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SVCC offers training to transition veterans into advanced manufacturing

Southside Virginia Community College is an integral part of a new program announced by Governor Terry McAuliffe recently.  The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) has launched a new advanced manufacturing training program for active duty soldiers preparing for the civilian workforce and veterans who have recently transitioned to civilian life.  The program is a collaboration of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC), the Crater Regional Workforce Investment Board (Crater WIB), the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the Fort Lee Soldier for Life Program and 180 Skills, an online career and technical education curriculum provider.

Governor McAuliffe said, “This new workforce program for active duty soldiers and veterans is an outstanding example of the power of public and private partnerships to drive state and regional workforce solutions that will help build the new Virginia economy.”

“SVCC is excited about the opportunity to host this innovative pilot program,” said Dr. Al Roberts, president of SVCC.

The pilot program is located at SVCC’s Emporia Center.  The program includes 162 modules of customized, interactive online learning and 260 hours of project-based hands-on training in advanced manufacturing principles and practices.  The instruction will prepare soldiers and veterans for as many as six highly marketable National Institute for Metalworking (NIMs) certifications.

Virginia Senator Frank Ruff, chair of the Tobacco Commission’s Education Committee, initially approached CCAM with the idea to train veterans.

Senator Ruff said,  “Our military men and women have learned good work habits as they have served our nation.  They can provide the same work ethic and problem solving to Virginia’s manufacturing employers.”

The Fort Lee’s Soldier for Life Program worked with the VEC to identify a pilot group of transitioning soldiers and veterans to participate.  Training is provided at no cost to students or employers, thanks to funding provided by the Crater Regional WIB under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).  More than 15 Virginia manufacturing companies will interview the pilot program graduates when they earn their NIMs certifications in late August.