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Nursing is Here!

Ivory Richardson never imagined himself as an OR nurse, but in just a few months he’ll be completing his 10th year at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia. Forget what you thought you knew about the way nursing should look because Ivory has been breaking the mold since day one. A member of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, one of the largest Native American Indian tribes in North Carolina, he was born and raised in Hollister, NC. Although his community was severely impoverished, Ivory was determined to succeed.

Before pursuing nursing, Ivory worked for the  volunteer fire department and full time as a transport medic for EMS. After attending UNC Chapel Hill, Ivory made the decision to continue his education closer to home. His extensive EMT experience helped him get into the RN program at a local community college. He accepted a position at CMH in the ER, before eventually finding his home in the OR, where he fills multiple roles, both as a scrub and circulating nurse.

For Ivory, seeing patients again or out in the community and having them remember the good care that he gave them is incredibly rewarding. “I love taking care of patients,” he says.

He also values the flexibility that his career in nursing has given him, as well as his wife who also works at CMH as an X-ray sonographer and nuclear medicine technologist, a highly-specialized field in and of itself.

“The nursing profession has given both me and my wife incredible flexibility over the years,” says Ivory. “There are so many different fields and areas you can go into that you can truly find something that fits you and your needs.”

“One of the best parts about being an OR nurse is that the schedule is planned ahead and apart from emergency procedures. We don’t work most weekends,” Ivory adds.

Ivory is aware that being a male nurse shatters a few stereotypes but he’s proud of the level of care that he provides his patients.

For more nursing information, visit www.nursingishere.com

Southside Virginia Community College has been named a “2017 Great College to Work For”

SVCC is a great college to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.

The results, released July 17, 2017 in The Chronicle’s tenth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 232 colleges and universities.

Only 79 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with SVCC included among the 22 two year institutions that made the cut.

SVCC won honors in two categories this year which are Facilities, Workspaces and Security and Work/Life Balance.

"The legacy of Southside Virginia Community College as a great place to work continues.    Once again, we have gained this designation by fostering a college culture that promotes a phenomenal work/life balance and provides a safe, secure and comfortable environment.   We invest in our human resources and encourage inclusive and transparent communication; promote and value diversity; and support innovation," said Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President.

“Ten years in, the Great Colleges to Work For distinction is well-known by academic jobseekers as a sign that an institution’s employees are valued and given opportunities for growth even when they face financial constraints,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle. “Any college or university that’s on the list is showing that they emphasize one of their most valuable assets: their faculty and staff.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the

commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC. “And those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent.”

August 2017 Truck Driving Graduates

Graduates of the Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC)Truck Driver Training Program held in Emporia are shown with others attending the ceremony.   They are (Left to Right) Dr.  Rene Felts,  VP Workforce Paul D Camp Community College (PDCCC), Dennis Seay Instructor, Doug Kemerer Instructor, Allen Boyd ATA Road Team Captin (Guest Speaker), James Cook of South Hill, Nathan Kraemer of Chesapeake, James Banty of Stony Creek, Michael Prince of Emporia, and Kent Montgomery of Petersburg,  Clyde Rothgeb Instructor, Duncan Quicke, Coordinator of TDTS, Dr. Daniel Lufkin (President PDCCC) and Dr. Al Roberts, President of SVCC

SVCC Welding Program Graduates First Class

Proud graduates of the first Welding Skills Certification Program which was taught at Southside Virginia Education Center of Southside Virginia Community College, Greensville County, Virginia.  The welding laboratory was spearheaded by Fluor, a company that came to Southside Virginia to build two colossal power stations for Dominion Energy.  

Other partners in the creation of the lab are Virginia Tobacco Commission, Dominion Energy, Greensville County and American Equipment Company (Ameco).  The graduates receive three NCCER Credentials as well as an OSHA 10 Credential in this fast track, 11-week training program.  Graduates are (Front Row, Left to Right)Herbert Ruffin of Lawrenceville, Antonio Stewart of Dolphin, Alexia Gary of Emporia, Starr Barnes of Lawrenceville, Paulus Brown of Emporia and (Back Row, L to R) Damienne Drumgold of Lawrenceville,  Bernard Parham, Jr., of Lawrenceville, Isiah Johnson of Emporia, and Dr. Marcus Bridges, Instructor.

Another class begins in September.  Call 434 634 9358 for information.

Southside Virginia Community College Recognizes K-12 Partners

At the July 2017 Board reception held at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Dr. Al Roberts recognized the K-12 partners who help to ensure the success of Southside Virginia Community College.  The partnership the college has with the local public school divisions and private schools is great, he said.  "Together, we have lead the Commonwealth in the establishment of dual enrollment programs and continue to be among the state's leaders in participation as well as in the number of college certificates and degrees awarded through dual enrollment.  SVCC is proud to serve as host to the Governor's School of Southside Virginia which provides gifted, highly motivated high school juniors and seniors in the region a challenging, interdisciplinary program of studies," Dr. Roberts said.   

