geovannello (Chesterfield), Brad Wike, Instructor, Clyde Robertson, Director.  Middle Row- Donald Neece (Powhatan), Kenny McMichael (Sedley), Chris Walker (Windsor), Jacob Bailess (Hurt), Raphael Rector (Dunnsville), Zachary Patterson (Powhatan), Jacob Taylor (Appomattox), Caleb Krahenbill (Palmyra) and Nathan Nelson (New Castle).  Back Row- Sonny Smith, Instructor, Peter Hoskins (Marshall), Dylan Fraser (Stafford), Justin Chandler (Henrico), Trevor Paul (Crewe), Chase Barnard (Chesapeake), John-Mark Hall (Ruther Glen),  Jacob Pruitt (Painter) and Douglas Dunn (Sutherland).

 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was tapped as the honorary 100th graduate of the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Training School on November 21, 2017.  He joined the 24 other graduates completing the sixth class held since opening of the program in March of 2016

SVCC’s Power Line Worker Training Program is a direct result of McAuliffe’s belief in credentials for workforce readiness and he noted his administration provided the first $200,000 Talent Solutions for Economic Development Grant to get it rolling.

In introducing the Governor, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, said, “ “Governor McAuliffe’s presence at today’s ceremony serves to highlight the value of the Power Line Training Program in meeting a critical workforce need.”  

“This is a great day in Virginia.  We are training people for real jobs, higher paying jobs, this is exciting that we are preparing for the Bold New Virginia Economy,” McAuliffe said.

He noted that the state of Virginia is at almost full-employment, noting his efforts to bring industry and jobs to the state while ensuring there are people to fill these jobs. 

The governor also praised the community colleges in Virginia for the move in the right direction by training the workforce of the state.  The Power Line program also fits into the Virginia Community College System Rural Virginia Horseshoe initiative of which the goals areimproving the educational outcomes of rural communities to establish a common foundation for all Virginians, wherever they may live.

The first of its kind in Virginia, the school was founded by a public-private partnership between Virginia’s electric co-ops, Southside Virginia Community College, the Virginia Community College System and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The motivation to establish the program grew from the demand for power line workers throughout Virginia and the nation. 

Clyde Robertson, Instructor and a 41-year veteran lineman, has lead each class through completion with a 90 percent hiring rate. 

Students completing the program receive five Workforce credentials, including Commercial Driver’s License, OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid, NCCER Power Line Worker Level 1 and VCOT Traffic Controller. 

After the ceremony, the class demonstrated their prowess at climbing poles, rescuing techniques and repairing lines on the field where they train at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center at Pickette Park;  the field is often referred to as “The Playground.”

Inset Photo:  Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (Left) was awarded the honorary 100th certificate from the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Graduation on November 21m 2017.  Dr. Al Roberts (Right), SVCC President, gave him the certificate, a PLW shirt and hat.

Open House At CITE Lab on November 30, 2017

The public is invited to an Open House at the Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) Lab located at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  Open House is Thursday November 30, 2017 anytime from 5 to 7 p.m. at 118 East Danville Street. 

Come learn about the program and meet some of our students who are currentlypreparing for exciting careers in the Information Technology world. The lab offers students realistic learning experiences in a simulated data center environment and prepares them to take CompTia credentials (A+, Server+, Network+,Security+), industry standards.

Made possible through a grant from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and a partnership with the Town of South Hill, the lab has been built and furnished to provide a state-of-the-art laboratory in which students will learn and hone the skills for jobs in IT.  This field encompassesthe application of computer to store, study, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise.

For information, call 434 955 2252.

SVCC Student On a Supreme Path

During his sophomore year at Buckingham County High School, Ty’Leik Chambers made a decision that focused the course of his life and set him on an education and career path that he hopes will culminate with a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Although Ty’Leik was a strong student, he did not feel challenged. “I wanted to do something hard,” he says. So, Ty’Leik decided to apply for admission into the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia(GSSV).

The Virginia Governor’s School Program began in 1973 to help address the needs of academically motivated young people like Ty’Leik who thrive in a demanding, interdisciplinary environment.

