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The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

This Paid Political Advertisement does not represent an endorsement by Emporia News. Emporia News does not endorse candidates for any political office.


Martha Reed, Southside Virginia Community College Assistant Professor of Biology, was recognized by the Virginia Community College System as the recipient of the 2014 Chancellor’s Award in the Community Services category.  The Award was presented during the 2014 Hire Education Conference held at the Homestead during December.  The Innovator’s Award event is designed to recognize the outstanding contributions of workforce and economic development practitioners at community colleges and other partner organizations. 

Reed was nominated due to her involvement in many outreach programs in the Southdie Virginia area and also, because she is a champion for SVCC students.  She encourages students to participate in community programs such as blood donation and Stop Hunger Now.  In a year’s time, she has worked with her church to glean over 200,000 pounds of vegetables that were distributed in a ten county region.  She has also worked with a medical mission organization to establish health clinics in remote areas of Guatemala, organized a local Alzheimer’s Memory Walk and much more.

She began teaching at SVCC in 1993 and is a native of Nottoway County.  She and her husband, David, have two daughters.


SVCC Earns Communications Award

The NCMPR District 2 Medallion Awards recognize outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges in District 2. It's the only regional competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges. States in District II are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,  North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas.  Southside Virginia Community College's Public Relations office received three Medallion awards presented at a conference in Nashville, Tennessee recently.  The college team, Christie Hales (Left) and Jamie Jones (Right) received a bronze award for the College Annual Report:  The Legacy:  31 Years of Innovation in Education which honored Dr. John J. Cavan, president, upon his retirement.  Jones received a Silver Medallion award for creation and design of a college Newsletter--The PROUD Panther and Hales received a Gold Medallion in the category of Feature Article/General News Story/OpEd for "A Tradition of Education."


Next Big Step for High School Students

Tavorise Marks was the guest speaker at the Southside Virginia Community College The Next Big Step event held at the Christanna Campus in Alberta for area high schools.  He was speaking to students from his high school of Brunswick.  Marks is a2002 graduate of Brunswick High School, 2007 graduate of Norfolk State University with a2011 Masters from Old Dominion University(masters degree in Urban Affairs and Planning).
Currently, 1LT(P) Tavorise Marks is stationed at Fort Belvoir out of the PentagonDomestic Allhazard Response Team (DART).  He advised students to remember three things:  1.  Don't worry about being cool.  2.  Chase the paper (get degrees and certificates and diplomas to prove accomplishments) and 3. To Dream Big.


SVCC Spring 2015 New Student Orientation: NSO 2.0

Southside Virginia Community College’s spring semester orientation will take place on Wednesday, January 7th on both main campuses, the Christanna Campus in Alberta and the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.

Students may arrive as early at 9:30 a.m. to the Workforce Development Building on the Daniel Campus or the Little Theater room B-13 on the Christanna Campus to register and to pick up an information packet.  The program will start at 10:00 a.m. and will include refreshments and a variety of door prizes!

New students are encouraged to R.S.V.P. to this exciting event by visiting the “New Student Orientation” webpage on the college’s website,

Students will have the opportunity to meet other SVCC students, staff and faculty as well as attend information sessions to learn more about SVCC services.

Students who have not completed the admissions process will have the chance to finish the final steps to becoming an SVCC student. The New Student Orientation program is hosted by Student Services on each campus of SVCC.

For additional information about the Christanna campus New Student Orientation experience please call Vondrenna Smithers, Student Activities Coordinator located in Alberta, VA at 434-949-1028.

For more information about the John H. Daniel campus New Student Orientation experience please contact Le’Tina Giles, Student Activities Coordinator located in Keysville, VA at 434-736-2023.  New students may also visit the NSO website at


SVCC Workforce Partners with American Buildings For Specific Job Training

Southside Virginia Community College is partnering with  American Buildings  Company to offer skill training for specific jobs at the company.  The LaCrosse, Virginia business is interested in having a workforce trained in Computer Aided Drafting. 

SVCC will begin offering a Career Studies Certificate in this discipline in January of 2015 with a total of 19 credit hours needed for successful completion.  Courses include Computer Aided Drafting and Design, Technical Writing, Computer Aided Modeling and Rendering, Team Concepts and Problem Solving and Applied Technical Mathematics. 

These skills will help in preparing applicants for the job of Steel Detailer/BIM Modeler at the local site.  The job entails creation of construction drawings using specialized software, generating drawings and reports, bill of materials for field construction, designing and troubleshooting standardized steel framing conditions and ensuring quality.

“American Buildings Company a division of Nucor, is committed to staying in the forefront of building technology as we increase our capacity in LaCrosse Virginia.  As we continue to expand career opportunities the SVCC workforce development is helping by providing training for highly qualified candidates with knowledge of Computer Aided Drafting at our Virginia office.  Nucor teammates enjoy excellent benefits, profit sharing and highly competitive wages along with pay for performance bonuses.  American Buildings Company, is proud to be a division of Nucor the largest producer of steel and steel products in North America.”, Cindy Kirby, Human Resource Coordinator.

American Buildings is one of the largest and most experienced manufacturers of custom engineered steel building systems in the world.

Classes start in January of 2015 at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  For more information, contact the LCAKC at 434-955-2252.