He also noted high school partners host the SVCC Career Coaches who work with students to promote secondary education and training.  There are also successful STEM Camps, professional development activities and teacher recertification courses.  Dr. Roberts thanked all those dedicated to supporting the college mission and their dedication to the well-being of the citizens of Southside Virginia.

Dr. Al Roberts (left to right), presents SVCC book bag to Dr. Jack McKinley, Superintendent of Schools for Amelia County, along with SVCC Local Board Chair Sid Smyth.

Dr. Al Roberts (left to right), presents SVCC book bag to Dora Wynn, Superintendent of Schools for Brunswick  County, along with SVCC Local Board Chair Sid Smyth.

Dr. Al Roberts (left to right), presents SVCC book bag to Dr. Angela Wilson, Superintendent of Schools for Greensville  County, along with SVCC Local Board Chair Sid Smyth.

Dr. Al Roberts (left to right), presents SVCC book bag to Dr. Mark Lineburg, Superintendent of Schools for Halifax County, along with SVCC Local Board Chair Sid Smyth

Dr. Al Roberts (left to right), presents SVCC book bag to Paul Nichols, Superintendent of Schools for Mecklenburg County, along with SVCC Local Board Chair Sid Smyth
 

SVCC Nursing Club Donates to Local Cancer Care Fund

SOUTH HILL, VA– The Southside Virginia Community College Nursing Club made a recent generous donation to support VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Care Fund.  Pictured: (L to R) Brandi Harrell, SVCC Nursing Club member; Molly Buchholz, SVCC Nursing Club President; Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing & Development at VCU Health CMH; Ashley Willis, Registered Nurse at the VCU Health CMH Hendrick Cancer Center and Shannon Lambert, Manager CMH Foundation & VCU Health CMH’s Pharmacy Connection.

The donation benefits the “CMH Cancer Patient Care Fund”established for cancer patients in financial need.

Donations to the “CMH Cancer Patient Care Fund” help offset emergency needs such as transportation, treatment and medication costs for cancer patients. Supporting the cancer care fund can give these patients peace of mind knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment. 

Learn More About SVCC's Power Line Worker Training Program

Learn more about the Power Line Worker Training Program at Southside Virginia Community College on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.  The informational event begins at 6 p.m. at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center located at 1041, W 10th Street, Pickett Park, Blackstone, Virginia.

Those interested can learn about admission requirements, schedule, cost, housing, job prospects and scholarships.  Please register by emailing susan.early@southside.edu  Pizza will be served.  (Use the Main Entrance to drive onto the base.)

Grants Enable Workforce Training at SVCC

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that, through the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program, Virginia’s Community Colleges provided workforce training that enabled 2,173 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications needed for high-demand careers, in the first year of the grant program.

This milestone nearly triples the number of people who were credentialed last year, bringing the total to 4,268 Virginians.  More than half of the credential earners, 2,173, took advantage of the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants, or other private sources. 

Nate Humphrey of Amelia Court House enrolled in the power line worker program at Southside Virginia Community College.

The retired U.S. Army Ranger served seven combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. When he came home, he was looking for that same camaraderie.

“When I retired, I missed it,” he said. “And I found it being a lineman.”

Just days after completing the program, he locked down a job at Southside Electric Cooperative.

“I think the course was just at $11,000, but with the grant, I didn’t pay anything,” he said. “The only thing I paid for was my boots and my belt.”

The Workforce Credential Grant Program is now in its second year. Right now, grants are available to support 146 training courses offered at 23 community colleges in the commonwealth.  At SVCC, the grant can cover the following programs for eligible students:  Welding, Power Line Worker Training, Truck Driver Training, Nurse Aide, Massage Therapy, Phlebotomy, Medication Aide and Precision Machining.

See class offerings and register at southside.augusoft.net

Assessing the Value of Education

By Dr. Al Roberts

Every year as the summer turns its focus toward the coming of autumn, back-to-school stories tend to proliferate in national and local media. One recurring theme seems to be the rising cost of college tuition and questions about its value and payback.

To be sure, college costs have risen, and they continue to rise. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute, released a report last year that documented the ways in which recession-related budgetary concerns led to cuts in the support of higher education. In 46 states, including Virginia, government spending per student continues to remain less than what it was prior to the beginning of the recession in 2008. In fact, based on inflation-adjusted dollars, funding for higher education in Virginia is now 22.5 percent less per student. Such reductions in support are one of the factors that contribute to rising tuition. In this fiscal climate, evaluating the return on investments in higher education seems fitting.