 GSSV, one of 19 academic-year schools within the Governor’s School program, is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education in partnership with ten participating school divisions. Southside Virginia Community College hosts the school at its two main campuses. Students from Brunswick, Greensville, Mecklenburg (Park View High School), and Nottoway counties attend classes at SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta. Ty’Leik and his classmates from Buckingham County High School along with their peers from Amelia, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg (Bluestone), and Prince Edward counties attend classes at SVCC’s John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.

Laurie Michaelson, GSSV Director says, “We have wonderful students at GSSV, and Ty’Leik is a great example of our student body. He is intelligent, grounded, service minded, and motivated to learn.”

Ty’Leik credits his family for encouraging him. “My mom always promoted education. She encouraged me to apply to Governor’s School. She was my inspiration and was very supportive.”

His older sister was also instrumental. “Instead of reading just stories, she would read to me out of her text books. I still remember some of the facts she read.”

Now in his senior year, Ty’Leik reflects on his education journey so far, “It’s been way better than I expected. I have friends from other counties who are people like me, people who really value the education and opportunities they have and do not waste it.”

One of his teachers, Leslie Poling, says, “Ty'Leik is a wonderful student. He is equally adept at being a leader and a worker bee. He also knows when to take each role. I had him in chemistry last year and research this year. He is hard working, a high achiever, and able to work well with anyone.”

Research is a key component of the GSSV curriculum. All students are a required participate in the development and execution of an original, two-year research project. Ty’Leik’s project focuses on a safety issue. “If someone is cooking on a grill, it can start a fire if it is too close to the house.” With two other students, he is investigating a way to determine if the type of paint used on a building’s exterior impacts its risk of catching on fire. Ty’Leik and his group will present their findings at a research symposium to be held on SVCC’s Daniel Campus.

The opportunity to conduct and present original research makes an impressive entry on students’ college applications, and Ty’Leik has ambitious plans for his future. “After graduation, I would like to attend the University of Virginia with a double major in pre-law and American studies, or at least a minor in American Studies. After graduation from UVA, I’d like to go to Harvard Law School.” He also has his ideal career path plotted. “I’d like to become a district attorney, then a judge, and then a justice on the Supreme Court.”

He explains, “I grew up hearing stories of great African Americans who influenced and shaped the direction of our country.” Ty’Leik hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of these great Americans.

Ty’Leik is eager to take up that mantle of leadership and help steer the nation toward a brighter future. To students who may be considering applying to GSSV, he offers this advice: “Yes. It can be a challenge. But it can be overcome. Classes are hard but the relationships with the teachers and the knowledge they provide makes it possible. GSSV is a wise and smart decision.”

For information about GGSV, visit gssv.southside.edu

SVCC Student On a Supreme Path

During his sophomore year at Buckingham County High School, Ty’Leik Chambers made a decision that focused the course of his life and set him on an education and career path that he hopes will culminate with a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Although Ty’Leik was a strong student, he did not feel challenged. “I wanted to do something hard,” he says. So, Ty’Leik decided to apply for admission into the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia(GSSV).

The Virginia Governor’s School Program began in 1973 to help address the needs of academically motivated young people like Ty’Leik who thrive in a demanding, interdisciplinary environment.

 GSSV, one of 19 academic-year schools within the Governor’s School program, is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education in partnership with ten participating school divisions. Southside Virginia Community College hosts the school at its two main campuses. Students from Brunswick, Greensville, Mecklenburg (Park View High School), and Nottoway counties attend classes at SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta. Ty’Leik and his classmates from Buckingham County High School along with their peers from Amelia, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg (Bluestone), and Prince Edward counties attend classes at SVCC’s John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.

Laurie Michaelson, GSSV Director says, “We have wonderful students at GSSV, and Ty’Leik is a great example of our student body. He is intelligent, grounded, service minded, and motivated to learn.”

Ty’Leik credits his family for encouraging him. “My mom always promoted education. She encouraged me to apply to Governor’s School. She was my inspiration and was very supportive.”

His older sister was also instrumental. “Instead of reading just stories, she would read to me out of her text books. I still remember some of the facts she read.”

Now in his senior year, Ty’Leik reflects on his education journey so far, “It’s been way better than I expected. I have friends from other counties who are people like me, people who really value the education and opportunities they have and do not waste it.”

One of his teachers, Leslie Poling, says, “Ty'Leik is a wonderful student. He is equally adept at being a leader and a worker bee. He also knows when to take each role. I had him in chemistry last year and research this year. He is hard working, a high achiever, and able to work well with anyone.”

