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SVCC

Community Lenten Services

Luncheon will be served after each Wednesday Noon Service for a small donation.

March 27 - 12 Noon First Presbyterian Church Rev. Dr. Rick Hurst

April 3 12 - Noon Calvary Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Doretha Allen

April 10 - 12 Noon St. Richard’s Catholic Church Rev. Tom Durrance

April 18 - 7 pm Elnora Jarrell Worship Center Rev. Harry Zeiders

April 19 - 11 am Calvary Baptist Church (Radio Baptist) Various Pastors and Leaders Hour of Prayer

The offering: we have given two $500 scholarships to seniors in the past. We will contact these two students and if they are still at their schools with passing grades, we will give them another $500 each and any money above $1000.00 we be given to Thomas Family Boots On the Ground Outreach.

Panther Prep Day Returns April 3, 2018

 
Panther Prep Advising Day is coming to all locations of Southside Virginia Community College on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.  This is a great time to meet advisors, learn about SVCC programs register for Summer and Fall Classes and just have some fun and food and fellowship.  The event will be held at the Alberta and Keysville Campuses from 10 until 6 p.m.  Other locations include Southern Virginia Higher Ed. Center in South Boston, the Center in Emporia, The Estes Community Center in Chase City, and Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  Also, plan to attend this event at the Occupational/Technical Center at Pickett Park in Blackstone from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Don't miss this chance to get the scoop on all you need to know about Southside Virginia Community College.  More information about the college can be seen at www.southside.edu

Walker Navigated to a Cool Job

Since people are not born with navigation systems installed, the road to success is not always straight, fast, and without bumps along the way.  Dixie Walker, who has a cool job as the new Tourism Coordinator for Brunswick County, took such a journey in her educational pursuit.

While attending high school, Walker enrolled in Dual Enrollment classes at Southside Virginia Community College as early as the ninth grade.  These classes, combined with summer and online courses, enabled her to complete an Associate degree in General Studies from SVCC along with graduating high school the same year.

After a brief stay at Virginia Tech, Walker decided to transfer her esteemed SVCC associate degree to Radford University where she earned two Bachelor of Science degrees which included a minor in Marketing. During her time at Radford University, Walker also served three years as a Radford University Ambassador.

Upon graduation, she returned to Southside Virginia where she utilized her creative talents. She has worked for locally owned small businesses in our surrounding community.  Walker used her creative skill set to help promote and market these businesses through several different medias. She’s held a job since she was fifteen serving the public and gaining customer service expertise.  Walker has also served as President of the South Hill Junior Women’s Club for two years and is still an active member.  She recently was recognized as “Member of the Year” by her fellow club members. After becoming a member of the club, she was able to further use her talents to promote the club through social media, raise money hosting special events for the community, and inspire her follow club members.

“It’s all added up to this,” she said recently from the new Brunswick Byways Visitor Center located on Christanna Highway 46 south of Lawrenceville.       

Completed in October 2017, the Center serves and informs the traveling public about Brunswick County’s Native American heritage, Colonial American “frontier” history, Civil War history, early American religious history, natural resources and assets, and agricultural economy.   Besides operating the Center, Walker works with other special events throughout the county including the Taste of Brunswick held in October and the Brunswick Stew Day at the capitol in Richmond.  She also coordinates volunteers at the Center and greets visitors to the county.

She is also proud to have taken advantage of the offerings at SVCC. “I liked the smaller class size at SVCC, the rural area and the one-on-one attention students received from the teachers.  The faculty and staff at SVCC care about you and your educational journey. They want to see you succeed no matter whichever path you may be on. Everyone seems pleased to be on campus and in the classroom, learning. It is a textbook learning environment for someone from a small town who doesn’t like to be distracted from reaching their goal. The paths are clear and straight at SVCC as to what’s needed to obtain your chosen goal, there are hardly any unexpected speed bumps or hurdles as long as you do your part” Walker said. 

SVCC Truck Driver Training to Start in March at Pickett Park

Truck Driver Training through Southside Virginia Community College will be offered in March of 2019.  Classes at the Pickett Park site in Blackstone begin March 11, 2019.  The South Boston site will begin a class on March 18, 2019.  Train now for a great well-paying job.   The classes will run for six weeks, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.   SVCC's program is an excellent school turning out qualified drivers that are in high demand.  Pre-registration is required so contact the school at 434 292 3101 or visit our website at www.southside.edu for more information.  There is assistance with tuition so call soon to register for this exciting program to put you on the road to success.

Reading across the Community

Reading is important. The One World Literacy Foundation explains, “Reading is how we discover new things and how we develop a positive self-image. The ability to read is a vital skill in being able to function in today's society. Reading is important because it helps to expand the mind and develops the imagination.”

Echoing these sentiments, popular author Neil Gaiman says, “Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.”

The National Endowment for the Arts notes, “Literature inspires, enriches, educates, and entertains. It reminds us that there is beauty and joy in language, that others have insights worth paying attention to, that in our struggles we are not alone.” Furthermore, NEA cites scientific evidence confirming that reading for pleasure reduces stress, improves empathy, helps students achieve better test sores, slows the onset of dementia, and encourages citizens to become more active and aware.

To support all these benefits, and in conjunction with its own Quality Enhancement Plan, “iRead, iLead, iSucceed: A Commitment to Literacy,”  Southside Virginia Community College applied for NEA grant funding to conduct an NEA Big Read program across the communities in our service area. Through a competitive process, the SVCC was selected as one of 75 applicants representing institutions across the nation to receive an award.

The title chosen for SVCC’s NEA Big Read is A Lesson before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines. Set in Louisiana during the 1940s, the novel tells the story of a young, uneducated black man who has been incarcerated and sentenced to death for his alleged participation in the murder of a white storekeeper. A college-educated black man who teaches in a nearby plantation school befriends him. Together, both men search for ways to live with dignity.

SVCC’s NEA Big Read program is currently in full swing, and I’d like to invite you to participate in a book discussion and one of the slated special events. Here’s a sampling: A panel discussion will be held at the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville on February 21, 2019 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A movie adaptation of the book, starring Cicely Tyson, Mekhi Phifer, and Don Cheadle, will be shown at the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville on March 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The Longwood University Jazz band will present a concert of songs related to the book and time period at SVCC’s Daniel Campus in Keysville on March 26, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. For more details and additional information, visit SVCC’s website at www.southside.edu.