Some benefits fall outside the realm of dollars. College graduates tend to be healthier, more engaged in their communities, and better able to understand diverse points of view. In most assessments, however, the question of value revolves around expenditures and paybacks.

In Virginia, community colleges offer a lower-cost, value-based choice. According to information from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), tuition and mandatory fees for full-time, in-state undergraduates in Commonwealth’s four-year colleges averages $12,137. With fees of $9,989 for room and board, that yields a grand total of $22,126 per academic year. By comparison, here at Southside Virginia Community College in-state tuition and fees add up to $4,582.50 for 15 credit hours per semester for the entire 2017-18 academic year. Furthermore, 94 percent of beginning undergraduate students receive significant financial aid packages.

But what’s the payback?

College Measures, an initiative of the American Institutes for Research, studied that question. They found that students who graduate from a community college with an Associate’s degree in an occupational or technical field earn an average of $35,718 in the first year after graduation and $41,879 eight years after graduation. At VA.EdPays.org on-line you can download the entire report or interactively explore the data to learn more details about wage variations by field of study and region.  Additionally, students who earn an Associate’s degree in a transfer program can save approximately $35,000 on the cost of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree. They also have an opportunity to establish their academic competitiveness and get a clearer picture of their overall career goals.

For more information about your higher education choices and opportunities, contact SVCC at 434-949-1000. Our team of academic and workforce advisors can help you get the most value from your education dollars.

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.

Nursing Is Here

At eighteen years old, Na’Shiyaa Robertson might look like your average high school student: active, happy and working hard to balance studies and social life. Beneath the composed exterior however is a highly motivated young woman who is completing the SVCC Nurse Aide program in addition to completing her high school studies at Randolph Henry High School.

Redefining the term ‘multitasking’ SVCC’s dual enrollment program allows Shiyaa to attend nursing classes at the Southside Virginia Community College’s Keysville campus while still in high school. In May, Shiyaa crossed her graduation stage with not only a diploma, but poised to take the state boards to become a Certified Nurses Aide and jumpstart her nursing career.

Shiyaa says she has always felt drawn to the field of nursing, enjoying connecting with and helping others. Shiyaa and her family were deeply affected after losing an uncle to liver disease. Although Shiyaa was very young when her uncle passed, his illness impacted her close knit family profoundly. With multiple aunts already working as RN’s at area hospitals, for Shiyaa, nursing was a natural and fulfilling fit. Once finishing high school, the CNA program and passing her state boards, Shiyaa will follow in the family footsteps to pursue an associate degree in nursing.

“The most incredible part of being a nurse, for me,” says Shiyaa, “is being able to help people do things they’re no longer able to do.”  

Visit nursingishere.com for more information.

Meherrin-Powellton Elementary School Visits SVCC and Uses STEM Skills

The Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College hosted approximately 50 students from Meherrrin-Powellton Elementary School the week of June 26-30, 2017.  Students utilized their STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to construct and race air propelled cars, construct a device to make a soft landing with fragile equipment, and develop green engineering projects.  Additional challenges included building an air hockey table from a simple cardboard box and building Wiggle Bots.  Students also tested their individual skills by completing daily Minute To Win It Challenges.  

Advanced Manufacturing Summer Camp

Several local youth participated in the first Advanced Manufacturing Summer Camp at Southside Virginia Community College’s Southside Virginia Education Center located in Emporia, VA. The youth had the opportunity to learn about three manufacturing companies (Boar's Head Provision of Jarratt, VA; Toll Brothers of Emporia, VA; and Georgia Pacific of Emporia, VA). The youth also participated in hands on learning in blueprint reading, 3D design, programming for CNC machines, and use of manual mill and lathe machines. The content covered in this camp is also available through SVCC’s dual enrollment programs for computer aided drafting, precision machining and high performance technology. For more information about dual enrollment opportunities, please contact 434-949-1077.

(Left to Right) Anthony Houston, Boar's Head Facilities Manager, Vincent Brown, Camp Instructor and SVCC Professor, Vondrenna Smithers, Camp Director and Advanced Manufacturing Coach, Jackie Hill, Malana Hill, Solomon Hill, Antoine Price, Jr., Christiyanna Terry, Zander Broadbent, Jacques Anderson, Jakob Fillhart, Alex Price, Chris Scott, Boar's Head Electricity Supervisor, Spencer Fillhart, and Lewis Dickens, Boar's Head Refrigeration Supervisor. 

WORK ETHIC LEADS TO COOL JOB

James Branch’s cool job is so cool, he has no plans to quit working until he cannot work anymore.   His cool job is as a mechanic maintaining fire and rescue vehicles for the city of Hopewell, Virginia.

His work ethic and determination have served him well since he dropped out of high school at 16.  Sitting in a classroom environment, listening was not his style of learning.  When he quit school, he was required to pursue a vocational trade and chose the automotive program.