Research is a key component of the GSSV curriculum. All students are a required participate in the development and execution of an original, two-year research project. Ty’Leik’s project focuses on a safety issue. “If someone is cooking on a grill, it can start a fire if it is too close to the house.” With two other students, he is investigating a way to determine if the type of paint used on a building’s exterior impacts its risk of catching on fire. Ty’Leik and his group will present their findings at a research symposium to be held on SVCC’s Daniel Campus.

The opportunity to conduct and present original research makes an impressive entry on students’ college applications, and Ty’Leik has ambitious plans for his future. “After graduation, I would like to attend the University of Virginia with a double major in pre-law and American studies, or at least a minor in American Studies. After graduation from UVA, I’d like to go to Harvard Law School.” He also has his ideal career path plotted. “I’d like to become a district attorney, then a judge, and then a justice on the Supreme Court.”

He explains, “I grew up hearing stories of great African Americans who influenced and shaped the direction of our country.” Ty’Leik hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of these great Americans.

Ty’Leik is eager to take up that mantle of leadership and help steer the nation toward a brighter future. To students who may be considering applying to GSSV, he offers this advice: “Yes. It can be a challenge. But it can be overcome. Classes are hard but the relationships with the teachers and the knowledge they provide makes it possible. GSSV is a wise and smart decision.”

For information about GGSV, visit gssv.southside.edu

How to Start College with an Advantage

By Dr. Al Roberts

Dual enrollment programs operate as collaborative partnerships between high schools and colleges. They offer students who meet prerequisite requirements an opportunity to jumpstart collegiate and professional careers by earning college credits while still in high school.

Dual enrollment differs from other accelerated learning options in significant ways. For example, in Advanced Placement (AP) programs, students receive high school credit for passing approved courses, but the conferring of college credit is conditional. It depends on a student’s choice to take a qualifying exam (20–30% do not) and then on the score ultimately received. In dual enrollment programs, students take actual college courses from appropriately credentialed teachers. Credits earned through dual enrollment appear on the student’s permanent college transcript.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and the Community College Research Center at Columbia University recently examined dual enrollment programs. Their study, published in September 2017, reported that students who work on college courses concurrently with high school completion were more likely than their peers to graduate from high school, attend college, and earn a college credential. The study also found that students with as little as one term’s participation also accrued benefits. Among students from Virginia, educational attainment for dually enrolled students surpassed national averages.

The ability of dual enrollment to reduce the total cost of degree or credential attainment is perhaps the best-known advantage of dual enrollment, but programs also confer other benefits. For students who are the first in their families to attend college and for those from groups that are traditionally underserved by institutions of higher education, dual enrollment courses offer a preliminary look at what college work will require. Participating helps these young adults develop the confidence they need to persist and achieve their goals. For students focused on technical and professional credentials, dual enrollment options help them acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce.

At Southside Virginia Community College, our dual enrollment program seeks to expand a tradition of higher education across our region. Approximately 70% of SVCC’s dual enrollment students pursue either an Associate of Arts and Sciences (AA&S) degree, which will transfer to most of Virginia’s four-year colleges and universities, or a Career Studies Certificate (CSC) in a technical or professional area. These areas include welding, automotive diagnosis and tune-up, high-performance technology, advanced manufacturing, computer-related fields, and nurse aide. About 30% of our dual enrollment students take classes to accumulate a few college credits or to skip introductory-level classes. During the most recently completed academic year, graduating dually enrolled seniors earned 252 Associates Degrees, 35 General Education Certificates, and 230 Career Studies Certificates.

For more information about dual enrollment opportunities at SVCC, contact Katherine Clatterbuck, Dual Enrollment Coordinator (434-736-2080 or katherine.clatterbuck@southside.edu).

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Verghese Award Presented To Hafey

Lori Haley (Left) is a recipient of the K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award at Southside Virginia Community College.  The award is being presented by Patricia Archer(Right) , Association Professor of Practical Nursing Program.  Dr. Verghese was a dean at SVCC and instrumental in the establishment of the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing Programs at the college.  

The K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award has been awarded to the outstanding Practical Nursing Program student of Southside Virginia Community College Christanna Campus.  Lori L. Hafey of Emporia, Virginia recently received the award.