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.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) donated a  a 2004 GMC truck to assist with training of future technicians through the automotive program at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). According to Jeremy Parenti, the lead instructor, “The donation of this truck helps to round out our fleet of vehicles allowing our students to have hands-on training in a variety of vehicle types.” Participating in the delivery are (from left) Kris Newcomb and Ray DeJarnette of MEC and Jeremy Parenti and Chad Patton of SVCC.

John Shepherd Has a Cool Job

John Shepherd’s job is cool because he practices the ancient art of farming using modern methods.  Recently, he and his wife, Lydia, of Nottoway County, were awarded third place in the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award.

According to the Virginia Farm Bureau news release, “The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. State-level winners from Farm Bureaus across the nation compete for the award, and judges narrow the field to 10 finalists.”

The Shepherds called the recognition “pretty amazing” and said the competition had been an exciting process. The Shepherds serve on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and raise wheat, rapeseed, corn and soybeans on their farm near Blackstone.

            John is a Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) graduate who attended a full two years before transferring to Virginia Tech (VT) where he received a degree in Agricultural Science.  He received minors in Biology and Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.  He planted his first crop in the fall of 2007 while finishing his last semester at VT. 

About his SVCC experience, he said, “I am excited that SVCC now offers Agribusiness as part of the curriculum.  The community college helped me to mature and prepare for a four-year school.  Also, I saved a bunch of money and I would recommend community college to everyone.”

The Shepherd’s started their farm from scratch and said in the VFB article, “the fact that we built from the ground up without inheriting a farm” helped them place so high in the national competition. 

After graduating from VT, he was working full-time as a seed and fertilizer representative when he began buying land for his future farming career.  Shepherd serves on the Nottoway Country Farm Bureau board of directors and Lydia teaches at Kenston Forest School in Blackstone.  They were recipients of the 2011 VFBF Young Farmers Environmental Stewardship Awards and the 2012 Bayer Crops Science Young Farmer Sustainability Award.  The couple uses conservation practices in their farming business.

The Shepherd’s truly are a farm family as their days are spent raising crops and three children!!

Tammy Ezzell Receivs Scholorship

Tammy Ezell (Center) of Brodnax, a resident of Brodnax, is the recipient of the K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award for Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC).  This award recognizes her academic achievements.  The award was established by the Arts and Sciences faculty at the Christanna Campus of SVCC and supported by the Verghese family to commemorate the instrumental role played by Dr. Verghese in the establishment of both the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing programs at the college.  Leigh Moore (Left), Associate Professor of Nursing, and Felicia Omick (Right), Associate Professor of Nursing, are shown with Ms. Ezell.  

Microsoft Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

Shown with the donation from Microsoft to Southside Virginia Community College are (Left to Right) Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, and Mary Jane Elkins, Dean of Institutional Advancement for SVCC.

With a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft has reached out to Southside Virginia in a big way.  Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, said simply, “We are investing in people and developing communities.”

The company recently donated another $45,000 towards student success and has invested in the community by providing 14 scholarships to students in the past.

The students take classes through Southside Virginia Community College’s Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the IT Academy (ITA) of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.

Dr. Al Roberts said, “Microsoft has been a true partner in our community and has provided valuable support for this IT program offering.  We appreciate their investment in the future of Southside Virginia.”

Microsoft announced their investment in bringing a data center to Mecklenburg County’s Boydton Industrial Park in 2010.  Since that time, the company is investing in training Southside people for jobs where IT skills are needed. 

The CITE and ITA labs are an example of how a partnership can make things happen for a community. Microsoft and their involvement impacts Southside Virginia and those seeking a future with a career in IT.

Dual Enrollment Opens Diverse Doors

By Dr. Al Roberts

At the end of the last school year, in addition to their high school diplomas, 741 graduating seniors received credentials from Southside Virginia Community College. Awards included 287 Associate Degrees, 300 Career Study Certificates, and 154 other Certificates documenting the completion of job readiness training. These achievements were made possible through collaborative dual enrollment partnerships with 14 public and private high schools across SVCC’s service region.

Dual enrollment programs offer students an opportunity to get an early start on postsecondary education pursuits. For students in transfer associate degree programs or enrolled in courses designed to satisfy general education requirements at senior institutions, dual enrollment credits can shorten the time required to complete a bachelor’s degree, resulting in tuition cost savings. For students with plans to enter the workforce in technical areas, dual enrollment offers a chance to receive training necessary to pursue more advanced opportunities, enter apprenticeships, and embark on career pathways with family-sustaining earnings.

Standards adopted by the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges safeguard the quality and rigor of college courses offered to high school students. These rules ensure that high school students meet the same academic challenges faced by on-campus college students and that the students be held accountable to the same criteria of achievement. In addition, instructors who teach college-level courses to high school students must hold the same qualifications as instructors who teach older college students.

Brent Richey, Chair of the Mecklenburg County School Board, says “The dual enrollment partnership between Mecklenburg County Schools and Southside Virginia Community College offers our students a wide range of higher education opportunities. Some students will complete a degree, certificate, or industry-recognized certificate that they can use to move immediately into the workforce, while others take their credits with them as they matriculate at a university. It also provides the rigor needed to give Mecklenburg County a talented and well-qualified workforce, which helps us attract new industries to our area.”

Shanley Childress Dorin, a dual enrollment (DE) instructor at Kenston Forest School, says her work with college-bound students equips them for success. “As an instructor I try to prepare my students for college life. Students leave a DE class with college credits and a glimpse into meeting college deadlines, learning various teaching styles, and mastering time management.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia first opened the door to dual enrollment opportunities in 1988. Since that time, course offerings have expanded to provide young adults with multiple pathways to achieve wide-ranging academic goals. SVCC’s most recent Annual Report highlights the diverse successes made possible through collaborative partnerships between the college and regional high schools. For more information about dual enrollment or to view the Annual Report, visit the college’s website at http://southside.edu/parallel-pathways-svcc-annual-report

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.