Books Donated to SVCC Students

Angela Marie Carter, author of Memory Chose A Woman's Body and Southside Virginia Community College graduate from Alberta, Virginia has donated 12 of her books to the college.Quoted from where her book is sold," it is a poetic memoir, one woman’s harrowing yet hopeful story of harm and healing. The poems, each powerful as stand-alone works, are a journey of self-discovery, an epic tale of finding one’s way and voice."  Carter credits SVCC with helping her to find her voice and giving opportunities that have helped to lead to her success.  She recently visited the campus for a poetry reading and to mentor students who now walk the halls she once inhabited.  She donated these books to give back to her community and her college.  Students who are members of the Empowered Women's Organization on the Christanna Campus gathered to welcome Carter's book to campus and they are (Front Row, Left to Right) Raven Stigall of Blackstone, Christina Hippert of Emporia, Maria Hayes of Blackstone, Kaylin Weise of Baskerville, Kristen Thorpe of Gasburg and (Second row, L to R) Taylo Harrison of Emporia, Keydra Rosser of Lawrenceville, Michaela McGhee of Blackstone, Torri Long of Freeman,  Kalia Moore of Lawrenceville and Jasmine Price of Gasburg  and Back Row, from the Christanna Campus :Bernadette Battle, Director of Counseling, Vondrenna Smithers, Students Activities Coordinator, and Marika Peterson, Librarian. 


SVCC Hosts 8th Annual Law Enforcement Awards Banquet

Southside Virginia Community College hosted the 8th Annual Law Enforcement Awards Banquet on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the John J. Cavan Workforce Development Center in Alberta.  Area law enforcement agencies were invited to attend and honor one of their own as the recipient of the Officer of the Year Award for 2014.  The event was hosted by Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Instruction on the Christanna Campus.  Ms. Francine C. Ecker, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services was the keynote speaker.  Those recognized as the Officers of the Year for 2014 are (Front Row, L to R) Sgt. Harvey A. Hoyle, Sr. of the Chase City Police Department, Inv. D. L. "Rusty" Callahan of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, Det. Ella Turner of the Crewe Police Department, Special Award Recipient, Dr. James H. Taylor, III recent SVCC retiree and former Assistant Professor and Program Head of the Administration of Justice Department, Capt. Bernie R. Puryear of the South Hill Police Department, Trooper Tom W. Reeves, Jr. of the Virginia State Police, South Hill District, Sgt. James A. Crawford of the Clarksville Police Department, (Back Row, L to R) Deputy Clay Sasser of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Seth E. Wenger of the Nottoway County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Kevin L. Abernathy of the Lunenburg County Sheriff's Office,  Trooper Keith H. Pearce of the Virginia State Police, Emporia District, Trooper Brandon D. Coles, Sr. of the Virginia State Police, Petersburg District, Officer Jason D. Robertson of the Blackstone Police Department and Ms. Francine C. Ecker, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services.



Now is the time to plan for a great new year by registering for classes at Southside Virginia Community College.  Registration for the Spring 2015 semester that begins Friday, January 9 is underway now. For information about registration, visit the college website at or call 1-888-220-SVCC

SVCC offers traditional classes to attend on campus day and night or at off-campus sites, online courses that can be completed mostly by computer, off-campus classes, special classes with eight week sessions and even some Friday only and Saturday only classes.  Free Adult Education Classes and GED® are available as well as truck driver training, phlebotomy, cosmetology, massage therapy, the first two years of a university degree and many other majors and programs of study.

Also, tuition and fees at community colleges are about one-third of the cost of a four-year state college or university.  A student can save about $50,000 by attending a community college for the first two years of college and then transferring.    

If you are not sure what you want to do or how to get started, SVCC offers a great counseling center to help you with placement tests, financial aid, a map for your future, the admissions process and more.   Success starts at SVCC and today is the day to start that success story.


SVCC Hosts Health Careers Fair for Local High School Students

A host of high school students converged on the Estes Community Center in Chase City recently to attend the Southside Virginia Community College Health Careers Fair.  More than 200 high school juniors and seniors in attendance were from the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward.

The purpose of the event was to familiarize students interested in health careers with SVCC's programs, including nursing, both LPN and RN, massage therapy, emergency medical services, and medical office assisting.  Students also had the opportunity to learn about ways to further education in varied health care fields they can complete by transferring to nearby schools, including physical therapy, respiratory therapy, radiology, sonography, and more.

One of the highlights of the event was a student panel consisting of men and women who have completed or are currently enrolled in the PN and ADN programs.  The student panel was asked various questions about SVCC’s health career programs and the dedication it takes to complete these programs. 


The SVCC Panther was on hand as well as a Zumba instructor and other college representatives. 

Students were able to experience the college’s Sim Lab that features a computer-driven human simulator known as Sim Man and its smaller counterparts Sim Baby and our newly arrived Sim Newbie. Together, they allow students to assess changeable heart sounds, breath sounds, chest movement, experience cardiac monitoring and effects of interventions and medications given with patients across the life span. Our simulators can demonstrate different customized patient profiles and individualized medical scenarios ranging from basic to complex nursing care. Another simulator, "Noelle", provides maternal and neonatal birthing simulation.


The VCU LifeEvac helicopter also landed outside the Estes Center and students were able to learn about this service.  VCU LifeEvac provides both scene and interfacility transfer of critically ill patients for areas that have previously not had this transport option available to them.