Unable to find work in that profession in his native Lunenburg County, he became an accomplished carpenter and made his living in this arena for 30 years.  When the housing industry and economy turned sour, Branch realized he needed a GED to land a better job.  

At age 50, he completed his GED in six months and secured a job with the city of Petersburg, at first pouring concrete and later in the auto shop.  

When Branch wanted to receive his State Inspection License, the closest school to his current home in Sussex County was the John H. Daniel Campus of Southside Virginia Community College that offered night classes.

After completing the Inspection course, the instructor, Arnold Gayles talked him into continuing.  He received a certificate in Auto Technology in 2014 and then decided that he wanted to continue to an Associate’s Degree.  For four years he drove 81 miles,one way, which equaled 3 ½ to 4 hours on the road and 5 hours in class after working 8 hours in Petersburg. 

“The support and friendship of his instructor Gayles,helped me keep working towards my goal,” he said.  

He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2016 with an Associate's Degree in Technical Studies.  He is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Branch is very grateful for the knowledge and support that he received from SVCC especially his counselor, Matt Dunn.  Branch now has a good salary and state benefits and a new career.

No stranger to hard work, Branch continues to work on family cars, dabble in carpentry, raise a garden and he and his wife are parents to four daughters.  

He would like for students to remember that “You are never too old to learn”.  

He is planning to keep up with changing technology and the changing workforce.  He can see that he needs to strive to be a “Life Long Learner,” but is seems he has met that goal!

Start Today on Your Successful College Career

Southside Virginia Community College is entering its 47th year in operation.  Over the years, many students have excelled, completed degrees, received work skills, transferred to four year schools and been successful because of their experience at SVCC.  The tradition continues with 2017 fall classes beginning August 21.

Now is the perfect time to register for classes at SVCC, complete information for financial aid, talk with a counselor and prepare for your college career!! 

SVCC offers many programs of study including accounting, administration of justice, administrative support technology, agribusiness, automotive technology, business, clerical studies, cosmetology, diesel technology, education, electricity, emergency medical services, general studies transfer degree, human services, industrial maintenance technology, information systems technology massage therapy, medical office assisting, medication aide, nurse aide, nursing, phlebotomy, power line worker training, practical nursing, precision machining science, truck driver training and welding.

For more information, visit the college website www.southside.eduor call 1-888-220-SVCC (7822).  

Truck Driver Training Being Offered in Emporia

Truck driver training is coming back to Emporia, Virginia on July 17, 2017.  Classes will run through August 24 and successful students will receive their Commercial Driver’s License and the chance at a rewarding career.

Southside Virginia Community College’s next session will run Mondays-Thursdays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Emporia site.  Students must be 18 years of age and possess a valid Virginia driver’s license.  Students must also have a copy of their driving record, a Department of Transportation physical exam, drug test and agree to future testing during the course and a CDL-A learner’s permit.

This program is available for tuition aid through the Workforce Credential Grant. 

For more information, contact Susan Early at 434-2920-3101 or email susan.early@southside.edu

Workforce Development Week began June 12, 2017

Success starts here is our motto at Southside Virginia Community College and for six employees working for Toll Brothers advanced manufacturing plant in Emporia, success is occurring one class at a time. Toll Brothers, a luxury homebuilder, is taking part in the SVCC Apprenticeship program. 

The success plan began with identifying a need to train the machine operators in electrical, mechanical, OSHI10, and troubleshooting skills to learn how to effectively repair and maintain Toll Brothers equipment. Currently, the students have completed two electrical classes and have started the Programmable Logic Controller class. This educational accomplishment only required attending class one night a week at the Industrial Training Lab in Emporia. In addition to taking educational classes, they also actively participate in an on-the-job training component. Apprenticeship training is a great way to grow and develop the local workforce of Southside Virginia.

Apprentices: Steven Brown, Calvin Terry, Timothy King, Jeffrey Ernest, Rene Gutierrez. Not pictured is Stoney Allen.

SVCC 2017 Machining Skills Graduates

Machining Skills Certification Program graduates completed recently in Emporia at the Southside Virginia Education Center.  These students are veterans transitioning from active duty, and this program is a collaborative effort with Fort Lee.

They are (Left to Right) Michael Carrigan, Christopher Weber, Steven Welton,Tyler Green, Antonio Hargrove, Jeremy Leesmann, Darrin Sloan, Andrew Berger,  Hugo Palacios, Jeff Combs, Russell Kaneko and Byran Leeds.

What Comes after Graduation?

By Dr. Al Roberts

On May 13, 2017, in front of more than 2,500 people, Southside Virginia Community College awarded degrees, diplomas, and certificates to 1,303 students. For the students who crossed the stage to receive their credentials, the occasion may have seemed like a conclusion. It may have felt like reaching the end of a journey that involved hard-work and dedication. In reality,  the event marked a beginning.

