Governor visits SVCC training program

Published 7:55 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam spent part of a cold, snowy day touring the field where power line worker students train for jobs in the commonwealth.

His visit to the Southside Virginia Community College Occupational Technical Center at Pickett Park was arranged by Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC ) and Andrew Vehorn, Director of Governmental Affairs for VMDAEC.

The governor spent time watching students climb, observing truck driving activity on the range, and meeting the head of the diesel tech program. Northam also sat down with the CEOs of Mecklenburg and Southside Electric cooperatives, John Lee and Jeffrey Edwards, and SVCC President Dr. Al Roberts and VP of Workforce Dr. Keith Harkins to learn more about the impact these programs have on the economy of Virginia.

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Now in its third year of operation, this 11-week line worker pre-apprentice program provides Level 1 certification from the National Center for Construction Education & Research, as well as commercial driver’s licenses, CPR/First Aid certification and OSHA safety training. The program recently expanded to include chainsaw safety.

“We’re proud to help launch these young people into a vital career that will enable them to stay in their rural communities,” said Harkins.