The award was established by the Arts and Sciences faculty at the Christanna Campus of SVCC and supported by the Verghese family to commemorate the instrumental role played by Dr. Verghese in the establishment of both the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing programs at the college.

Hafey is a Licensed Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate, a Nationally Registered Phlebotomist and Licensed Virginia Insurance agent.  She has served as a volunteer on the Greensville Rescue Squad for 17 years.  She is a 1998 graduate of Greensville County High School.  She is daughter of Dennis and Gwen Hafey of Bracey.  

Southside Virginia Community College's Truck Driving Training Program Graduates from October 19, 2017.

Front Row, Left to Right: Shawn Allen (Farmville), Jonathan Wilmouth (Drakes Branch) ( also graduated from Diesel Tech), Robert Judy (Phenix), Jessie James, Sr. (Crewe). Back Row L-R: Dennis Seay (Instructor), Doug Kemerer (Instructor), Wesley Drake (Lawrenceville), Jarrett Coleman (Amelia), Tim Redd (Meherrin), Latwaun Robinson (Prospect), Ron Burk-Bryan (Kenbridge), Duncan Quicke (TDTS Coordinator) and Kurtis Jones, Public Safety & Recruiting for Abilene Motor Carriers. (Guest Speaker).  Next class at Pickett Park begins November 6, 2017.

Pumpkin Patch Carves Out New Agribusiness Niche

In fairy tales, pumpkins turn into coaches; in Dundas, Virginia pumpkins turn into the latest successful agribusiness venture for one farm family. Producing and providing ‘genuine farm charm’ is the way the Parrish family has reinvented agribusiness on a four-generation piece of land in Lunenburg County called the Parrish Pumpkin Patch.

Currently, two students of the Southside Virginia Community College Agribusiness program have the cool job of working there as interns. Students gain hands-on experience to complement classroom training and determine if the responsibilities of the internship position match future full-time employment interests. The internship can also provide insights into many different facets of the business.

The Parrish’ family has been instrumental to the College’s Agribusiness program by providing internships and jobs to students. Casey Early of Keysville interns at the PPP. She has plans to continue her SVCC studies by transferring to Virginia Tech. Caitlin Lee of Kenbridge is also interning at the pumpkin farm and plans to continue studies online for her four-year degree. Other SVCC students who have been a part of the Patch team include Taylour Edmonds, Kelli Haizlip, Wade Bagley, Will Daniel and Taylor Robbins Edmonds said of her experience, “It was a job: I got paid, I worked, I hustled, I complained on occasion, I sweated, I organized, and so on. I did not, however, ever have a day at Parrish Pumpkin Patch that I did not look forward to.”

This innovative farm provides a great ‘lab’ for classes at the College. Recently, a class from the College spent a day at the farm observing the events as three school busloads of children descended.

PPP is a family affair and the idea was hatched by Liz and Jeff Parrish about nine years ago. With help from their three children and their parents, the venture has grown and morphed into a portion of the farm’s annual income. They grow pumpkins from seeds in flats, transfer to the ground and tend to them until harvest.

Besides getting a pumpkin at the patch, entertainment includes an Imax theater experience in a repurposed 75-foot silo, a hayride, trip through a corn maze, farm animals and corn bins to jump in. There are also places to take photos and picnic. The pumpkin patch operates seven days a week during the month of October.

Jeff Parrish noted that the farm combines the old with the new. He said they still farm soybeans, corn and pumpkins in a place where a dairy farm stood for forty years. The farm has been featured on the Virginia Is For Lovers website as a fall event.

The parrishpumpkinpatch.com website tells the whole story. As noted in the About Us section, “The family’s favorite part of the May-November process is the PEOPLE along the journey; their supporters and staff, returning faithfuls and all the newcomers, young and old. But especially, the gratification felt by being able to run the business at their farm, where at the end of each draining day, they can take a short walk to the back door of their humble abode, and crash.”

Eli Parrish, son and integral part of the operation, studied Agribusiness at SVCC and now attends Virginia Tech to complete a four-year degree. 

Jarratt Native Has a Cool Job

This guy’s job is so cool that he was among those called to help people recover after a natural disaster.  Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and James L. Ozmar III, a native of Jarratt, is a graduate of the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Program who joined the long line of power and construction workers to help rebuild in that state. 

