The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) was abuzz as more than 150 people watched Governor Terry McAuliffe cut the ribbon on the SVHEC IT Academy. Governor McAuliffe is the first sitting governor to visit Halifax County in almost 15 years.
In his remarks, Governor McAuliffe hailed the IT Academy as “innovative” and “entrepreneurial” stating, “This is a great example of what happens when we innovate to educate.” The governor went on to say, “This Academy is impressive and the proof that Southside is home to some truly bold thinkers and innovators. The new IT Academy represents the next crucial step in meeting the demands of the growing information technology sector here in Southside and all across the Commonwealth.”
Governor McAuliffe, Secretary of Commerce & Trade Maurice Jones, and Deputy Secretary of Education Dr. Dietra Trent participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the 5,013 sq.ft training space dedicated to preparing southern Virginians for high demand job opportunities in information technology.
“For the first time the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center will allow for a fast-track program that will provide students with practical, in-demand IT skills in a hands-on environment. This program will prepare students to gain their certification and enter into a cutting edge industry,” Governor McAuliffe said.
In less than six months, students in the IT Academy will have the skills needed to earn their CompTIA certification in A+, Network + and Server +. The IT Academy training space includes a data center, hardware repair center, computer-based classroom, and conference area all designed to give students hands-on experience in an environment that replicates a datacenter.
One of the strengths of the IT Academy is the industry support the program enjoys from regional employers Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp (MBC)., Hewlett-Packard, and ATOS/Microsoft. MBC president and CEO Tad Deriso called the IT Academy an anchor for IT employee training and development that will not only help current employers but also help attract more investment to the region. Deriso presented SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty Adams with a check for $10,000 to support scholarships for IT Academy students.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony attendees were invited to tours and demonstrations of the IT Academy.
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