Dr. Michelle Edmonds, Dean of Nursing and Health Technology at SVCC stated, "It is an exciting time in health care, and it was wonderful how many students were interested in learning more about health career opportunities at Southside Virginia Community College."

The event was made possible through the generosity of the SVCC Foundation's Educational Excellence Grant and generous giving of time and expertise from many area health care professionals, surrounding colleges, VCU/CMH in South Hill, and PATHS in Boydton.


PTK at SVCC Christanna Campus Holds Induction

New members were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Alpha Theta Chi Chapter on the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College on November 10, 2014.    Membership is extended by invitation. To be considered for membership a student must be enrolled in a two-year college, have accumulated 12 semester credit hours,  have established academic excellence as judged by faculty, and be of good moral character and possess recognized qualities of citizenship.  Those inducted are with Deveata Fuller, a member who helped with the ceremony (Front Row, Left to Right) Christopher Bowen of White Plains, James Alexander of Bracey, Noah Nichols of South Hill, Caylin Broadnax of South Hill, Payton Gwaltney of South Hill, Hunter Padgett of Jarrett, Sarah Lacks of Crewe, Kathy Drummond of Emporia, Marrica Hazelwood of Blackstone, Kaylin Weise of Baskerville, Destiny Staten of Chase City, Emily Mullins of Skipwith, Sarah Parsons of Boydton, Jenipher Singleton of Valentines, and (Back Row, L to R) Malissa Knight of Stony Creek, Felicia Jacskon of Emporia, Kailyn Drohan of Bracey, Claire Walker of South Hill, Robert Kirks of Petersburg, Lauren Burnette of South Hill, Maygan Clary of Lawrenceville, Levi Kent of White Plains, Daryl Lawson of Baskerville, Faith Ann Merricks of Stony Creek, Taylor Robbins of Kenbridge, Rachel Brown of Emporia, Monica D. McMillan of Lawrenceville, Sharon Cypress of Alberta and Linda Murphy of Brodnax.  These are the students who were selected and able to attend the ceremony.


Jobs and Job Seekers Converge In Emporia

More than 400 job seekers converged with 35 employers at the SVCC Regional Job Fair held at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia recently with a positive outcome.  Some attendees were hired on the spot at the event sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development, Student Development Services, Crater Business Services Team, WYTT and First Media Radio.

 “It’s always rewarding to be able to provide something tangible and practical to potential candidates, regardless of where they end up ultimately working,” said Matthew Stewart, a senior staffing specialist at Dominion. “Advice as simple as customizing one’s resume for the respective job a candidate is interested in can make all the difference between a recruiter glancing at a resume, versus making it to a phone screening or interview. Not only did we get a chance to meet some wonderful people, we were also able to impart some helpful knowledge. There was a good turnout from the community and the students, and we were glad to be a part of it.”

“It was wonderful! I spoke to several applicants who all had very positive things to say about the Job Fair. I spoke with more than half of the Employers and every one of them said they would come back in the spring.  SVCC especially impressed me with the degree of preparation; Separate tables set up for applicants to fill out applications, places for impromptu interviews, etc.  SVEC/SVCC did great work for our community and for the people we serve, said  John Holtkamp, Director LISW-S, ACSW, Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services. 

“Representatives from First Citizens Bank’s Recruiting and Human Resources Department and I agree our participation in the SVCC Job Fair was time well spent,” said Cindy Thomas, area executive for First Citizens Bank. “The event was very well organized and attendance far exceeded our expectations.  The communication from SVCC before the event was timely and often, keeping this a “top-of-mind” event for us and I expect for those planning to attend as well.  The luncheon and presentation for the vendors before the Job Fair was informative and provided time for networking with the other vendors.  It was a successful event, and First Citizens would not hesitate to participate again the future.”

A similar event was held in Alberta at the Christanna Campus of SVCC with 300 attendees.  There are plans to offer another job fair event in Emporia also, said Debra Smiley, Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at SVCC.


SVCC Wins Award

Southside Virginia Community College’s Public Relations office recently received recognition in the 2014 Virginia Community College’s Association Excellence in Communications awards competition.  Entrants represented the 23 community colleges in the state of Virginia and were evaluated against other entries in the same group and category by a panel of marketing and advertising professionals. Judging was based on overall creativity of the piece, marketing execution, effectiveness and impact of message and winners were  announced at the 2014 VCCA Conference held October 2-4, at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA.  Christie Hales(Left) and Jamie Jones (Right) are the team at SVCC.  Jones received two First Place VCCA awards for Newsletter (the college Student Services newsletter) and for New Media/Social Media for an event announced and marketed through Facebook.  Hales and Jones were also recognized with a First Place Award for Publication-External for a booklet dedicated to Dr. John Cavan’s legacy upon his retirement from SVCC.


SVCC Instructor Completes Certification Programs

Lisa Vaughan Jordan, assistant professor of History at Southside Virginia Community College, recently completed two certification programs. 

The Virginia Elected Officials Leadership Academy is a voluntary certification program open to elected officials in Virginia Municipal League (VML)-member cities, towns and counties. The purpose is to encourage continuing education, promote excellence in local governance and recognize local elected officials who take advantage of training opportunities.  Jordan completed this program and received certification at the recent VML conference held in Roanoke, and currently serves as a member of Town Council in South Hill, Virginia.

