The Emporia Police Department has received what they are calling a "Credible Threat" of violence at this year's Virgninia Peanut Festival. The EPD, assisted by other law enforcement agencies, will have multiple tents and an increased presence. Festival attendees are asked to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. If you see something, say something.

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2018-8-10

Apprenticeship Builds People at Toll Brothers

Apprenticeship students were recently recognized at Toll Brothers' awards dinner.Apprentices in the front row: Steven Brown, Calvin Terry, Rene’ Gutierrez, Timothy King, and Chad Patton, SVCC Dean of Career and Occupational Technology. Back Row, Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator,Jerry Irby, Chris Johnson, Toll Brothers' Plant Manager, Rickey Hall, Maynard Stowe, Department of Labor, Mike Wells.

Toll Brothers, a luxury home builder, is not only building component parts in their Emporia production facility but also building and investing in their employees. For Toll Brothers, the investment in people is a priority, and one way they chose to build people is through the Apprenticeship model of training. Toll Brothers’ Chris Johnson, Plant Manager,  partnered with Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) apprenticeship coordinator, Kelly Arnold, to implement the apprenticeship program for training machine operators with the end goal of helping them become Industrial Maintenance Technicians.

The college’s proposal to Toll Brothers was simple; begin educational training one night a week for one year and couple that with 2000 hours (1 year) of on the job training. Although a slow and steady process, this proved to be a doable training model for employees who work 40+ hours per week and have family commitments.

Conveniently, SVCC’s Southside Virginia Education Center location in Greensville County  was outfitted with electrical training equipment, and six eager employees became college students. As the need grew for training, Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Studies, and Erica Andrews, SVCC’s site coordinator, helped bring the training lab to life.

The Toll apprentices embraced the educational task with gusto and worked hard to learn. For some this was the first time taking a college level class. The students were determined to finish the three classes, complete the on-the-job component, and earn the Department of Labor credential for Machine Operator.

These students finished their goal and learned what they needed to learn.   Their accomplishments were recognized on Wednesday night, July 18, at the company’s award dinner. Johnson and Maynard Stowe, DOL apprenticeship representative, presented their certificates with family and friends cheering for them.

In Johnson’s opening remarks, he stated, “We have tried many training programs, but the apprenticeship program, by far, has been the most successful for our facility.”

Each apprentice logged the hours, studied, and worked hard, but the simple plan is producing results; results that make a difference to them individually and results that are making a difference at Toll Brothers. While each earned their certificate for machine operator, they immediately turned around and registered to begin the same simple process to earn their Industrial Maintenance Technician apprenticeship certifications.

Starting in the fall semester at SVCC,  the Toll students will walk into a newly outfitted Industrial Maintenance lab. This new lab is a partnership between CCAM in Richmond, SVCC, and a grant from Go Virginia along with Greensville County and the city of Emporia. State of the art trainers now occupy two rooms with wall to wall equipment all ready for students to roll up their sleeves and learn electrical, mechanical, pneumatics and hydraulics, the core of mechatronics training.

For Toll Brothers, let the building of luxury homes continue, but most importantly, for the people of Southside Virginia, let the building up of people be the cornerstone of what drives our community. If you are interested in learning more about the lab in Emporia or Apprenticeship, contactErica Andrews at 434-634-9358 erica.andrews@southside.eduor Kelly Arnold at Kelly.arnold@southside.edu 434-579-7260.

Our Future Health Care Providers


Front Row Left to Right: Theresa Griles, RN Educator, Sophia Crowder, Cindy Trejo, Hailey Forbes, Natalie Hall, Hazel Willis, RN, Camp Coordinator; Second Row Left to Right: Kaylee Newman, Madyson Willis, Lillie Puryear, Alex Love, Miguel Ballesteros, Matthew Gaskins; Third Row Left to Right: Steven Gardner, Ayrin Matthews, Nicole Stanley, Mackenzie Long, Ashley Balducci

CSI (Career Scene Investigators) returned to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, not to investigate crime scenes, but to explore the suspects of health care. VCU Health CMH offered a week camp to seventh and eighth graders from local middle schools July 30th thru August 3rd.  Fifteen students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Brunswick, and Bluestone Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give the students an opportunity to learn about the many exciting careers available in health care. The camp offered a variety of activities that allowed the students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment.  The campers rotated through various departments getting hands on experience with simulated activities that health care professionals perform daily.         

The middle school years are the ideal time to introduce students to the various career opportunities in health care. It attributes to the selective Science, Math, and or English courses that they may include into their curriculum as they choose their classes throughout their high school years. By the end of the week some of the campers want to be doctors, nurses, physical, speech, or occupational therapists, while others want to become engineers or computer technologists.  We are excited that some of our campers from previous years chose health care careers, have graduated from college, and are currently employed here at VCU Health CMH as Registered Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Exercise Physiologists.   

VCU Health CMH is pleased that they can offer this excellent opportunity to area students to learn about the world of health care.  Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta participates and supports the camp each year with the provision of activities and a pizza lunch. Southside Virginia Rescue and VCU Health Med-Evac also participate in the activities for the campers. According to the students, it was a fun week and they learned what health care professionals do daily to help and provide care to others. 

We encourage other middle school students to apply to attend the CSI Camp next summer. The information and the application for the camp will be delivered to the local schools in the Spring, of 2019 and it will also be available on the VCU-CMH.org.

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