December 2018 SVCC Truck Driving Graduates

Southside Virginia Community College celebrated another successful class at the Pickett Park site in Blackstone on December 13, 2018.  They are (Front Row: L-R) Martin Ahrens (Midlothian), Warren Branch (Church Road), Gregory Brown (Cullen), Melvin Cabrera (Meherrin), Tim Reavis (Blackstone). (Back L-R)  Doug Kemerer (Instructor), Christopher Kennon (Farmville), James Baskerville (Lawrenceville), Reggie White (Instructor) and Duncan Quicke, Truck Driver Training School Coordinator.

Song Traveled a Long Way to SVCC Training Program

Terence Song won a lottery and almost three years later, he has graduated from the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Training Program at Pickett Park in Blackstone, Virginia.  A native of Cameroon, a country located in Central Africa, Song had applied for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) that makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. 

From his native town to Blackstone, he has traveled about 5,800 miles to attend the 11-week training program and graduate with the largest class thus far, 36 members.

Song is not a stranger to lineman work as he worked as a lineman in Cameroon for eight years.  In what he calls his ‘new country,’ he has been working for Rockingham Construction, a company that provides electrical construction work.  He lives in Woodbridge, Virginia. 

Song’s native language is French and in studying lineman work in America, he has learned new names for all the familiar equipment.  Asked about his ability to grasp a new language complete with Southern accents, he notes that he tilts his head in and listens hard.

“There are no bucket trucks in Cameroon,” he said, noting that America offers much better equipment to maintain electric power lines.    He said in his former country, they plant utility poles by hand using shovels and the power of five to six men to place the pole.  The machinery and power line equipment here is much safer and easier, he noted. 

Another difference that amazed Song’s classmates are the climbing spikes he brought from Cameroon.  The spikes used in America feature a long gaff or spear that gouges into the wood of the pole and allows for moving up and down.  The ones used by Song have a row of shorter spears plus semi-circle claw.  Instructor Clyde Robertson notes that if one ever gets accustomed to the spikes Song uses, they offer a more comfortable platform for the feet. 

During his training in Virginia, he has been given a chance for more practice in snow, something one never see in Cameroon.  He said the lowest temperature there is around 60 and the hottest can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.   Also, there are not four seasons in his native land, he said, “There are only two seasons there, rainy and dry.”

At age 40, he said he was the old man in the class.  Most of his classmates were in their early 20s.  He said some of the guys in the lineman class would tell him to take his jacket off when the temperature was warm but the temperatures here  in October did not seem particularly hot to him.

“I like it here, I like the countryside,” he said and the small town atmosphere.  His hometown is Ombe, a city of about three million people. 

Proud of his recent accomplishment, he looks forward to continuing to live and work and one day obtain citizenship in his New Country. 

Ninth Class Graduates Power Line Worker Program at SVCC

The Ninth Class of Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Training graduated on December 18, 2018.  This was the largest class to complete the training with a total of 36.  They are

Joshua Bale

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Noah Blackwel

 Ruther Glen, Virginia

Tristen Bunch

Dinwiddie, Virginia

Collin Burnett

Mine Run, Virginia

Austin Cherrix

S. Prince George, Virginia

Waverly Clements

Emporia, Virginia

Colton Cliborne

McKenney, Virginia

Hunter Cochran

Cumberland, Virginia

Tyler Conner

South Boston, Virginia

Ryan Drewery

S. Prince George, Virginia

Cordell Farley

Montpelier, Virginia

Logan Farrell

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Lane Janosik

Church Road, Virginia

Cody Jewett

DeWitt, Virginia

Jake Lloyd

Louisa, Virginia

Ryan Love

Waverly, Virginia

Austin McCormick Mechanicsville, Virginia

Jacob McLamb

Vernon Hill, Virginia

Logan Miller

Wilsons, Virginia

John Moore

Warrenton, Virginia

Jason Ownby

Cumberland, Virginia

Brycen Parnell

Keysville, Virginia

Elijah Patterson

Staunton, Virginia

Bayse Pitts

Farnham, Virginia

Aaron Ruddick

McKenney, Virginia

Hunter Rutledge

Keysville, Virginia

Fred Smith

Craddockville, Virginia

Terence Song

Woodbridge, Virginia

Daniel Sorrells

Buena Vista, Virginia

Adam Stubbs

Ashland, Virginia

Charles Thompson

Richmond, Virginia

Noah Tosh

Bedford, Virginia

Robert J. Watson

Nellysford, Virginia

Jarvis Wingo, Jr.

Jetersville, Virginia

Joel Wright

Gordonsville, Virginia

Seth York

Blackstone, Virginia

A Gift in Winter

By Dr. Al Roberts

Twentieth century British poet Edith Sitwell wrote, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

I enjoy many of winter’s simple pleasures, including the beauty of snowflakes and moonlight, traditional feasts and gift-giving, and hot cocoa with warm conversations. Warding off winter’s chill by bundling up in a snug, woolen coat contributes to an overall sense of serenity and comfort.

But winter can also be a time when harsh conditions lead to hardship. Emergencies multiply. Their effects compound.

According to an analysis by the United Way’s ALICE Project, 39% of Virginia’s households were either living below the federal poverty level or identified as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). The ALICE designation describes working families with incomes above the poverty level but still less than required for basic living costs, such as housing, food, child and health care, and transportation.  Within SVCC’s service region, the number of households at or below the ALICE or poverty level ranges from 49% to 60%, much larger percentage than the statewide averages.

Income at ALICE and poverty levels supports only a modest lifestyle. It leaves no room for savings, so families are often left vulnerable to emergencies and unexpected expenses.  A surprisingly high heating bill, a car that won’t start, or a doctor’s visit can threaten to topple plans and cast the future into darkness.

Several factors contribute, including low regional pay scales and increases in the basic cost of living that outpace wage growth. Education is a documented solution. Career and technical certifications and associate-degree programs provide rapid access to well-paying jobs and pathways to family-sustaining careers.

Pursuing educational goals, however, can temporarily stress finances. On the road to better pay and professional security, students encounter such expenses as tuition, books, technology, and transportation that can strain limited budgets. Illustrating this concern, recent studies have found that 13% to 21% of community college students experience food insecurity, yet college students are often ineligible for federal food assistance programs. In light of this need, SVCC has established food pantries at locations across its service area.

Additionally, to help students facing food emergencies and other crises, the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation administers funds that help meet urgent needs so that students can remain on track to reach their education goals. These opportunities are made possible through the generous contributions of people who understand the importance of helping students succeed. If you would like to join them and make a gift that will usher in a brighter future for hard-working students with unexpected challenges, contact the SVCC Foundation office at 434-949-1051.