A graduate of the second class of Power Line Workers held at SVCC, he began working for River City Construction a few months after his September 2016 graduation.  The company provides power line construction and maintenance and is prepared to answer the call for post storm damage, according to their website.

Ozmar says, “All things considered, Florida was not as bad as everyone was expecting.  It was like any other storm, just in a much hotter climate and on a larger scale.”

His team was sent to Plant City, Florida which is located near Tampa towards the west coast of the state. 

He said, “It felt great helping the people in Florida.  Throwing that last cutout switch and hearing the whole neighborhood cheer is a feeling that just cannot be described.”

About what he learned at the 11-week SVCC PLW program, he said, “The school taught me many skills but the most relevant would be my ability to work on hooks [climbing poles often hanging on hooks].” 

He said there were times they faced several poles where the primary came off the insulator or when we needed to replace a jumper on poles inaccessible by bucket truck. 

In these cases, “It is imperative to be able to work on hooks and do it with confidence, “Ozmar said.

JOB FAIR COMING TO EMPORIA AREA **NOTE CORRECTED DATE**

►PLEASE NOTE CORRECTED DATE

A Job Fair will be held Thursday, October 26,   2017 at the Southside Virginia Education Center located at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, Virginia.  The event is free and open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Job seekers should dress to impress, bring copies of resume, a photo ID and a copy of your WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate(CRC).

This Job Fair is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services along with Crater Business Services Team.  The event is also sponsored by WPTM 102.3, WWDW 107.7, WTRG 97.9, WSMY 1400 “All Sports”,995 JAMS, and WDLZ 98.3    Reserve a booth by October 19, 217.  Employer registration is required by contacting Angela McClintock at angela.mcclintock@southside.edu or 434 949 1026.

Job Fair Prep Workshops on Resume Writing Job Search and Applying for Jobs will be held at the SVEC on October 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. An Interview Skills workshop is planned for October 23, 2017, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is required at https://southside.augusoft.net.

Embracing the Challenge

By Dr. Al Roberts

American boxer Sugar Ray Leonard claimed, “Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that compares to testing yourself the way you do every time you step into the ring.”

Leonard certainly knew about testing and pushing himself to do his best. Among his many achievements, he won three National Golden Gloves titles, claimed two Amateur Athletic Union championships, and received an Olympic gold medal. His professional career spanned twenty years, and he won world titles in five different weight classes.

As Leonard’s words suggest, gifted athletes need rigorous challenges to achieve their full potential. Without testing limits and pushing beyond them, athletes may never have the opportunity to discover what they can accomplish.

This same principle holds true for talented students. Recognizing that some students thrive on strenuous challenges and have academic needs that differ from their age-level peers, Virginia instituted the Governor’s School program in 1973. Today, that program includes 19 academic-year schools throughout the Commonwealth.

Southside Virginia Community College is proud to host one of those schools, the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia, at its Christanna Campus in Alberta and John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville. GSSV’s student body includes nearly two hundred academically skilled juniors and seniors from eleven high schools in ten counties. These hard-working young adults thrive in a learning environment that is more independent than a traditional high school setting, and they tackle an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes conducting a two-year research project. During the course of their research, students work with scientists in the field, travel to facilities with specialized laboratory equipment, and develop mentoring relationships with working professionals. Along the way, they master college-level material in subject areas such as mathematics, science, and English. Finally, they hone their public speaking skills to present their findings at a senior symposium.

GSSV students spend part of the school day on the SVCC campus. They also participate as dually enrolled students in college-level courses offered at their home high schools. These courses help round out the curriculum in a way that enables students to earn both a high school diploma and Associates degree when they graduate.

The GSSV application process, which is highly competitive, begins during the fall of a student’s 10thgrade year. In determining admission, participating school divisions follow a matrix that considers teacher recommendations and each applicant’s test results, grade point average, and writing ability. Prospective students also participate in a shadowing event where they follow a GSSV student for a day, ride to SVCC on the bus, and visit classes.

