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2017-9-18

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Fish Tales

An annual rite of fall for the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is a trip at Buckroe Beach Fishing Pier in Hampton for a day of saltwater fishing.  Old Point Trust and Financial Services sponsors this event in conjunction with the City of Hampton Roads Parks and Recreation.

Seventeen young anglers – most of whom had ever been saltwater fishing – arrived bright and early and ready to fish using rods, reels, tackle and bait provided by Old Point.  Don Lancaster and Matt Smith with two other fine volunteers helped the children.   Don provided brief “Fishing 101” instructions where he showed the boys and girls how to bait hooks, protect their hands from the fins, and release the hooked fish.

The kids had so much fun that many did not want to leave. One young man who never had been fishing was so excited and happy he was beside himself.                                                   

When asked why he volunteers each year, Lancaster responded “These youngsters have had so many challenges in their lives.  It does your heart good to see them have such a good time enjoying the simple pleasure of fishing.

The boys and girls are most grateful to the wonderful volunteers and to Old Point for sponsoring this great day of fishing.

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

Dominion Energy Crews Help Restore Power to Hundreds in Florida

Dominion Energy crews traveled from Daytona Beach on Friday to the Gulf Stream Staging area where they were deployed and helped restore power to several hundred customers. Work locations included broken poles and downed wires in locations which were difficult to access. Customers have been very appreciative and our colleagues at Florida Power & Light have assigned Dominion Energy crews to additional projects on Saturday.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Friday about 1.4 million customers are without power in Florida and Georgia due to Hurricane Irma, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Outages peaked on Monday at 7.8 million customers. More than 750 Dominion Energy employees and contractors are currently assisting in restoration efforts. In total around 60,000 are working on restoration efforts in one of the largest mobilizations of power crews in United States history.

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