Graduation ceremonies are called commencements. The word commencement means to initiate, to start an activity, or to kick off an experience. A commencement is the exact opposite of a conclusion.

Rev. Lawrence Wilkerson’s invocation focused on this concept of taking a step into the future. He prayed that each student would  discover his or her own amazing destiny, and he asked for divine inspiration “to stir up the determination, steadfastness, and zeal needed to achieve that destiny.”

Commencement speaker Stephen E. Parker, a 2005 SVCC graduate and currently Legislative Director of the Education and Workforce Committee at the National Governors Association, also challenged students to embrace their futures. “Today, the class of 2017 sits on the same launch pad that was there for me and my family,” he said. “So, my question to all of you is this: what kind of world are you lifting off into?” Parker encouraged graduates to seek inclusive and positive ways to interact with society. He exhorted graduates, “I challenge you to set unbelievably, distractingly ambitious goals.”

By tradition, candidates for graduation wear regalia consisting of gowns and caps adorned with tassels.

At SVCC, graduates with honors wear gold tassels and others wear black tassels. During the ceremony, one of my duties involved leading students in the customary practice of turning their tassels. Students enter the ceremony with their tassels hanging on the right side. Turning the tassel involves moving it to left side, a symbolic action that signifies a change in status from being a candidate for graduation to being a graduate. Moving the tassel is like turning a page to open the next chapter in a student’s life story.

For some graduates, that next chapter will involve more education. Surveys reveal that nearly half of all SVCC graduates plan to transfer to four-year colleges or universities. Others graduates may begin careers, start families or businesses, or enter into military service.

Whatever tomorrow’s journey brings, I agree with Mr. Syd Smyth, SVCC’s Local Board Vice-Chair, who encouraged the audience and the community to follow the example set by the graduates when he said, “I challenge you to enter our doors and explore the many opportunities that may await you. Give it a try. You can never, never be too old to learn or to enrich yourself.”

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.

Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet Held at SVCC

Southside Virginia Community College recently held the Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet at the Christanna Campus.  The event recognized Officer and Employee of the Year for each of the area correctional centers.  Lawrenceville Correctional Center (GEO) sponsored the event and trophies.  Those recognized are (Front Row, Left to Right) Officer Michael W. Hatcher, Halifax Correctional Unit #23, Officer Joshua Affronti, Nottoway Correctional Center, Officer Lisa Williams, Lawrenceville Correctional Center, Katrina Allen, Lawrenceville, Alfonzo Seward, Administration of Justice Program, SVCC, Officer Rebecca Kindred, Deerfield Correctional Center, Linda Smith, Buckingham Correctional Center, Brenda Richards, Lunenburg Correctional Center, (Back Row, L to R) Larry Edmonds, Guest Speaker, Warden of Dillwyn Correctional Center, Sergeant Terrell Eppes, Buckingham Correctional Center, Arthur Byrd, Nottoway, Sandra Vass, Halifax, Lieutenant Tonya Clary, Lunenburg, Astrid Woodson, Dillwyn, Sergeant Duane Parrish, Dillwyn, Kelly Owens, Baskerville Correctional Center.  Not pictured are Officer Paul Arthur, Baskerville, Teresa Porrovecchio of Deerfield, Lieutenant Jerry McKnight and Joyce Johnson of Greensville Correctional Center.

Warden Tammy C. Brown and Assistant Warden Jo Ann Hasley-Hsrris of Deerfield Correctional Center withOfficer Rebecca Kindred, Officer of the Year and Alfonzo Seward, SVCC.   Teresa Porrovecchio is Employee of the Year but could not attend.

Mr. Larry Edmonds, Warden of Dillwyn Correctional Center, is shown with Alfonzo Seward, Program Director for Administration of Justice at Southside Virginia Community College.  Edmonds was the guest speak at the Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at SVCC and sponsored by Lawrenceville Correctional Center.

Board Names Golf Classic in Memory of Reekes

In 2008, Bobby Wrenn of Emoria and Freddie Reekes of Lawrenceville coordinated the 1st Annual Southside Virginia Community College Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic.  Funds raised through the event support student scholarships.   This year marks the tenth time the tournament will be held and is slated for June 7, 2017, at the Lake Gaston Golf Club.  The SVCC Foundation Board recently voted to rename the annual golf tournament the Fred "Freddie" Reekes Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic. 

Freddie's passing on May 7 shocked and saddened the Southside community.  Freddie spent 40 plus years in education.  He taught in the Brunswick County Public Schools and later recruited students to SVCC. He was also a legendary basketball coach for both girls and boys at Brunswick.  In addition to being an educator, Freddie was an avid golfer and his team, "Old Coach", was a consistent participant in the Golf Classic.

