SVHEC celebrates workforce training completers

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, June 11, 2019

On May 15, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) celebrated its largest group of workforce training completers at a ceremony with more than 230 people in attendance.

“You can now be counted among the ranks of Southern Virginia’s skilled workforce,” SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty H. Adams told the 71 Customized Training/Mechatronics, IT Academy and Welding@SVHEC workforce training completers. “This evening’s honorees completed a total of 14,372 training hours, and earned, among them, 161 industry-recognized credentials. This represents a 90 percent program completion rate and 93 percent credentials-earned rate for program completers,” Adams stated.

The Honorable Brian Ball, the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. “I know that this is one of SVHEC’s proudest traditions, and it is inspiring to be here today among such dedicated students, their families, staff and partners,” he stated.

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During his remarks, Secretary Ball emphasized the importance of a strong workforce and the vital role it plays in economic development. “The success of any state depends on the ability to equip its workforce with the modern skills that they need for a 21st-century economy. SVHEC’s Welding, Mechatronics, and IT Academy programs prepare individuals with the skills and certifications required for employment in Southern Virginia’s high-growth industries. These programs are a shining example of what can be accomplished when we empower our citizens with short-term workforce training for long-term careers,” he said.

SVHEC Workforce Training Programs are hands-on, credential based training that can be completed in less than a year. Real-world projects and employment success skills are embedded into the training programs to help trainees achieve long-term career success. “The IT Academy has given me the chance to increase my earnings potential in a solid career field,” said IT Academy completer Kenny Wilson. Fellow ITA completer William Jordan Saunders agreed stating, “The IT Academy has impacted my career goals tremendously by giving me more options for employment.”

Welding@SVHEC and Mechatronics completers valued the hands-on training SVHEC programs provide. “I valued watching my classmates and myself grow and learn in order to provide a better future for ourselves,” said Keon Gutrich, a newly certified welding trainee. Tyler Whitlow, Mechatronics Level 2 completer, said, “I chose this program to further my knowledge in Mechatronics in a program that was more about the actual real world application versus learning from a textbook.”

Whitlow and fellow trainee Caleb Langley are the first to complete the SVHEC’s Mechatronics Level 2 training, and earn the internationally recognized Siemens Level 2 Mechatronic Systems Associate credential.

For more information about Workforce Training Programs at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center visit workforce, email info@, or call (434) 572-5473.