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.

National Driver of the Year to Speak at SVCC Truck Driving Graduation Events

Trucking’s National Driver of the Year, David Boyer, is the guest speaker for the next two graduations of the Southside Virginia Community College’s Truck Driver Training School.  Students will complete the program with ceremonies at the Fort Pickett site on December 13 at 9 a.m. and at the South Boston site on December 20 at 9 a.m. 

Boyer, a professional truck driver with ABF Freight and an America’s Road Team Captain, was honored as trucking’s 2018 National Driver of the Year at American Trucking Associations Safety Management Council’s meeting in Long Beach California on November 14, 2018.  He is a 40-year veteran with ABF Freight and has worked for only one other company in his career.  He regularly operates twin trailers over the road between Wytheville, Virginia and Memphis, Tennessee.

Being named for this award recognizes drivers for noteworthy and career-long professional achievements, holding a stellar safety record and maintaining dedication to keeping the roads safe.  As a part of his award, Boyer attended a White House event in October alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in which she told President Trump about his achievements. 

The SVCC Truck Driver Training School opened in 1996.  There have been approximately 2300 graduates.

Big Comeback Leads to Cool Job for Hawkes

Sometimes a big setback leads to an even bigger comeback.  This was the case for Cedric Hawkes whose rebound has landed him in the cool job of teaching at Nottoway Middle School where he impacts lives. 

When his fiancée and mother of his two children passed away and he found himself a single father of two boys, ages five months and 15 months, Hawkes knew some things in his life had to change.  Hawkes had attended Old Dominion University but not finished and was working at Southside Virginia Community College as a restaurant manager for the Farley Experience.  Working in the college environment, he was interested in returning to school and found encouragement from Dr. John Hicks, counselor.

“Working at the café was the perfect scenario,” he said. “It jump-started me back on track, it was a home place with a fun-oriented atmosphere.”

He told the he Longwood College publication The Lancer, “It had been on my mind for a while so one day I took my apron off and went to talk to one of the counselors there (at SVCC).”

After taking some classes at SVCC, he was able to in get into Longwood University through the guaranteed acceptance agreement. He joined the Call Me MISTER program, a national teacher leadership program, where he excelled and was the eldest MISTER so he was role model to others. 

Asked why his job as a teacher is cool, he said the first word that comes to mind is satisfying. 

“I am able to give back to so many people, to give so much of myself, to offer selfless service.  When I see the looks on these kids’ faces, when you relate to them on their level, I see growth and change in their lives,” Hawkes said.

“I try to reach ‘em before I teach ‘em,” he said.

He does not just change lives and act as a role model during the school day, but he also coaches varsity football at Nottoway high school in the afternoons and is on the field leading the players during practice and games. 

“I never thought I would be a teacher but the experiences I had and the people I met influenced me,” he said.

One way he influences his students is by giving them a sense of pride in their appearance.  He sponsors Tie Tuesday for the gentlemen in his class and Step It Up for the ladies as they sport their dressier clothes on these days.

Besides teaching and coaching, Hawkes is also a volunteer firefighter in Crewe.  He is certified to teach Fire I and 2 and Hazmat training. 

Hawkes wants to be a role model for his own children, ages, 10, 9, 8 and 14 months.   He and his fiancé’ are both school teachers and he is encouraging her to return to school to complete her Master’s degree.   His philosophy is to keep trying and never give up.  And this certainly shows as he impacts many lives at all levels in Southside Virginia.

 

Beach Mold & Tool, Inc., Growing Skilled Workers through Apprenticeship

Celebrating a successful Apprenticeship Program at Beach Mold and Tool, Inc. are (l to r)Maynard Stowe, Department of Labor- Office of Apprenticeship, Joey Sims, Beach Mold and Tool HR Manager, Bryan Floyd, Apprentice, Edward (POP) Clements, Apprentice, Clarence Logan, Apprentice, David Batliner, Beach Mold and Tool VP of Operations, Mike Brockway, Beach Mold and Tool Operations Manager, Kelly Arnold, Apprenticeship Coordinator at Southside Virginia Community College.

In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, training skilled workers can be a challenge. For Beach Mold and Tool, Inc., located in Emporia, VA, this challenge was especially true. The company, which is currently expanding, was struggling to find qualified industrial maintenance technicians. With the current manufacturing boom, addressing this issue and formulating a solution was paramount.

For years, trade jobs were not promoted as viable career choices. While this is one factor, another contributor to the deficiency is an aging workforce entering retirement.

Joey Sims, Human Resource Manager, weighed his options and chose to look internally at a training strategy for the skilled worker shortage. To be successful, Joey collaborated with Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) to implement an industrial maintenance apprenticeship program. The company selected employees who were willing to attend classes one night per week at the Emporia training facility located at the Southside Virginia Education Center (SVEC).   Through hands-on lab work and instruction, the employees are mastering electrical and mechanical concepts. The hard work recently paid off for three employees as they proudly received their machine operator apprenticeship certificate.

David Batliner, Vice President of Operations, for Beach Mold and Tool, congratulated each recipient and spoke proudly of the level of commitment the group had displayed. Speaking from experience, he noted that working full time and attending school is demanding but the rewards are life changing.

Evidence of the employees’ level of commitment occurred right after Maynard Stowe, Department of Labor, presented the certificates at the apprenticeship awards ceremony. Each employee signed up to embark on the next level of training as an Industrial Maintenance Technician.

This is confirmation that the apprenticeship model is the perfect training program to fix the shortage of skilled workers, stated, Kelly Arnold, apprenticeship coordinator for SVCC.  When you combine on-the-job training with a few educational classes, the results are always positive and life changing.

Being able to train locally began when Dr. Chad Patton, Dean, for SVCC, started offering electrical classes at the SVEC in Emporia. Recently, SVCC collaborated with CCAM for a GO Virginia grant to outfit a mechatronics’ lab for workforce training. This lab has simulators that replicate a real-world scenario in an industrial facility. Classes are available every semester to fill the skills trade shortage.

Apprenticeship is the solution. Therefore, while others are sounding the alarm of a skilled labor shortage, Beach Mold and Tool is actively taking steps necessary to fill the gap, said Arnold.