Students who want to push themselves to see what they can accomplish can get more information about the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia by contacting GSSV Director Laurie Michaelson at 434-736-2086.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

JOB FAIR COMING TO EMPORIA AREA

A Job Fair will be held Thursday, October 9, 2017 at the Southside Virginia Education Center located at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, Virginia.  The event is free and open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Job seekers should dress to impress, bring copies of resume, a photo ID and a copy of your WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate(CRC).

This Job Fair is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services along with Crater Business Services Team.  The event is also sponsored by WPTM 102.3, WWDW 107.7, WTRG 97.9, WSMY 1400 “All Sports”,995 JAMS, and WDLZ 98.3    Reserve a booth by October 19, 217.  Employer registration is required by contacting Angela McClintock at angela.mcclintock@southside.edu or 434 949 1026.

Job Fair Prep Workshops on Resume Writing Job Search and Applying for Jobs will be held at the SVEC on October 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. An Interview Skills workshop is planned for October 23, 2017, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is required at https://southside.augusoft.net

Apprenticeship Takes Center Stage at Data Center

 

Matthew Hamlett (Left)  and Maynard Stowe from the Department of Labor.

Over a year ago, Matthew Hamlett was looking for a job. His outlook did not seem promising but still, he had to find a job. Apprehensively he drove to the South Boston Workforce Center praying someone there would help. His simple plan, file for unemployment, and look for a job. Uncertain on what to expect, he quickly realized the benefits available to him at this community resource center.

Connecting with two individuals at the center answered Hamlett’s hopes.  The first was a caseworker with WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act), Kris Tuck, and the second was the Apprenticeship Coordinator for Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC), Kelly Arnold. The two shared programs that would open doors for a career that he had never considered.

The first step was to enroll at SVCC in the Industrial Maintenance program with a concentration in Electrical and HVAC. Secondly, he entered into an Apprenticeship program with ISS, a facilities management company for a local IT data center. Additionally, WIOA’s collaboration effort allowed ISS to receive wage reimbursement for Hamlett’s on-the-job training.

The SVCC apprenticeship program works directly with the Department of Labor and Industry(DOL). Maynard Stowe, the DOL representative, registered Hamlett as an Industrial Maintenance Technician, and outlined the requirements needed to combine on-the-job training in the amount of 2700 hours, with SVCC classes.

Hamlett willingly accepted the task:  long days at work, followed by long nights in the classroom, but soon it began to pay off.

“It seemed as if what I learned in the classroom lined-up with the exact project we were working on at the data center”, remarked Hamlett. “In fact, this encouraged me to study more because I knew I would see it the next day at work”.

Many hours, and many SVCC classes later, he earned his Apprenticeship card as an Industrial Manufacturing Technician. While many cheered at his accomplishment, he said that this was not the end of the journey.

In fact, he said, “I am still taking classes in the evening and plan on graduating with my associate’s degree in May, 2018. From there, I want to pursue a degree in Engineering, and yes, still working full time at a great job, surrounded by encouraging mentors, in a career pathway I never considered. “

Endnote: for more information on the Apprenticeship program, visit the website www.Apprenticeva.com. Information on WIOA, visit the South Boston Workforce Center.

Safety is Cool for SVCC Graduate

Stuart Bowen’s job is cool because he makes safety a priority for the citizens of the area. Bowen is Chief of Police for the town of South Hill, Virginia, a job he began in July of 2016. 

Bowen began training for this cool job at Southside Virginia Community College.  A graduate of Halifax County High School, Bowen attended SVCC from August of 1993 to May of 1995 graduating with an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in Administration of Justice. 

He said, “SVCC was instrumental in laying the groundwork that led to my graduation from Longwood and the cutting-edge topics that I was exposed to at both schools gave me a leg up as I started my career and was able to quickly move into leadership roles in the police department.”

Chief Bowen is also a graduate of Longwood University, attending from January of 1996 to December of 1998, at which time he received the Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology (Criminal Justice Concentration).

He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico and Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. 

He moved through the ranks at the Lynchburg Police Department serving that city for 16 years.  He worked as a Patrol Officer, Community Policing Officer, Special Operations Division, and Criminal Investigation Division.  He notes one of the highlights of his career was as Acting Captain of the Criminal Investigation Division during two successful homicide cases in Lynchburg.   Also, as Special Investigations Unit Commander (Vice, Gang, Intelligence Units), he helped to develop the department’s intelligence lead policing model and, also had the opportunity to lead the Street Crimes and K9 Units.

