Patrick County Named Certified Work Ready Community

Patrick County Named Certified Work Ready Community

Patrick County and the Dan River Region Collaborative (DRRC) are pleased to announce that Patrick County has been designated as a certified Work Ready Community (WRC). The nationally recognized designation by the Commonwealth of Virginia and American College Testing (ACT) will help Patrick County attract new businesses and jobs in addition to strengthening the skill sets of the region’s high school students, job seekers and incumbent workforce.

Partners like the DRRC, the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board, Patrick Henry Community College, Patrick County Public Schools and regional employers supported Patrick County’s efforts to achieve this important national certification. Some of the supportive regional employers include Ten Oaks, Narrowflex, The Results Companies and Capewell Aerial Systems, LLC. To become certified, a locality must achieve benchmarks in three areas of performance: high school graduation rate, number of National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) credentials attained in the locality and number of employers recognizing the NCRC.

“Today’s achievement by Patrick County demonstrates to our existing companies, as well as prospective employers, that we have a trainable workforce with the foundational skills to compete,” stated Dr. Julie Brown, Program Director, Dan River Region Collaborative (DRCC). “We have a significant number of localities in Southern Virginia that are certified as Work Ready Communities with more announcements on the way. When we work together as a region, great things are possible.”

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GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, along with Danville government and education leaders and dozens of high school students, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for George Washington High School’s new precision machining program Thursday.

“This is the only facility like it in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said in a speech beforehand. “No other high school has anything like it.”

Along with Danville City Council and Danville School Board members, the machining program’s first class of nine students sat in the front row while McAuliffe introduced the program. Before the speeches, the students showed off the practice area and classrooms in the new facility, which included dozens of shiny aluminum machines the size of office desks, a computer lab with dozens of computers and a classroom.

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Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Virginia’s Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant shares its strategies for attracting, hiring and supporting its workers, while Danville Community College excels with its integrated machining education model.

Photo: This worktable demonstrates some of the more interesting parts students are tasked with machining in the Gene Haas Center. Rather than take contracts from customers, the program focuses on giving students work that ensures that they leave with core competencies in milling, grinding, EDM, tool presetting and metrology.

A recurring topic of discussion during my recent trip touring Virginian manufacturing facilities was labor: finding it, hiring it, training it. For some manufacturers, the local reality is that there are not enough already-skilled people looking for work. Hiring under these circumstances entails offering access to technical education of some kind, or a lot of on-the-job training. On the other hand, some other manufacturers have been able to partner with local higher-education institutions in order to establish “pipelines” of people with the skills necessary to begin work with less additional training.

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DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

The Danville Community College “Cyber Team” was honored Wednesday at the National Cyber Security Summit in Huntsville, Alabama.

DCC’s cyber security and cyber crime programs were recognized for earning the Center of Academic Excellence in Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) designation from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security earlier this year.

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Ground broken on rural internet project in Pittsylvania County

Ground broken on rural internet project in Pittsylvania County

BLAIRS — Work has officially begun on a rural internet project in Pittsylvania County after a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the base of White Oak Mountain.

Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe hosted the groundbreaking next to Bojangles on U.S. 29 in Blairs.

“Rural internet availability is a priority for Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors,” Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Warren said. “Today’s groundbreaking is not only the beginning of fiber construction, it’s for the new jobs and investments that will be made in the rural areas of the county due to improved internet services.”

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First Welding@SVHEC Completion Ceremony Held

It was a day of celebration as the first 15 students to enroll in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center's (SVHEC) Welding program walked across the Prizery's stage to receive their certificates of completion. The completion ceremony marked the end of a journey started 16 months ago for these newly minted welders.

"Livelihoods and America are depending on you and your skills. Go out from here and make your impact on the world," said keynote speaker Leslie "Tyke" Tenney. Tenney is the executive director of Virginia Technical Institute, which serves as the official sponsor of the SVHEC's welding program.

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Henry County is state's first ACT Certified community

Henry County is Virginia's very first ACT Certified Work Ready Community, according to Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Jones spoke Thursday morning at Eastman Chemical Company in Fieldale and was joined by several other local leaders.

"This is a great day for Henry County, and it's a great day for the Commonwealth of Virginia," Jones said. "What you've achieved here is a great achievement for Henry County, and it's a great benchmark for the state."

ACT is a national program that offers National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) to employees in participating counties and cities. NCRC is a portable, industry-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual's skills in reading for information, applied math and locating information.

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