2017 SVCC Powerline Graduates

The Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Training School graduated the fourth class on May 11, 2017.  The new graduates are (Front L-R:)  Branden Hinton (Amelia), Bryce Morcom (Madison Heights), Tyler Parrish (Dundas), Adam Weaver ( Chesterfield), Chase Goodman (Beaverdam), Lisa Hodson (Blacksburg), Hunter Hicks (Madison Heights), Devan Hinton (Amerlia), Cody Harvey (Gladys), Daniel Bradbury (Amelia), Brandon French (Chester) and Brad Wike, Instructor)

Back L-R:  Clyde Robertson, Instructor, Patrick Robbins (Kenbridge), Ricky Wilson (McKenney), Ethan Kelly (Fredericksburg), Wayne Allen (Amelia), Jake Dillard (Jetersville).  For information about the school, Call 434 292 3101 or email powerlineworker@southside.edu

2017 Associates of Nursing Pinning

Southside Virginia Community College held a Pinning Ceremony in May to recognize students from the Associate Degree Nursing Program. These students from the Christanna Campus are now eligible to take the State Licensing Test to become Registered Nurses.  They are (front row )Left to Right:  Emily Pope-Emporia, Kristen Jackson-Dolphin,  Tammy Wright -Boydton, Rose Privott-Chester, Courtney Yager-Bracey.

2nd row L to R: Molly Buchholz-South Hill, Jessica Young-Blackstone, Dominique Gunn-Kenbridge, Linda Gordon- South Hill, Melissa Jones- Lawrenceville

3rd row; L to R: Michelle Williams-Brodnax, Stephanie Thomason- South Hill, Anita Simmons-South Hill, Jessica Gordon-South Hill.  SVCC has three sites that offer the ADN program;  Christanna Campus, John H. Daniel Campus, and South Boston.

SVCC Alumnus Sends Off Class of 2017

“Don’t ever forget your experience at this college and how it shaped you,” urged Stephen E. Parker, alumnus and graduation speaker for Southside Virginia Community College’s Commencement held May 13, 2017 on the John H. Daniel Campus under clearing skies.  A crowd of approximately 2,500 people attended the annual event.

The commencement event awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates to 1,303 students.  Those attending the ceremony walked across the stage to receive their awards from Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President.

Parker, Director, Education and Workforce, National Governor’s Association (NGA), is a proud graduate of SVCC.   Parker directs policy and advocacy for education and workforce issues, including: early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary education, workforce development and child nutrition. He is responsible for the development and implementation of governors’ strategic priorities through the Education and Workforce Committee. Parker is the liaison between governors and the federal government on education, human services and workforce issues.

He reminded the graduates to “aspire to run YOUR world, not THE world. 

“Very few will run the world, but it is possible for everyone to run their own world.  Furthermore, power to uplift people can be so much more impactful than power over people.”

Also, he continued, as Aaron Sorkin wrote, “Having education and talent does not place you above the rest of the world.  It makes you responsible for it.”

Parker noted that he was raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet and he had no expectations of being able to attend college. 

“If there was no money for food, then there certainly would be no money for college.  I was destined to join my mother and her parents as the third generation in my family to never attend college.”

Thanks to the local community college and financial assistance from  federal and state sources,  Parker became the first college graduate in his family and two years ago, his mother became the second, also graduating from SVCC.

He concluded singing the words of Mavis Staples from “I Know A Place,” a reminder that SVCC is a good place to know and remember. 

He said he wished for each graduate, the same genuine care and investment in their future that they  experienced at SVCC.

Parker serves on the SVCC foundation board. He also received his bachelor’s degree at Longwood University, and completed postgraduate work in political leadership at the University of Virginia and public policy at the College of William and Mary.

     

Julia Kay Gilliam of Emporia receives her degree from Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President (left). Hunter Darnell Astrop of Emporia is among those graduating from Southside Virginia Community College on May 13 (right).

 

 

Nurses Needed

By Dr. Al Roberts

Florence Nightingale, the British nurse who founded the modern nursing profession, was born on May 12, 1820. While tending to the needs of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, she earned a reputation as a merciful and devoted caregiver. After the war, Nightingale returned to England and established a training school for nurses. It opened in 1860.

In 1965, the International Council of Nurses designated Nightingale’s birthday as International Nurses Day. The observance commemorates the contributions nurses make to society. In the United States, the week culminating with her birthday (May 6 through May 12) is recognized by the American Nursing Association as National Nurses Week, and the Wednesday of that week is designated as National Student Nurses Day.

Southside Virginia Community College joins in honoring the hard-working women and men who devote their professional lives to caring for the sick and tending to the injured. Few others have such a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of people in their communities.