During his career, he has received numerous awards including Field Operations Officer of the Year, two Honorable Service Awards, one Unit Citation and over 70 Department Commendations.  He has received specialized training and participated in activities such as Breath Alcohol Operator, Taser Instructor, Special Deputy US Marshal (Operation Falcon) and sworn with DEA. 

For information on the Administration of Justice Program at SVCC, visit www.southside.edu

Class offered by SVCC for Restaurant Workers

ServSafe® will be offered by Southside Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Team in two locations during October.  The course covers food safety training from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. This is a necessity for all restaurant owners, food service managers, cooks andl ine staff and satisfies the “Person in Charge” requirement of the Virginia State Health Department.

This course is being offered at the Lake Country Advanced knowledge Center in South Hill on October 10, 12, 17, 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The course will be offered at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia October 17, 19, 24, 26 from 5  p.m. to 8 p.m.

Pre-registration is required through http://southside.augusoft.net or contact Angela McClintock at 434 949 1026 or angela.mcclintock@southside.edu

COLLEGE DAY AND FOUR YEAR COLLEGE TOUR SET FOR OCTOBER 4

Area eleventh and twelfth-grade high school students and their parents are invited to attend “College Day” at Southside Virginia Community College’s Christanna Campus in Alberta on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  This is the Regional College Day program for Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and parts of Lunenburg and Nottoway counties.  Second-year students and graduates of two-year college degree programs are also urged to attend.  Over 40 colleges, universities and special schools will be represented.

Institutions that should be represented include Art Institute of Washington, Averett University, Bluefield College, Bryant and Stratton-Richmond, Christopher Newport University, College of William and Mary, Concord University, Davis and Elkins, Eastern Mennonite University, Emory and Henry College, Ferrum College, George Mason University,  Hampden-Sydney College, Hampton University, Hollins University, James Madison University, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Johnson & Wales University, King University, Liberty University,  Longwood University, Lynchburg College,  Mary Baldwin College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Wesleyan College,  Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University On Line, Pfeiffer University, Radford University,  Regent University, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Southside Regional Medical Center, Southside Virginia Community College, The Apprentice School, University of Mary Washington, University of Mount Olive, University of Virginia, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech and Virginia Wesleyan College.  Also attending will be a representative for the Virginia Tobacco Region Scholarship.  For more information about “College Day” contact the Admissions Office at SVCC’s Christanna Campus at 434-949-1014.

Panther Prep Day for SVCC Is October 3, 2017

Plan now to attend Panther Prep Advising Day at various sites of Southside Virginia Community College on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.  This event is the perfect time to register for Spring 2018 classes, meet with advisors learn about the offerings at SVCC and just have some fun.  There will be music, food, giveaways, demonstrations, financial aid information, entertainment and more.  Get immersed in the culture of SVCC at this event.

Save the date and time, October 3, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 6 P.m.  This event will be held at six locations.  Christanna Campus in Alberta, John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill, Southside Virginia Education Center in Empoiria and SVCC Occupational Technical Center in Blackstone.

For information, check out the SVCC Facebook or www.southside.edu

Daughters of the American Revolution Encourage Commemoration of Signing of US Constitution

Members of William Taylor Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (Louise Ogburn of South Hill, Christie Hales of Lawrenceville, Mary Jane Elkins of South Hill and Nancy Turner of Kenbridge) encourage students at Southside Virginia Community College to join in commemorating the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America—September 17-23.  

The Transformative Power of Education

By Dr. Al Roberts

The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group that informs the public about issues, attitudes, and trends that shape the country and the world, examined the situation facing workers in the United States. The report summarizing their findings was titled “The State of American Jobs: How the shifting economic landscape is reshaping work and society and affecting the way people think about the skills and training they need to get ahead” (October 2016).

“The nature of jobs is changing,” the report noted. “Employment data shows that the job categories with the highest growth tend to require higher social skills, analytic savvy, and technical prowess.” The study’s survey of employed adults found that an overwhelming majority—87%—said getting training and developing new skills were either important or essential for staying abreast of changes in the workplace. The report stated, “Americans believe knowledge of computers, social dexterity, communications skills, and access to training are key to success for today’s workers.”