If you are interested in finding out more about the programs, contact SVCC’s office in Emporia or visit our website, Southside.edu.

Nurses Aides Receive Pins

These Nurse Aide students had their Pinning Ceremony on November 1, 2018, Southside Virginia Education Center, Emporia, Virginia.  The are (Left to Rigth)  Malikquia Sade’ Bittle, Shakea Janay Bowles, Shaquail Diamonike Crowder, Lottie Evelina Johnson, Tiffani Renēe Procise, Gloria Jean Staton from Greensville/Emporia, Brunswick and Sussex/Stoney Creek. 

Law Enforcement Honored at SVCC Banquet

The Eleventh Annual Law Enforcement Awards Banquet was hosted by Southside Virginia Community College on November 29, 2018.  The event featured local law enforcement officers chosen to receive Officer of the Year awards for their department.  Those attending and receiving the award are (Left to Right) Dr. Alfonzo  Seward, SVCC Associate Professor of Administration of Justice, Detective Carie Watters chosen for South Hill Police Department, Sgt. William V.. Smith, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Devin Jones, Clarksville Police Department, Deputy Robert Sawyer of Nottoway County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Sheriff Davis Cumbia of Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department, Virginia State Trooper Natalie Jimenez from Area 35, Sgt. William Stembridge, Chase City Police Department, Captain David Shidell of Emporia Police Department, Deputy Jimmy Lee Pair of Greenville County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Trooper William Dean II, Area 22, Matthew Gatling, Victoria Police Department, and Guest Speaker First Sergeant George Crespo, Virginia State Police. 

Community Invited to Complete Survey in Search for SVCC’s New President

The preliminary stage of the process to secure a new president for Southside Virginia Community College is underway.  Dr. Al Roberts, current president, will retire effective July, 1, 2019 and the college and the Virginia Community College System will conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

Betsy Sharrett, Chair of the SVCC Local Board, said, “On behalf of the SVCC Local Board, I would like to express our deep appreciation to Dr. Roberts for his devoted leadership.  He has provided five years of outstanding service to both our College and Southside Virginia.”

As one of the first prescribed steps the Board will identify the most pivotal challenges or opportunities that the College will face over the next three to five years.  These will be used as a guide in constructing a strategic framework and determine the leadership quality required of the next president. 

The entire community is urged to take an online survey as stakeholders in the process and the future of SVCC.  Please respond by December 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. to Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8NXSCLW or find it on the college website www.southside.edu

Sharrett noted, “While we are losing a much-respected leader, we are confident that we will be able to find a worthy successor to lead this great institution.”

Averett University and Southside Virginia Community College Partner in Sociology/Criminal Justice Articulation Agreement

DANVILLE, Va. (November 30, 2018) -- Today, Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks and Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) President Dr. Alfred Roberts signed the first articulation agreement and a community educational partnership agreement between the two schools in order to make the transfer process to Averett orderly and smooth for graduates of SVCC.

The articulation agreement focuses on those studying sociology and criminal justice, allowing for students who have completed SVCC’s administration of justice program to transfer to Averett University and continue their education to earn a Bachelor of Science in sociology/criminal justice. The students will enter Averett with a junior status and can expect to graduate after completing a minimum of 60 credits at Averett.  

The community educational partnership agreement guarantees acceptance into Averett with a junior status of any student from SVCC who has completed an associate’s degree. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher will be able to transfer.

“We are excited to enter into a new partnership with Southside Virginia Community College. This is a wonderful opportunity for more students who wish to build upon their two-year degree by taking that next step to a four-year university,” Franks said. “We want to make the transition as easy as possible and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the team at Southside Virginia Community College.” 

Both the Community Educational Partnership Agreement and the articulation agreement allow for an orderly and smooth transition for students, including many scholarship and financial aid options. Members of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, are automatically awarded a $2,000 Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship once they are admitted to Averett University.

"Partnerships such as this one with Averett University are critical to the success of SVCC and our students. By joining others who share a common commitment to access and opportunity, we are able to provide additional pathways for our students to further their educational journey. We look forward to continued collaboration with Averett to better serve the citizens of Southside Virginia," said Dr. Roberts.

SVCC Career Coaches Are Vital to Students

The Virginia Community College Systems High School Career coaches are a network of community college employees who are based in secondary schools across Virginia. They help high school students define their career aspirations and to recognize community college and other postsecondary programs, including apprenticeships and workforce training that can help students achieve their educational and financial goals.

The fundamental objective of the Southside Virginia Community College High School Career Coach Program is to empower students to make informed decisions about their career and educational plans and to prepare students for success in postsecondary education and training.  The career coaches bring college to high schools!

The SVCC service region spans ten counties and one city and there are 11 Career Coaches that work with students in these areas.  SVCC’s team is dedicated to inspiring and leading students in the right direction for a successful future.  

 

The SVCC Career Coaches are (Front row, Left to Right) Krisha Jones, Brunswick High School, Kate E. Locke Tharpe. Randolph-Henry and Nottoway High Schools, and Earnestine Robertson Sharpe, Cumberland High School, (Back row, L to R) Tina Maxey, Buckingham High School, Kay Nichols, Park View High School, Rhonda Adams, Prince Edward High School, Angela Pulliam-Jones, Amelia High School, Mona Rainey, Bluestone High School, Buck Brockwell, Greensville County High School, Melissa Colbert, Central of Lunenburg High School, and Karl Staten, Halifax County High School.

Spring Schedules from SVCC Hitting the Mailboxes

At Southside Virginia Community College, our students are cut out for success.  Recently, some of the successful alumni were featured on the 2019 Spring Schedule, mailed to area homes this month. 

The college illustrated this using life-sized cardboard cut outs of some of our successful students.  These are fabulous examples of just a handful of our students who were cut out for success. 

Watch your mail for the Spring Schedule packed with information on classes and programs offered by SVCC.  Become one of these students who learned that at SVCC, the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish their educational goals were right here, in Southside Virginia.  Without having to venture too far, these students have been able to go far in their careers and accomplish much. 

Are you ‘cut out’ for success?  Of course,  you are!!  Remember, “some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it”, said Napolean Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich.

For information about classes, see the schedule in the mail, visit the website at southside.edu or call 434 949 1000.

