ITA@SVHEC student Jonathan Tuck completes a hands-on lab using one of the 55-pc computer 
toolkits donated by Microsoft.
[email protected] student Jonathan Tuck completes a hands-on lab using one of the 55-pc computer
toolkits donated by Microsoft.

Anthony Putorek, a representative of the Microsoft Global Workforce Development team, and the Microsoft datacenter management staff in Boydton, organized several donations of supplies and equipment to the IT Academy at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center ([email protected]) over the past six months.

“Microsoft is proud to support SVHEC as it continues to meet the growing demand for IT training and certification,” said Putorek. “The quality of its graduates is a testament to the dedication of SVHEC and its instructors.”

In July the ITA received a new $24,500 network tester through its partnership with Microsoft’s Datacenter Academy program.  Training on the use of the tester was provided for ITA instructors.  This tester is the same model used by datacenter technicians at the Microsoft datacenter in Boydton, giving students a leg up on using equipment they may encounter in the field.

This generous gift was followed in August by the donation of various new supplies and materials being surplussed by Microsoft.  In January, 15 Bluetooth scanners were delivered to the ITA.  The scanners had been used by datacenter technicians to capture equipment and component serial and asset numbers for tracking.  Use of these scanners will be incorporated into hands-on labs for the students.

Microsoft’s most recent donation consisted of 25 Fellowes 55-piece computer toolkits, 27 LED flashlights and nine 12-packs of multi-purpose gloves.

“We are so appreciative of Microsoft’s continuing support of our program,” said Kelly Shotwell, IT Academy director. “Every item they have given will go into enhancing the training environment and the hands-on experience we provide our students. The individual toolkits and gloves will be particularly helpful as we try to keep everyone safe during the pandemic,” she said.

About the Microsoft Datacenter Academy Program: The Microsoft initiative establishes global education programs, experiences and training opportunities for local community members and datacenter employees. In partnership with higher education institutions, industry leaders, public sector organizations, and more, the initiative develops and sponsors IT skills training for the local workforce with possible paths to careers in Microsoft datacenters for some students.

About the SVHEC’s IT Academy: [email protected] offers short-term, hands-on training to prepare individuals with the knowledge and certifications required for employment in Southern Virginia’s growing information technology sector. ITA’s certified trainers engage participants in labs and activities that simulate the work environment so program completers leave with the technical and soft skills needed for long-term employment success. For more information visit