Although many nurses say the rewarding feeling of serving others is one of their profession’s biggest benefits, credentialed nurses can also earn competitive wages in a career with a recession-proof track record, flexible scheduling opportunities, and a variety of fields from which to choose. Yet, despite these workplace advantages, there is a critical shortage of nurses across the nation—even here in Southside Virginia. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare providers often struggle to find qualified people to fill vacant positions.

Education programs available from SVCC prepare students to embark on careers in nursing and related health fields. The College’s state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Labs provide hands-on learning experiences in a safe, realistic environment. Students also participate in clinical practice at health care agencies located throughout our service region. Local medical facilities are eager to hire College graduates, providing students immediate work opportunities close to home.

SVCC offers instruction that leads to licensure as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse, and the College’s Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing (ADN) program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Additionally, in conjunction with Old Dominion University's Distance Learning program, the nursing education path can be extended at SVCC campuses in Alberta and Keysville to include BS or MS degrees.  Furthermore, the College’s Office of Workforce and Continuing Education prepares students for certification as a Nurse Aide (CNA), Medication Aide, Massage Therapist, or Phlebotomist.

Florence Nightingale said, “I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” If you would like to begin a rewarding career in the health professions, call 888-220-SVCC (7822) for more information.

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.

WELDING COMING TO NEW LAB LOCATED IN GREENSVILLE COUNTY

A career in welding is within reach!  A Welding Skills Certification Program is being offered in Greensville County through Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development.  The classes begin May 24, 2017 at the Southside Virginia Education Center located at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, Virginia.  The facility recently opened a brand new, state-of-the-art welding lab.

This class will utilize the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Curriculum and offers four credentials for successful completion.  The class meets Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and ends July 19, 2017.   Scholarships are available through the Workforce Credential Grant and other sources.  In-State Tuition is $3,700 and Out-of-State Tuition is $10,900. Credentials earned include NCCER Core, NCCER Welding Level I, NCCER Welding Level II and OSHA 10.

For information, contact Debra Smiley at 434 917 3746 or email debra.smiley@southside.edu

SVCC ALUMNUS TO SPEAK AT COMMENCEMENT MAY 13

Stephen E. Parker, Director, Education and Workforce, National Governor’s Association (NGA), is a proud graduate of Southside Virginia Community College.  He will deliver the commencement address at the SVCC graduation ceremony on May 13, 2017 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Virginia.  The event begins at 9:30 a.m.

 Parker directs policy and advocacy for education and workforce issues, including: early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary education, workforce development and child nutrition. He is responsible for the development and implementation of governors’ strategic priorities through the Education and Workforce Committee. Parker is the liaison between governors and the federal government on education, human services and workforce issues.  

Parker led the process to create the governors’ plan to re-design the federal education system, released in 2015. He developed and executed NGA’s campaign to re-write federal K-12 education policy, which ultimately resulted in passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act and governors’ first endorsement of any federal legislation in twenty years.

Parker also managed governors’ partnership with Congress to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, updating federal job training policy for the first time in 16 years. He also worked with Congress to increase governors’ direct federal workforce funds by more than $500 million over the past 3 years.

Prior to working for the nations’ governors, Parker served as Senior Special Assistant to Governor Timothy M. Kaine where he managed statewide public awareness campaigns across more than 15 agencies and managed the development of the Governor’s legislative priorities. He also served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard.

Parker serves on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach. He also serves as a member of the Hopkins House Programs and Assessments Committee, where he helps increase access to early childhood education in Alexandria, Virginia.

He serves on the SVCC foundation board. He also received his bachelor’s degree at Longwood University, and completed postgraduate work in political leadership at the University of Virginia and public policy at the College of William and Mary.

Great Expectations at SVCC

Great Expectations(GE) is a signature initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education that focuses on a college education as the best way for foster youth to succeed beyond high school.  Plan now to attend an Open House at Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) to learn more about the program.  ,

The program offers a way for those 17-24 years of age to gain employment, achieve independence and become productive members of the community. To apply for Great Expectations, or to find out more, please come to one of the open houses.

The Great Expectations Open House at the SVCC Christanna Campus is on Friday, May 5, from 12:30-2, in Room B11. The campus is located at 109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA 23821.  There will be a Great Expectations Open House at the SVCC Daniel Campus on Monday, May 8, in Room 20, from 12:30-2.  The campus is located at 200 Daniel Rd., Keysville, VA 23947

Hope you can come, meet other foster care youth, learn about becoming a GE student, a GE mentor, or a GE adviser. Call Mora da Silva at 434-736-2237 for more information. 

