SVCC, SVHEC help employer

Published 6:53 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Workforce Services and Workforce Advancement at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) have partnered to provide customized training and testing for a Halifax County employer.

When Ryland Clark, quality assurance & warranty service manager at ABB, saw a need for members of his team to receive training in Microsoft Office,  he reached out to the Workforce Advancement division of the SVHEC.

“When ABB contacted us about customized training for their incumbent workforce, it made perfect sense to work with SVCC, who provides Microsoft Office training,” said Vashon Canty, associate director of workforce advancement.

“We specialize in listening to the voice of the employer, so we were excited about expanding our partnership with ABB and SVCC,” she said.

Several members of the ABB Quality Assurance/Warranty Services office staff are receiving Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) training in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook.

The SVCC training is taught by Halifax County Public Schools Microsoft certified instructor Dr. Debra Woltz and takes place at the South Boston Virginia Workforce Center (SBVWC).

After completing each content area, the ABB employees come to the SVHEC for testing in the SVHEC Assessment Center.

Upon successful completion of each content area and assessment, employees receive certification as a Microsoft Office specialist, a portable, stackable, industry-recognized credential.

Pam Taylor, SVCC’s business & industry services coordinator, said, “Ryland and I met with Dr. Debra Woltz, career & technical education coordinator from Halifax County Public Schools, to design a robust course that would provide ABB’s employees with MS Word, Excel and Outlook certifications. In addition to content, we devised a schedule that would dovetail nicely with ABB’s work schedule.”

The entire program is 100 hours long with 40 hours each dedicated to mastering MS Word and Excel and the remaining 20 hours focused on Outlook.

The students meet for two hours twice a week at the SBVWC to receive instruction.

“Dr. Woltz and the cohort of ABB students have come together as a family with a common goal. So far all of the students have achieved their MS Word certifications. It is a highly recognized and desired credential, and our students should be incredibly proud of themselves,” said Taylor, who also serves as chairman of the Business Services Team housed at the SBVWC.

“Our businesses and their employees win when our abundant educational resources collaborate to listen, customize, design, deliver, assess and ultimately serve,” Taylor said.

“This is just a hint of the magic that can happen in Southside Virginia when genuine partnerships are realized.”

Clark at ABB said, “Computer skills are a core competency at ABB. Much of our work demands our employees be fluent in Microsoft applications.

“Our organization’s performance is negatively impacted when an employee lacks computer skills while interacting in project work,” he said.

“The MOS course has already profoundly impacted the productivity of our project teams in a very real and quantitative way.

“The course design and schedule was customized specifically for this type of behavioral change and performance improvement. And, our employees will have a highly recognized industry-recommended credential. ABB is capitalizing on our local workforce educational resources for real results.” 

For more information on customized workforce training contact Pam Taylor, Southside Virginia Community College business & industry services coordinator for workforce development, at (434) 572-8289 or