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2018-8-24

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, November 15th, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING CAREERS (GO-TEC) GRANT

GO TEC PROGRAM COORDINATOR

FOR THE EASTERN REGION LOCATED AT SOUTHSIDE VA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

#R0001

Please visit the employment page of our web site at http://www.dcc.vccs.edu/Employment/employment.htm for details.

Danville Community College is committed to becoming a model higher education institution for diversity and inclusion and invites multicultural professionals from all backgrounds to contribute to its aspiration for building an inclusive community where everyone is given equal opportunity to reach their full potential.  Employment will be contingent upon the results of a background check.         

Microsoft Graduates First Group of Apprentices at Boydton, VA Datacenter

Anthony Putorek -Microsoft,Wendell Walker-DOL, James Rutherford-SVCC, Harley Ficke-DCC, Kelly Arnold-SVCC and Patricia Morrison-DOL

Inside Microsoft’s Boydton, Virginia, datacenter, cloud storage is racking up. While new expansion is flourishing outside, inside a new workforce training model is also racking up transformations. The datacenter adopted the apprenticeship model as the framework for training their network technicians. For the Microsoft datacenter network technicians, the apprenticeship model is producing results. The success of the apprenticeship model stems from the ability to marry educational instruction with on-the-job training (OJT).

Recently, two Microsoft datacenter employees, James Rutherford and Harley Ficke, successfully completed the two-year training program for Network Support Technician. In doing so, they completed six educational classes and worked 4000 hours of OJT. For their accomplishment, Microsoft held an awards ceremony where Patricia Morrison, Director of Registered Apprenticeship, and Wendell Walker, Apprenticeship Representative from the Department of Labor (DOL), spoke about James and Harley’s outstanding work. Both received a nationally recognized journeyman’s card, apprenticeship certificate, and a commemorative plaque from Microsoft.

Anthony Putorek, Lead Global Datacenter Field and Community Program Manager, spoke on Microsoft’s commitment to training. At the awards ceremony, Mr. Putorek stated, “This is the first datacenter facility to adopt the apprenticeship model for training. And because of the positive results we have seen here, we will replicate this program at our other US datacenters."

In the US, apprenticeship conjures the thoughts of skilled labor training, not a model of training for the high-tech computer world. So, when Microsoft looked locally for training programs, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) and Danville Community College (DCC) presented the apprentice framework as a solution. With an American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) grant from the DOL, funding for the educational component of the program was 100 percent covered. The objective of this grant was to train and up-skill the local workforce, which directly benefits Microsoft’s workforce - all 32 registered apprentices are working on completing the network support technician certification. 

Through the implementation process, Microsoft worked with Kelly Arnold, Apprenticeship Coordinator for SVCC, and Phil Baughman, DCC’s coordinator, to create a profile of the exact educational classes necessary for each apprentice. Through seated and on-line community college classes, each apprentice took classes that helped them achieve certifications in A+, Network +, Server + and Cisco.

Making recommendations and helping the employees select the correct coursework was necessary for them to be successful. As the program rolled out, Arnold stressed to each apprentice how these classes allowed them to receive college credit and industry recognized certifications, which easily builds into an Associate’s Degree in Networking. In the IT datacenter world, certifications are important. But for career pathways, small steps-six classes in this case, all enhance career potential.

For SVCC, Microsoft has helped build and outfit the new CITE (Center for Information Technology) lab in South Hill, VA. Microsoft donated racks of servers allowing the instructors who teach Networking classes to have real-world equipment to teach and clarify various scenarios. This lab now serves dual-enrollment high school students in the morning and adult learners, including apprentices, in the evening.

For many IT companies, mapping the bytes and bits necessary to train their employees can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, a simple plan can be overlooked, but for Microsoft, partnering with the community college and combining that with OJT, which is the apprenticeship model, was a logical choice.

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