Another program she has recently completed is the Archeological Technician Certification Program, designed to give individuals the opportunity to obtain recognition for formal, extended training in the techniques and goals of archaeology without having to participate in an academic degree program.  Certification students are provided technical training in both the field and laboratory in conjunction with rotational lectures and workshops and required readings. In fulfillment of these requirements, Mrs. Jordan has volunteered at Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Petersburg National Battlefield, and multiple other sites throughout the state. The program is sponsored by the Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV), the Council of Virginia Archaeologists (COVA), and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Raised in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, she received her BA in History, MT in Teaching Social Science, and MA in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has spent time in education K-12, the National Park Service, and recently as the Chief Operating Officer for The Colonial Center for the Performing Arts before coming to Southside Virginia Community College. She lives in South Hill with her husband, Bill and her son, Jared.


SVCC Hosts Job Fair

Employers from Mecklenburg County to Virginia Beach came to Golden Leaf Commons looking for workers Tuesday.  SVCC hosted the event in cooperation with the Department of Social Services.  37 employers from the region were offered a Luncheon prepared by Southside Virginia Students from the Alberta Campus before 401 eager job hunters descended upon them. 

Below is a slideshow of photos taken at the event.


Virginia Community College Association Showcase

The Virginia Community College Association annually recognizes faculty and staff from the state's community colleges with Showcase Awards.  These awards are presented for leadership, hard work and dedication to the mission of Virginia's community colleges.  Awards were presented at the VCCA Convention held in Arlington, Virginia and three representing Southside Virginia Community College were present.  They are (Left to Right) Vondrenna Smithers of Lawrenceville, Student Activities Coordinator at the Christanna Campus, Ashley Leslie, Instructional Technologist from the Daniel Campus who resides in Burkeville and Martha Reed, Assistant Professor of Biology for Christanna Campus who resides in Blackstone.  SVCC is made special by these exemplary employees.  Terry Clarke (retired) was also a Showcase Award winner for faculty from the Daniel Campus.


Free Workshop but Must Pre-Register

Diabetes: Making Sense of All the Numbers!

This program will focus on the problems associated with uncontrolled blood sugar and the most common treatments. We will also discuss the goals of Diabetes treatment as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

When: October 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Cost: FREE
Where: Southside Virginia Community College
John J. Cavan Workforce Development Center
109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA 23821

Pre-registration required by contacting Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or

Presented by:

Chris Buchanan, owner of Smith’s Pharmacy in Kenbridge, Virginia, has been helping pharmacy customers with their medication needs since 1999. He    attended Virginia Tech then went on to graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Pharmacy. Rebecca Reitz has been with Smith’s Pharmacy for 10 years. She attended       Virginia Commonwealth University for her undergraduate courses and pharmacy school.



Over 30 companies seeking employees will be under one roof on Tuesday, October 29, 2014 at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia.  There will be 33 employers/agencies participating in this  Job Fair co-hosted by SVCC Workforce Development, SVCC Student Development and Crater Business Services Team.  Dress to impress and bring your resume to this event from  2:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Following is a list of participants:

  • The Center for Child & Family Services
  • SVCC - Career Center
  • AmeriCare Plus
  • Transamerica Agency Network
  • Penmac
  • Virginia Employment Commission
  • First Citizens Bank
  • American Buildings
  • New Journey Family Services
  • Wilco Hess - Subway
  • Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center
  • AVON
  • Hampton Inn Emporia
  • Stage Stores, Inc (Peebles, Goodys)
  • Georgia Pacific
  • Mecklenburg County Public Schools
  • Georgia Pacific
  • Oran Safety Glass
  • Fedex Ground
  • ProLabor Temps (Toll Brothers)
  • VCU Community Memorial Hospital
  • Bojangles
  • Kaine Connects
  • Health Insurance Navigator
  • Marriott
  • Fastenal
  • Dish Network
  • Care Advantage
  • Personal Touch Home Care Services
  • Global Safety Textile
  • Greensville Correctional Center


Proud SVCC Alum Returns As Published Author

You can go home again.  Author Angela Marie Carter did that recently by taking a leap of faith to return to Southside Virginia.  Describing herself as ‘a proud graduate of Southside Virginia Community College,” Carter visited the Christanna Campus as a published author and mentor to students who now fill the halls she once walked.  The “Meet the Author” event was sponsored by the SVCC Empowered Woman organization and Student Development Services.

Her book of poetry, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body, sells on, resides in libraries and is heard through her readings at colleges, schools, and art shows. 

Carter is poetic in her expression as she noted, “First talk. Student body. Out of everything I've achieved as an author so far, yesterday had to be the most special accomplishment. I went back to my hometown. I spoke on three different occasions (all full) about my story, the book, what I've learned and how our very own community college changed my life--and how it's changing  their's.

I got up on stage three times. Three times I said...My name is Angela Carter. I am a survivor....I ran away from this town, and realized later that our college is one of the reasons that I have the happiness I do now. (And then they listened....).”

She also noted, “Abuse. Depression. Bullying. Importance of community college. Art and writing. All topics that I talked about yesterday, in THREE talks I gave at Southside VA Community College. Not only were the topics accepted, but I received over 8 messages last night regarding how my talks helped those that attended. I'm dancing on the inside and cannot explain what it meant to me to talk to students, faculty/staff and many community members.