Job Fair Returning to SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA EDUCATION CENTER in 2017

Job Fair is returning to Southside Virginia Education Center on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  The event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College, Crater Regional Workforce and Lakes Media:  WPTM 102.3, WWDW 107.7, WTRG 97.9, WSMY 14000 “All Sports” 995 JAMS, WDLZ 98.3 

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at SVEC at 1300 Greensville Country Circle, Emporia, VA from 2 to 4:30 p.m.  Those with proof of WorkKeys CRC can gain entrance at 1:45 p.m.  Be sure to dress to impress, bring copies of your resume, a photo ID and copy of WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC).  Companies are: 

Ameristaff, State Farm Insurance, chase City Health and Rehab, Avon, Greensville Correctional, AmeriCare Plus, Penmack, American Industrial heat, Envoy of Lawrenceville, Community Outreach Family Services, Department of Social Services, Colonial life, Plexus, Personal Touch Home CAre, Walmart, Commonwealth Home Health Inc, Georgia Pacific, Armor Correctional Health Services, Emporia-Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Department of Corrections, Total Image Solutions, Humana, B Bugg Inc, Greensville County Public Schools, Emporia Police Department, Virginia State Police, Personal Touch Home Care Services, Melvil L Davis Oil Company, Smithfield-Hog Production Department, Waverly Health Rehabilitation Center.

For employers interested in registering, contact Angela McClintock at angela.mcclintock@southside.edu or 434-949-1026

Career Exploration

By Dr. Al Roberts

How many children have been asked the question, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Some want to fight fires, some want to help people overcome diseases and disabilities, and some want to teach. Some have aspirations to play professional sports or to travel in outer space. Although a few may follow one career path without deviation, many change their minds frequently.

Visiting places of employment provides a unique educational experience that encourages young people to think about their vocational goals and the preparation that may be required to pursue opportunities.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work is a nationwide program that encourages parents and other mentors to help children make connections between school learning and workplace activities. This annual observance falls on the fourth Thursday of April, which will be April 27 this year.

The Virginia Education Wizard (available online at vawizard.org) is another resource that can open the door to a wide range of career exploration possibilities. Tools available on the website enable young people and others to assess their skills, interests, and values and see how they align with a variety of potential paths. The site also offers information about the education and training requirements of different careers. One interesting area enables visitors to answer questions about envisioned lifestyles to discover the annual salaries required to sustain different ways of living.

Summer camp programs also provide school-aged children opportunities to supplement classroom learning with hands-on activities. Local schools, along with youth development, faith-based, and mentoring organizations, offer programs across a broad spectrum of options that include science, nature, academics, and fitness. Here at Southside Virginia Community College, we offer summer camps to provide young people participatory experiences that enable them to explore cutting edge topics and technologies, such as 3D printing and robotics.

For today's young people, it's never too early to explore ideas about potential future careers, but it's also never too late. The question, "What do you want to do?" doesn't disappear at childhood's end. 

Career planning is an activity for everyone. According to a 2015 survey conducted the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who were born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48. While some changes may have represented steps along a single pathway, many involved switching careers entirely. Veterans returning to civilian life, unemployed and underemployed workers, and people with evolving interests and needs were all among those who made significant changes in career trajectories.

If you have questions about exploring career options, for yourself or for a child, contact SVCC at 434-949-1000. Our team of academic and workforce advisors can help you discover an exciting path to the future.

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.

Beck’s Cool Job Let’s Her Work From Home

Shanetta Beck has a cool job because she is doing what she loves to do.  Beck is owner of her own business, Baskets by Occasion.  She started this as a cottage industry on a part time basis and now has transformed her hobby into a prosperous business.

Beck, who lives in Emporia, is a graduate of Southside Virginia Community College with an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.  She fondly remembers her mentors from her student years at SVCC, especially Dr. Al Roberts who is now President and Trooper Ron Posey who taught some of her classes. 

When she attended SVCC, she was working as a Corrections Officer and the degree she worked towards helped her with on-the-job promotions. 

In her mid-twenties when she returned to school, Beck also already had children.  She wanted to go to college to encourage them to succeed in life.

“I feel good that I got an SVCC education,” she said and is still involved with the college by using the Longwood Small Business Development Center that comes to the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County and through participation in the Pink Power Celebration at Christanna Campus.

A breast cancer survivor, Beck is adamant in her support of breast cancer awareness and fund raising for the cause.  Only 35 years old when her cancer was discovered, Beck has been in cure mode for the past four years.  One reason she likes having her own business is she can pace herself; her treatment for the disease took a toll on her energy level.  But, with her enthusiasm for her career and her personality, she seems pretty energetic.

She works closely with the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce and networks with others there to promote her business.  She offers baskets that are custom made for all occasions including weddings, babies, birthdays, holidays, she plans children’s parties and makes welcome baskets and dipped treats and fruits.  Her shop, located in a tiny house in her yard, is brimming with baskets, filled pocketbooks and other ideas for any occasion.

Her enthusiasm for her creations is contagious.  She is in her happy place while tucked amongst the many completed baskets and gift items in her shop.  

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