Caption:  SVCC’s alums “cut out” for success and featured in this edition of the Spring Schedule are(Front row, left to right)

  • Steven Brown, Crew Leader with Toll Brothers.
  • Scarlet Harvey, Truck Driver with R. O. Harrell Trucking.
  • Grayson Crawford, Apprentice Line Technician with Southside Electric Cooperative.
  • Cedric Hawkes, Sixth Grade Teacher at Nottoway Middle School.
  • Will Blount, Virginia State Trooper.
  • Hope Alexander, Family Nurse Practitioner with Centra Medical Group – Burkeville.
  • James Rutherford, Data Center Technician with Microsoft.

And back row, l to r

  • Logan Newcomb, Welder with ABB.
  • Ben Conner, Emergency Medical Technician with Halifax County Rescue.
  • Tabitha Poore, VP/Controller with Benchmark Community Bank.
  • Lawanda Fisher, Parents as Teachers Coordinator with The Improvement Association.
  • Tyler Daniels, Diesel Technician with Carter Machinery, Inc.
  • Denise Atkins, Certified Nurse Aide with Greensville Health & Rehab
  • Anthony Taylor, Server Technician with Southside Virginia Community College.

SVCC Receives Funding for Campus Within Walls

Laughing Gull Foundation Awards Higher Education in Prison Grant to Support Incarcerated Students

ALBERTA, VIRGINIA, November 20, 2018. The Laughing Gull Foundation recently awarded Southside Virginia Community College a Higher Education in Prison Grant to support the College’s Campus Within Walls Program. College education provides incarcerated students the tools they need to successfully re-enter society and become productive citizens.

Lisa Hudson, Campus Within Walls Coordinator, states, “It is so rewarding to be able to provide educational opportunities to students who never thought college was an option for them. They share their experiences with their families and everyone benefits. Students transform their own lives and it encourages children and grandchildren to continue their own education. This changes generations.”

Hudson explains that almost seven out of every 10 incarcerated nationwide people are rearrested within three years of their release from prison. An Institute for Higher Education Policy report found that the most significant factor in reducing this recidivism is college education, which offers former inmates a better chance of being productive, employed citizens. In fact, the study found that recidivism rates for incarcerated people who participated in prison postsecondary education programs were on average 46 percent lower than those who did not take college classes.

“Those statistics are remarkable,” says Hudson. “We know that 95% of people in prison will eventually be released. If college experiences could cut the recidivism rate in half, we could save the Virginia taxpayers millions of dollars and at the same time have a positive impact on our students’ lives.”

One student who has been incarcerated since the age of eighteen and is nearing release at the age of forty-one says, ““Going through the Associate’s Degree program has given me the confidence to know that there isn’t anything that I am not capable of if I put my mind to it.”

Southside Virginia Community College started Campus Within Walls in 2009 at the Lunenburg Correctional Center in Victoria. The program has allowed incarcerated, college-ready students the opportunity to attain education and training credentials. Currently, students have the opportunity to work toward an Associate’s Degree in General Studies (61 credits), a certificate in General Education (31 credits), or a certificate in Business Software Applications (9 credits).

The Laughing Gull Foundation grant of $87,000 will provide funding for two years to support student tuition and books. Campus Within Walls currently serves Lunenburg Correctional Center and the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland, Virginia. Plans are underway to expand the program in response to inquiries received from several prisons to have classes offered for their inmates.

Joan Tuck, Professor of Information Technology, has taught at the Lunenburg Correctional Center since 2011. Tuck observes, “The students in this program are enthusiastic about enrolling in higher education and they work hard to earn college certificates and degrees while incarcerated.  I truly believe that education changes lives and this program is a perfect example of the mission of Southside Virginia Community College.”

The Laughing Gull Foundation is a progressive family foundation rooted in the U.S. South. Through grant making activities they work proactively toward a mission of transforming broken systems for the benefit of people and the planet. LGF envisions a world in which everyone is supported, included, embraced, and protected, especially those who have been pushed to the margins of the human family.

SVCC, a two-year institution of higher education, is one of 23 community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. Its 4,200 square-mile service region, the largest community college jurisdiction within the Commonwealth of Virginia, spans the city of Emporia and ten rural counties in south-central Virginia. The college offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students. The Campus Within Walls program extends the College’s academic reach to incarcerated students.

If you would like more information about Campus Within Walls and the Laughing Gull Foundation’s Higher Education in Prisons grant, please call Lisa Hudson at 434-736-2063, or email lisa.hudson @southside.edu.

SVCC Receives Funding for Distance Learning Equipment

~USDA Awards a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant to Help Serve Students in Southside Virginia~

ALBERTA, VIRGINIA, November, 14, 2018. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) a grant to fund the purchase and deployment of equipment that will improve access to education for people residing in the rural areas of south-central Virginia. The college received the announcement in early November and is already taking steps to prepare 91 classrooms for distance learning activities at sites in five counties. The sites include the college’s two main campuses and four off-campus centers strategically located to serve students across SVCC’s ten-county region, the largest community college jurisdiction in Virginia.

Chad Wollenberg, Chief Information Officer at SVCC explains, “We are constantly looking at innovative ways to ensure service to every nook of our 4,200-square-mile service area. We are very excited because this grant will allow us to do video streaming from every classroom and be flexible in our delivery methods to our student population.”

The project, Southside Learning Connections, will deploy high-definition cameras and room microphones in almost every classroom at SVCC. According to Wollenberg, “This helps us deliver classes to our other sites, to our partner schools, and potentially to students anywhere in the world. We have already had great success with a pilot project testing this video solution in several classrooms and the demand for this level of interactivity is very apparent.”

Grant funding totaling $168,000 will enable the purchase of equipment for synchronous and asynchronous distance education. Wollenberg notes, “The deployment of this solution will happen over several months by the very talented SVCC Information Technology team. The goal is to deliver the best technology to serve our students and community."

In a letter of support, Elizabeth Green, State Director of USDA’s Rural Development in Virginia, wrote that Southside Learning Connections aligns with her office’s Strategic Plan for Virginia. She identified the effort as an “important initiative,” and noted her “strong support for this project that will enhance the educational opportunities across areas of Virginia.”

“SVCC is proud to partner with USDA to promote education throughout our service area,” commented Dr. Al Roberts, College President. “Attracting new business to our region and restoring its economic vitality hinges on the ability to enlarge the pipeline for education and job training. This project increases our capacity to offer students flexible distance learning options so that they can embark on meaningful career pathways.”

USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Program funding facilitates linking teachers in one area to students in another or medical service providers to their patients. Grants are awarded through a competitive application process.

SVCC is one of 23 community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. It is a two-year institution of higher education that serves one small city and spans ten rural counties. The college offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students.

If you would like more information about Southside Learning Connections and the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant, please call Chad Wollenberg at 434-949-1033, or email chad.wollenberg@southside.edu.

“Noël! Nowell!”

The Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus is presenting “Noël! Nowell!” with 42 chorus members and instrumentalists, at two afternoon concerts: the first in Emporia on Sat., December 8 at 3:00 PM at the Main St. United Methodist Church, 500 S. Main St., Emporia, VA 23847; and the second in South Hill on Sun., December 9 at 3:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church, 914 N. Mecklenburg Ave., South Hill, VA  23970. Directed by Carol Henderson and accompanied by pianist Sally Tharrington the concerts are free admission.

The SVCC Chorus is continuing to be supported by the Southside Virginia Community College and the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation. This support has allowed the SVCC Chorus to develop, grow, and bring these excellent concerts into Southside Virginia for our local communities free of charge.

“Noël! Nowell!” SVCC Chorus holiday concerts present Christmas themes of the birth of Jesus, the angel song that leads the shepherds into the quiet snow of wintertime, and the arrival of the three Kings.

Noëlis an ancientFrench word originating from the Latin natalismeaning "birthday." Noëlwas sung for the first time in a church motet dated in the 1400’s. A noelor nowell can be a buoyant refrain or it can tell the story of the nativity (as does, “The First Noel”). Traditionally, noels were sung when the entire village gathered for singing and celebrating the bringing in of the Yule log.

Randall Thompson’s “Nowel”is unique because it was composed using the singular word ‘Nowel’throughout. Thompson’s ingenious creation of melody and harmony leads our imagination, andas we listen, we can feelthe story of the shepherdsled byvoices of angels on that dark and quiet night. Randall Thompson has created a gem similar to his quintessential “Alleluia.”

Concert highlights include: ahauntingly beautiful French Canadian carol from the Huron Indians “‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime”written by FatherJean de Brébeuf in 1640 and featuresDee Pinnell of Boydton on the fluteandtenorRev. Dr. Steven DeOrnellas; the poignant “Carol of the Magi” by John Ruttershowcasescellist Brenda Fincher of South Boston and tenorGavin Honeycuttof South Hill;and“Pavane for a Silent Night”, a choral adaptation of Maurice Ravel’s Pavanne pour une infant défunte, with violinist Bradyn Cole of Boydton. Two Christmas duets: “The Birthday of the King” with Mary Hardin and Ken Vaiden; and “O Holy Night” with Betty Edwards and Gavin Honeycutt. And a piano duet audience pleaser with Carol and Sally at the piano!

 “Noël! Nowell!” promises to be a spectacular SVCC Chorus concert with 42 excellent singers from the local area: Sopranos-- Elizabeth Allgood, Brenda Ball, Betty Edwards, Mary Hardin, Judy Johnson, Patricia J. Jutz, Judy Moody, Louise Ogburn, Janie Pealer, Laura Jane Rash, Dottie Thaxton, Jan Vaughan, Nancy Turner, Margie Wollenberg; Altos-- Stephanie Bailey, Nancy Bradshaw, Misty Dooley, JoAnn Farnsworth, Martha Feagan, Charlene Gray, Judy Kemp, Becky Laben, Kelli Lewis, Norma Robertson, Debbie Wilson; Tenors-- Patricia Araway, Robert Bradshaw, Stephen DeOrnellas, Gavin Honeycutt, Bill Lindenmuth, Patricia J. Moyles, Guy Pealer,  Ken Vaiden: and Basses--Dan Araway, Braydn Cole, Lloyd Farnsworth, Tim Faegan, John Laben, Steve Lowe, Jimmy Martin, Buck Smyre, Jimmy Soyars.

You are cordially invited to “Noël! Nowell!” at 3:00 PM, on Saturday, Dec. 8th at the Main St. United Methodist Church in Emporia, and on Sunday, Dec. 9th at the South Hill Presbyterian Church in South Hill. FREE admission. Traditional carols, noels, Christmas favorites –all with a “joyeux” French flair!

Southside Virginia Community College Chorus

“Noël! Nowell!”

Holiday Concerts

Saturday, DECEMBER 8  - 3:00 PM

Main St. United Methodist Church
500 S. Main St., EMPORIA, VA  23847

Sunday, DECEMBER 9 – 3:00 PM

South Hill Presbyterian Church
914 N. Mecklenburg Ave, SOUTH HILL, VA  23970

FREE Admission

Technology Event Focus on Women

Anthony Putorek (left) Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft is shown with Shanelle Toone, a speaker for the Career Options Event.

Anthony Putorek (left)  Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft is shown with Brenda Cross, one of the speakers for the Career Options for Women Interested in Technology Event planned for November 13.

Southside Virginia Community College will sponsor an event “Career Options for Women Interested in Technology” on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center located at 118 East Danville Street, South Hill, VA 23970.  The event will feature dinner at 5:30 p.m. and a panel discussion at 6 p.m. 

The members of the panel are women working in the Information Technology Industry.   Brenda Cross, is a Microsoft scholar and intern working as a data center technician locally, and Shanell Toone, is a cabling technician for IES at the Microsoft Data Center.  These women will offer insight into the program offered through SVCC and career opportunities available for women in this industry.   There will be an overview of career options in the computer and technology fields including Datacenter Networking, Computer Desk Help, Computer Support Specialist, Graphic Design and others. 

Other speakers will include Kathy Brown with Microsoft, Amanda Twisdale with Perspecta, Judy Green with Century Link, Ashley Barrett with Red Hat and moderator Kelly Arnold.   

Please sign up by contacting Kelly Arnold at 434-955-2252 or Kelly.arnold@southside.edu.

Alumni in the Spotlight

By Dr. Al Roberts

One of the most gratifying aspects of my position as President of Southside Virginia Community College is receiving feedback from former students and hearing their stories. SVCC’s first class, which graduated in 1973, consisted of 11 students. The numbers have grown significantly since then, exceeding one thousand in each of the past six years. So far, we’ve accrued more than twenty thousand alumni.