I feel that I can formally announce that this country gal is changing the world. Many past tears were cried and every single one was worth it for what I'm doing now.”

Carter is a graduate of SVCC.   She got involved with student art and literature and helped to organize the SVCC Arts and Literature Festival featuring writers, artists and musicians.  Because she was going through turmoil in her personal life, she welcomed the involvement and escape through college life. A young mother, writer, motivational speaker and surprisingly strong woman wonders what her life would be like if she had not attended SVCC

  During her years at SVCC (1999-2001), the college offered a Study Abroad Program in which students could travel to the University of Bath in England to study for a semester.  SVCC offered scholarships to the program and one was offered to Carter. 

“I was not the typical person to receive this, but I feel it was just meant to be,” she remembers.

After what transposed in England, Carter notes that she is afraid to consider what her life would be like had she not gone.

Carter notes that the trip to England was her first escape from the grim specter of a childhood stolen and the first chance to discover her true self. As a child, Carter had encountered abuse by a non-family member. Her own parents were not aware of the long-standing effects, and toll it had taken on her life, until the last few years.

Carter blossomed in England, was mesmerized by the country and the classes and after returning to the United States to get her life in order, she went back to England on a work visa.  She met her husband and they lived there for five years and have two daughters.  Returning to the U.S., she received a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University and now lives in Harrisonburg, VA.

Her triumphant return to her alma mater was marked by great attendance at each phase of the event, sales of her book, students and friends seeking autographs and photos.  Reviews on  say

It's beautifully written, and the content is vividly real” and “a raw talent with honest words.” 

SVCC is extremely proud of the accomplishments of this former student and hopes she will come home again soon!!


MSI & Southside Virginia Community College Announce New Industry Skills Partnership

-Nine Community Colleges Designated MSI Assessment Centers-

NEWPORT NEWS, VA– The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), the workforce development affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, announced today at the Dream It Do It Virginia Symposium that nine community colleges will be designated as authorized MSI Assessment Centers:  Blue Ridge Community College, Community College Workforce Alliance (John Tyler Community College and J. Sargent Reynolds Community College), Mountain Empire Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College and Virginia Western Community College.

The new MSI Assessment Centers will expand credentialing opportunities for Virginians to demonstrate skills to close the workforce skills gap.  The initial focus of the partnership will be to expand the MSI Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1) certificate program as a baseline credential for Virginia’s 6,000 manufacturers as well as integrating it into degree pathways and dual enrollment opportunities so that the emerging workforce has the 12 critical technical skillsthat are fundamental to occupations in advanced technology industries.

The system office of Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) has been integral in this development.  The VCCS recently provided support to local community colleges wishing to pursue MSI training and Assessment Center status.  This investment from the VCCS has enabled Virginia’s community colleges to further enhance students’ pursuit of industry credentials to prepare them for modern manufacturing.

“The MT1 certification can be a launching pad for individuals across Virginia,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “This holds the potential to be a stackable credential that helps a person on his or her pathway to a specific career within the manufacturing field, like welding, metal working or mechatronics. And it’s one more step away from that ‘bachelor’s or bust’ mindset that can prevent people from promising opportunities in high-demand career areas.”

This announcement is part of an aggressive move to expand the MT1 certificate program into community colleges and educational partners across the United States.  The MT1 is part of the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certifications System and is approved by the Virginia Board of Education for high school use.  The MT1 has also been approved for use by Workforce Investment Boards for special populations and veterans wishing to improve their manufacturing skills. 

“Southside Virginia Community College thrives on partnerships that offer growth and opportunity for people in our region.  The partnership with VMA to offer MT1 Certification is another example of SVCC's commitment to improve and enhance the region's workforce and bring industry and jobs our way,” said Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President.

“We knew in 2007 that manufacturers would have a skills gap of approximately 11,000 people a year.  We also knew that the largest need was in the Manufacturing Technician occupation and 96% of manufacturers wanted people with these applied and measurable skills.  Although the economic challenges of the last few years slowed demand, it is back and we need to move quickly and this partnership between MSI and Virginia’s community colleges will help close the skills gaps for manufacturers” said Brett Vassey, VMA President & CEO.

The new community college based MSI Assessment Centers will be joining ECPI University, which has six MSI Assessment Centers across the Commonwealth, as well as the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in offering MT1 resources.  MSI’s next MT1 Train-the-Trainer Course for community college instructors begins October 20 in Richmond, Virginia.


Dollar General Literacy Foundation Donates $50,000 to Fund Adult Literacy through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative

RICHMOND, Va.– The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is donating $50,000 to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to promote adult literacy efforts through the foundation’s Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI). The retailer’s gift, which will be matched on a one-to-one basis, will fund $1,000 incentive scholarships for adults who earn their high school equivalency to attend a community college to earn a postsecondary credential. Altogether, the Dollar General donation and the matching funds will help 100 adults pursue a college credential.

“This is a very generous donation from a company that is looking for ways to give back to the families and communities who help make their stores successful,” said former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, co-chair of the RVHI Steering Committee. “I applaud Dollar General for the leadership example they are setting with this donation and look forward to working with other companies who are looking for ways to contribute to the improvement and enhancement of the people who call rural Virginia home.”