To address these concerns, Southside Virginia Community College maintains active partnerships with business and industry leaders throughout our service area. These collaborative efforts help ensure that curricula are up to date and aligned with current and future workers’ needs. One example is the recent launch of the Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) Lab located at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

The CITE Lab was made possible through a grant from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and developed under the guidance of local employers, including Microsoft. Microsoft’s cloud computing facility in Mecklenburg County is one of the largest in the world. The CITE Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment lets students learn in a situation that replicates the work environment of large data centers and prepares them to earn important CompTia industry credentials (A+, Server+, Network+, and Security+).

The rise of cloud computing, which involves collecting and storing data, is one of the driving forces behind technology-related employment growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, they report wages within the field are more than double the median wage for all occupations.

At SVCC, our mission is to give everyone an educational foundation that develops and extends their skills and knowledge. This enables students to embark upon or move along career paths in growing fields with family sustaining wages. We believe in the transformative power of education. We believe students can meet challenges and change their lives through learning, and we believe education can lead to individual prosperity and regional economic vitality. The responsibility to instruct scholars and train tomorrow’s workforce drives all our activities. For more information about how your education needs can be met, call 434-949-1000.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu

August 24 2017 Graduates from SVCC Truck Driving Program

Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training Graduates from the most recent Emporia class on August 24, 2017 along with college personnel are (Left to Right) Duncan Quicke, Truck Driving Program Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Jimmy Edwards of Courtland, Douglas E. Cannon of Brodnax, Kenneth Francis of Boykins, Travis Kidd of Franklin, Doug Kemerer, Instructor, Kashadd Stith of Jarrett , Dennis Seay, Instructor and Clyde Rothgeb, Instructor and   guest speaker,  Frank Sinclair, the recruiter for Schneider National.

SVCC Nursing Club Elects 2017 Officers

Southside Virginia Community College Christanna Campus Nursing Club officers are (Left to Right) President, Patricia Rice, Emporia, Vice President, Randy Roberts, Boydton, Secretary, Emily Watts, Gasburg, Treasurer, Allison Cheely, Blackstone, Co Treasurer, Jacqueline Parham, Dinwiddie.

Help For Harvey Victims at SVCC

The office of Student Activities at Southside Virginia Community College has collaborated with several non-profit organization who will be taking supplies to Texas for Hurricane Harvey Relief.  The student services areas on the Christanna and Keysville campuses will be drop off locations from now until September 15, 2017. 

Items needed include: bleach, cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, dust pans, paper products, laundry detergent, non-perishable food, manual can openers, plastic food containers, plastic zip bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, brushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, dry or canned pet food, cat litter, collars and leashes, tarps, batteries and flashlights, emergency candle, clothes pins and lines, matches, generators, shovels, trash bags, diapers, personal care items, and formula for babies. 

Any questions can be directed to Le’Tina giles, Student Activities Coordinator, 434 736 2023 or letina.giles@southside.edu

SVCC Graduates Fifth Class of Power Line Workers

The Power Line Worker Training Program of Southside Virginia Community College graduated the fifth class of students on August 30, 2017.  Those completing the 11-week course are

L-R front Row: Sonny Smith (Instructor) Quadre’ Pulliam (Saxe), Wyatt Timberlake (Crewe), Sidney Card (Chesterfield), Khalil Watson (Farmville), Zachary Davis (Beaverdam), Trey Pruitt (Tangier), Brad Wike and Clyde Robertson (Instructors). 2nd row L-R: Will Nickel (Powhatan), Dylan Loving (Aylett),Dakota House (White Plains) Ryan Keesee (South Hill),  Jimmy Woolcott (Powhatan), Jordan Harris (Nellysford). Back Row L-R: Daniel Hobson (Windsor), Dylan Stimpson (Famrville), Cole Tapp (Wilsons) Corey Clark (Freeman) Josh Quinn (Blackstone), Alex Fletcher (Louisa), Chris Dulin (Locust Grove), Todd Scott Chisholm (Louisa), Tyriq Welton (Prospect), Matthew Townsend (Prospect)

Anita White Recognized for 45 Years of Service

Anita White received recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia for 45 years of service at Southside Virginia Community College.  She was hired in 1971 as a secretary to the faculty.  She is currently Administrative Assistant to the Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.  Anita lives in Lunenburg County.

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