Every week SVCC shines the spotlight on one of these alumni by posting a story about his or her accomplishments on our website. We also mention them on message boards at both main campuses and post the information in hallways as an encouragement to current students. I’d like to tell you about some of these amazing people.

Chris, a Chesterfield native, is an alum of SVCC’s Diesel Technician Training Program. He says, “I obtained a job with Carter Machinery within two weeks of my graduating from the program and have been there for seven-plus years. My income has doubled in that time and I am loving my job.”

Melody earned an Associate of Applied Science in Data processing from SVCC. After graduating, she was hired as an Administrative Assistant by the Commonwealth Regional Council, which serves five counties. Melody now serves as the Council’s Executive Director.

Jamall, who hails from Blackstone, graduated from SVCC’s Power Line Worker program. He currently works for Southside Electric Cooperative and recently competed in the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s and Equipment Operation Rodeo.

Tara, who graduated from Halifax County High School, pursued a nursing credential through SVCC’s Practical Nursing program. She reports, “Through my training at SVCC, I obtained a good, steady job that I have been employed at for fifteen years!”

LaWanda, a Lawrenceville native, earned an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services along with a Career Studies Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. She currently works as a program manager for parents and teachers and serves as a mentor. “My experience at SVCC was awesome and inspiring,” LaWanda says. “I felt I could go out into the world and do great things.”

If you’d like to read more about these and other former students featured in the Alumni Spotlight, visit Southside.edu.

Then, as your family and friends gather this year to give thanks for life’s blessings, would you do me a favor? Would you ask if anyone has a story to share about the ways SVCC may have helped them pursue their academic or workforce training goals? And, if you think anyone’s story should be shared with the whole community, please let me know. Send your Alumni Spotlight suggestions to me at al.roberts@southside.edu or call 434-949-1000.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Ground Broken for new SVCC Learning Resources Center

Those “breaking ground” for the new building at Southside Virginia Community College's Christanna Campus are (Left to Right) Darren Hayes and Keisha Carr, representing Delegate Roslyn Tyler; Bill Thompson of the architectural firm Thompson and Litton; Senator Frank Ruff; Elizabeth Sharrett, Chair of SVCC Local Board; Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President; Barbara Jarrett-Harris, Chair of the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors; Robbie Pecht, President of the SVCC Foundation Board; and Brandon Spencer, Executive Vice President for Kenbridge Construction.

Since construction is underway on the new, two-level Student and Learning Resources Center on the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, the College Local Board moved the official groundbreaking October 24, 2018 inside as a symbolic celebration of the new structure. The 45,000 square foot, 12-million-dollar building will be home to the relocated library and will have a performance space, food service area, beautiful student study and lounge areas, a workout room for students and employees and a welcome area. It will also house a career center, a veteran’s center, a credentialing center, and an IT networking and security training laboratory. Existing services to be relocated to the facility include student services, financial aid, admissions and records, and IT Services. The Ground Breaking ceremony was held during the annual board event that included many area partners who work to help SVCC meet its goals. The building is scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

Regional Job Fair Set for Wednesday, November 14, 2018 in Emporia

A Regional Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Southside Virginia Education Center at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia from 9:30 a.m. until 12 Noon.  This is open to all job seekers and admission is free.

Dress to impress and bring copies of your resume, a photo ID and a copy of your WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC).  This event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services along with Crater Business Services Team. 

Listen to JAMZ 99.5 to hear more and a live remote from the event. 

For information, contact Angela McClintock at 434 949 1026.

SVCC President Announces Retirement for July 2019

When accepting the position as president of Southside Virginia Community College in 2014, Dr. Alfred Allison Roberts committed to serving in this capacity for five years.  As the end of that period approaches, he has announced his plans to retire on July 1, 2019. 

“When I arrived at SVCC 23 years ago, I found the place where my professional values and personal values converged.  Since that time, I have aggressively supported the College’s mission of access and opportunity while serving in a variety of roles,” he said.  “I have done my best to add to the legacy of this great institution and position it for a prosperous future.”

SVCC serves the largest region of any community college in Virginia, a total of 4,200 square miles covering ten counties and the city of Emporia. 

During his tenure, Dr. Roberts has overseen the development of the extremely popular Power Line Worker Program.  He has opened the Center for Information Technology Excellence at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the state-of-the-art welding lab at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County.  Dr. Roberts has also worked diligently to secure funds for and guide the construction of the new Learning Resources and Student Services Center on the Christanna Campus.   He also established a far-reaching Strategic Plan for the college on the premise of One College, One Mission, a six-year plan for enhanced provision of services to the students and community. 

Perhaps one of his more stellar accomplishments is leading the team for re-accreditation of the college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System said, “Al Roberts began making his mark long before he was a community college president.  A service-minded leader from a family of educators, Al knew that our success is measured one student at a time.  As president, Al made Southside Virginia Community College a leader in workforce development training.  Short-term training opportunities like the colleges’ power line training program—the first in Virginia—are filling critical industry needs while attracting individuals into life-changing careers.  We are grateful for Al’s many contributions and wish him the best in a well-earned retirement.”

Elizabeth B. Sharrett, SVCC Local Board Chair, noted, “Dr. Roberts has served the college and the constituents’ excellently in an earnest and committed manner.  His pursuit of quality in all aspects of the institution are evident and appreciated.  While the college will miss his leadership and resolve, we wish him the best in this well-deserved chapter of his life.”

In his announcement to the college, Dr. Roberts said, “I am sincerely thankful to the Local Board and to VCCS Chancellor DuBois for the opportunity to lead SVCC and for providing support and guidance throughout my tenure. I am equally appreciative of the support and friendship shared with the colleagues of my Southside Virginia Community College family.  It has been an honor to work alongside them in making SVCC the best that it can be.  I am also grateful for the many partnerships and relationships built with the communities of southern Virginia that have allowed us to betterserve this region.”

When he became president, Dr. Roberts was serving as provost of SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta.  He was provost of the John H. Daniel Campus from 2010 to 2012 and prior to that, he was vice president of workforce services at the college.  His career began at SVCC in 1995 when he assumed to role of administrator of student support services.

A national search to hire the next SVCC president will begin in early 2019 and is expected to take six to eight months to complete.

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