“At Dollar General, we are passionate about our mission of Serving Others throughout the communities we serve,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “It’s exciting to see the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s outreach in action as we partner with organizations to further education and literacy and make a real difference in people’s lives.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.

More than one in four of the 2.1 million Virginians across parts of the Rural Horseshoe have less than a high school education, according to the VFCCE. In addition, while Virginia ranks in the top 10 for higher education attainment, the Commonwealth ranks 19th from the bottom in percentage of the population with at least a high school equivalency.

The VFCCE hopes to change those statistics by leveraging the programs and resources of 14 of Virginia’s Community Colleges: Blue Ridge, Dabney S. Lancaster, Danville, Eastern Shore, Lord Fairfax, Mountain Empire, New River, Patrick Henry, Paul D. Camp, Rappahannock, Southside, Southwest Virginia, Virginia Highlands, and Wytheville.

 “With one in four Virginians across parts of the state’s rural crescent having less than a high school education, preparing them for the jobs of the future is vital,” said Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Dollar General’s contribution continues this effort’s momentum to help more Virginians develop the skills necessary to compete in today’s ever-changing work environment.”

The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative (RVHI) seeks to address the lack of educational attainment across rural Virginia, where nearly one in four adults lack a high school education and less than one in five have a bachelor’s degree. The focus will be providing full-time career coaching assistance to middle majority students and those from underrepresented populations, who are often overlooked by traditional guidance counselling but are critically needed to provide a trained workforce in most rural areas. The 10-year goal is to cut in half (one in eight) those lacking a high school diploma and double from 26 percent to 52 percent the population in rural Virginia holding an associate’s degree or other college certification.


Omick Selected as A Finalist for Top Nurse Award

A faculty member in the Southside Virginia Community College Associate Degree Nursing Program is  a finalist in the 2014 Virginia March of Dimes Virginia Nurse of the Year Awards Program.  Felicia Omick, Associate Professor of Nursing, has been named a finalist in the program.

Over 325 nurses were nominated, with nearly 230 of them submitting applications for awards consideration.  Now, 121 nurse FINALISTS remain, with the 21 TOP NURSES to receive AWARDS at a Gala to be held on November 1.

 Omick was born in Richmond and raised in Hopewell. She received her BSN from Medical College of Virginia and her MSN from Old Dominion University. She was previously employed as a LPN instructor at Southside Virginia Community College and was the Director of PACU/Admissions at MCV Outpatient.

She resides in Lawrenceville and teaches on the Christanna Campus of SVCC.


Donut Sale

The Student Ambassadors Organization (SAO) from the Southside Virginia Education Center (SVEC) in Emporia is sponsoring a Krispy Kreme donut sale fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the SAO club’s outreach program.  SVEC is an off-site campus of Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) serving Emporia, Greensville County, and the surrounding area. 

This fall the SAO club is raising funds to donate to Stop Hunger Now.  Additionally, the club will be sponsoring needy families in the Emporia/Greensville County at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Please contact any member of the SAO, call 434-634-9358, or stop by the front desk reception area of Southside Virginia Education Center, 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia to order your donuts.  The freshly baked donuts are reasonably priced at $6.00 per dozen.  To ensure that your donuts will be ordered, donuts must be paid for by Thursday, October 16, 2014.  Cash only, no checks or credit cards, please.  Donuts will be baked fresh on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, and can be picked up at the SVEC reception area of the college after 12 noon on Wednesday, October 22nd

Thank you for your support of this worthwhile endeavor. 

John Seaborne, in the photo to the left, President of the Student Ambassadors Organization, is awaiting your order.


Governor McAuliffe Announces “Southern Virginia Works”

Collaboration among three area community colleges to boost workforce credentials in Southern Virginia

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that more than 50,000 residents in southern Virginia will be positively impacted by a new workforce collaboration among three area community colleges. Called “Southern Virginia Works,” the colleges - Danville Community College (DCC), Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) and Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) - plan to boost the number of workforce credentials earned by Southern Virginians through community college programs by 1,500 in the next year. Within the next five years, the three colleges plan to triple the number of postsecondary education and workforce credentials. Earning credentials aligned with regional employer needs such as certifications and licenses improves individuals’ employability and better meets the region’s educational and economic development needs. 

“My vision for a New Virginia Economy demands that community colleges and other partners in Virginia’s workforce system change and adapt to meet the emerging needs of business and industry, and the new Southern Virginia Works partnership of community colleges in the region is a big step in that direction,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Three colleges, joining together to meet a common, regional goal sets an example that the entire state should celebrate.” 

Through the recently announced Executive Order 23, called “The New Virginia Economy” Workforce Initiative, Governor McAuliffe is seeking to overhaul the state’s economy in several areas: (1) increasing STEM-H postsecondary education and workforce credentials; (2) securing employment for veterans; (3) aligning education with the needs of businesses; and (4) diversifying the economy. Virginia’s Community Colleges play a key role in carrying out the governor’s vision. 

“I congratulate SVCC, DCC, and PHCC for their collaboration to ensure that underemployed and unemployed workers in the region have expanded opportunities to earn industry driven certifications that strengthen the workforce to help recruit, retain and grow businesses in Southern Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “It’s encouraging to see our community colleges collaborating and setting a bold goal for increasing their success in delivering training and credentials that work for working adults.”  

At the same time, Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), announced plans to triple the number of credentialed Virginians earn by 2021.  The VCCS will adopt “Complete 2021” as its six-year strategic plan early next year, pending approval from the State Board for Community Colleges. Southside Virginia colleges are already working together on expanding their workforce initiatives to meet both the Chancellor’s and Governor’s goals.  

"Community colleges excel when they can bring together people to address community needs," said Chancellor DuBois. "This collaboration is a great example of that and promising for both the people and the businesses these colleges serve." 

“We were inspired by the Governor’s call  for 50,000 STEM-H credentials in his administration and also want to be responsive to the Virginia Community College chancellor's goal of tripling credentials by 2021,” said Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC President. 

For more information about “Southern Virginia Works”, contact DCC (434-797-8430), PHCC (276-656-0256), or SVCC (434-949-1068).


Local Organization Supports Nursing Students at SVCC

40 & 8 Voiture Locale 1312 has established a scholarship fund to support nursing students at Southside Virginia Community College.  This organization is an independent fraternal organization of veterans organized in 1920 by American Legionnaires as a fun and honor society.  It draws its origin from WWI, when young Americans were sent to France to fight.  The narrow gauge railroads of France had small boxcars (Voitures) that transported men and horses to and from the fighting fronts.  On each side of these boxcars was stenciled the capacity of each, holding either forty men or eight horses, and these voitures became the trademark of the organization.   Mindful of the vital role battlefield nurses played during WWI, support for nursing education is a foundational emphasis for the organization.

Pictured above:  Mary Jane Elkins, Executive Director of the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation accepts a donation from Leonard Smith, Chef de Gare (Commander).  Joining them is Paul Doucette (left) and Tom Queck (right).


SVCC hosts Meet the President Event

Southside Virginia Community College held a meet and greet event with new SVCC president Dr. Al Roberts on September 9th at the Estes Community Center in Chase City.

Chase City Mayor, J. Eddie Bratton, welcomed Dr. Roberts, county, city and town officials and superintendents from multiple school divisions that were in attendance.

Brunswick County Administrator and Chairman of SVCC’s Local Board, Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge, introduced Dr. Roberts by acknowledging his many career accomplishments that brought him to his current position as SVCC president.

When speaking to superintendents, economic development and local officials in attendance, Dr. Roberts stated, “It goes without saying that our collective success is dependent upon the mutual engagement of local leadership across Southside Virginia that harnesses the capacity of local school divisions, workforce investment boards, the Virginia Employment Commission, job developers, community based organizations, economic developers, and local governments.  In other words, we need your help. We need your support, your ideas, your encouragement, and your collaboration. And in return, I pledge my support to you.  Whatever Southside Virginia Community College can do to assist you in regional or local economic development and in keeping our community strong, we are a ready and willing partner. This is my personal commitment to you.  Hold me to it.”

Dr. Roberts served as provost of SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta, a position he held since 2012 and also as provost of the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, from 2010-2012.  Prior to that, he was vice president of workforce services at SVCC. His career at SVCC began in 1995 when he assumed the role of administrator for student support services.

In the Photo:  Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, is pictured talking with Delegate Tommy Wright during a recent meet and greet event in Chase City, VA.


Virginia State Trooper Charles Dunn Speaks to SVCC Students

Trooper Charles Dunn of the Virginia State Police, assigned to Brunswick County, visited the Criminal Justice class at Southside Virginia Community College on September 16 and conducted a presentation to combined Administration of Justice class students. 

Dunn is a 2011 graduate of the Criminal Justice Program at SVCC where he was awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Administration of Justice under the instruction of Dr. James Taylor, Associate Professor and Program Head. 

Dunn briefed the class on the application process for the position of Trooper, the rigors of State Police Recruit training academy and duties and responsibilities of a Trooper.  He responded to students' questions and shared insight to those aspiring to a career in law enforcement.

Dunn expressed how his education at Southside had been beneficial to him in the process of becoming a Trooper and also in his duties as a Trooper.  He stated that he was humbled but thankful for the opportunity to come back to the same classroom where he sat as a student, now as a sworn police officer.  

The class concluded with a visit to Trooper Dunn's police cruiser where he fielded many questions about procedures on the road and equipment.  It was a most memorable session for the students and Dr. Taylor.

When asked about Dr. Taylor’s Criminal Justice class Dunn said, “Dr. Taylor’s class prepared me very well for the academy.  I would highly recommend Dr. Taylor’s class because he has practical knowledge and real world experience as a police officer.”   Dunn also stated that he would love to come back and speak to Dr. Taylor’s class again because of everything SVCC had done for him.



See SVCC for Free program helps students pass the GED test                  

WHO/WHAT:From September 22 – October 3, 2014, Southside Virginia Community College is giving away free GED practice tests to all students who come into the center. Students who take GED Ready can see for free:

  • If they’re ready to pass the GEDtest
  • The skills they need to work on to pass the test
  • A personalized study plan detailing pages and chapters to study in their favorite study books

Students can also learn about classes and other resources to help them prepare for the GED test. To learn more or to schedule a free GED Ready practice test, contact Southside Virginia Community College - Alberta at 434-949-1090, 434-949-1093 or Keysville at 434-736-2084, 434-736-2048.

WHEN:           September 22 – October 3, 2014

WHERE:        Amelia – EOC Building, Dunn Street

Brunswick – SVCC, Alberta, Middle College Building

Charlotte – SVCC, Keysville, Daniel Campus

Cumberland – Cumberland County Community Center

Halifax – Southern Virginia Higher Ed Center

LunenburgKenbridge Library and Victoria Library

Mecklenburg– Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center, Clarksville Enrichment Center, Estes Center, Boydton Library

Nottoway– Pickett Park, Crewe Library, Amelia-Nottoway VoTech

Prince Edward– Career Technical Center

To register for any practice test session, please contact Southside Virginia Community College - Alberta at 434-949-1090, 434-949-1093 or Keysville at 434-736-2084, 434-736-2048.

About GED Testing Service: The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 19 million graduates since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma.  For more information, please visit


SVCC to host Regional Job Fair

Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services is partnering with the Crater Business Services Team in sponsoring a Regional Job Fair on Tuesday, October 28th at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia, VA.

The job fair is open to all job seekers from 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM.

Interested employers who have job vacancies should reserve a booth for this event by Friday, October 17th.  Employers who reserve a booth will be treated to a catered luncheon on the day of the event compliments of SVCC.  Employer luncheon space is limited.

Employers should contact Debra Smiley, Director of Workforce Development, to reserve a booth at 434-949-1060 or


Local Students Receive Honors

President’s List, Summer 2014

To be eligible for the President’s List a student must attain a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher, complete a minimum  of 20 semester hours at SVCC, attempt six or more hours during the present semester and be enrolled in a curriculum at the college.  Local students recognized on the President’s List for the Summer  2014 are:

Local Students making the President’s List were:

  • From Emporia: Tammy Goddard, Kim Graham, Jessica Harris, Debra Norwood, Amber Woodard, Roland Weaver, Kristen Moseley, Felicia Jackson, Heather Veliky and Jennifer Watson.
  • From Jarratt: Candice Harding and Mary Bailey. 
  • From Skippers: Brittany Moody and Ceilidhe Brown.
  • From Lawrenceville: Makayla Evans, Garetta Johnson, Madison Browder and Monica McMillan.
  • From Freeman: Darrell Stewart, Marsha Hays and Sherwood Harrison.
  • From Stony Creek: Theba Bellamy and Patricia Castillo.
  • From Yale: Marsha Granderson.
  • From Brodnax: Kadesya Rainey.

Provost’s List, Summer 2014

To be eligible for the Provost’s List a student must achieve a composite average of 3.2 on courses attempted during the semester, attempt 12 or more credit hours during the present semester, and be enrolled in a curriculum.  Local students recognized by the Provost at SVCC for the Provost’s List at the end of the Summer 2014 are:

Shaquanna Morgan of  Lawrenceville, Faith Merricks of Stony Creek, Marsha Pearson of  Valentines, Melinda  Houle of  Brodnax and Krystal  Cheely of LaCrosse.



Angela Marie Carter, author of  Memory Chose A Woman’s Body, will speak at a Meet the Author event at the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.  She will be speaker at a 12 noon event in the John J. Cavan Workforce Development Center and again at 6 p.m. in the Howell Library on the Alberta, Virginia campus.  The public and students are encouraged to attend.

Quoted from where her book is sold, “Memory Chose a Woman’s Body is a poetic memoir, one woman’s harrowing yet hopeful story of harm and healing. The poems, each powerful as stand-alone works, are a journey of self-discovery, an epic tale of finding one’s way and voice. Angela M Carter navigates uninviting terrain with the skill and grace of a veteran truth teller. Memory Chose a Woman’s Body is a ray of cleansing light directed at the dark corners of the human heart. It is an offering of sisterhood to survivors of all kinds.”

Carter is a graduate of SVCC.   She got involved with student art and literature and helped to organize the SVCC Arts and Literature Festival featuring writers, artists and musicians.  Because she was going through turmoil in her personal life, she welcomed the involvement and escape through college life. A young mother, writer, motivational speaker and surprisingly strong woman wonders what her life would be like if she had not attended SVCC

During her years at SVCC (1999-2001), the college offered a Study Abroad Program in which students could travel to the University of Bath in England to study for a semester.  SVCC offered scholarships to the program and one was offered to Carter. 

“I was not the typical person to receive this, but I feel it was just meant to be,” she remembers.

After what transposed in England, Carter notes that she is afraid to consider what her life would be like had she not gone.

Carter notes that the trip to England was her first escape from the grim specter of a childhood stolen and the first chance to discover her true self. As a child, Carter had encountered abuse by a non-family member. Her own parents were not aware of the long-standing effects, and toll it had taken on her life, until the last few years.

“For the first time in my life, I could be who I wanted to be, I could be whoever I chose to be and I chose someone who I am really proud of,” she says with confidence.  Before she felt bullied, controlled and diminished, a country girl but now, she was a scholar. 

Carter blossomed in England, was mesmerized by the country and the classes and after returning to the United States to get her life in order, she went back to England on a work visa.  She met her husband and they lived there for five years and have two daughters.  Returning to the U.S., she received a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University and now lives in Harrisonburg, VA.

For more information about the event, contact Bernadette Battle at 434-949-1049 or



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