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Olympics for welding? Well, sort of. Winning medals in welding at the recent SkillsUSA state competition was a big deal for Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College student teammates Brandon White, Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey and James Brown. “Just to win something at the state level was huge for us,” said White. SkillsUSA is a national student organization for high school and college students enrolled in career education programs that help develop skills, personal growth, and leadership and technical proficiencies. The welding team members said they were confident going to the state competition. “I kind of figured we were going to do well,” said Southern instructor Sheridan Taylor. “These students are talented and had done a good job preparing not only for the competition, but also for how to make a career out of welding.” “Sheridan told us, ‘Don’t go and try to finish the project in a hurry; focus on quality, not quantity,’ and we did,” Starkey said. The students designed and built a small welding table that can be used for small projects. “We had to apply different welding techniques, and we got to use a lot of math skills to read the blueprints and apply all our welding processes,” White said. “These students are great,” Taylor said. “Not only can they read the design plans, they take an idea from concept to completion, and performance proves their competence.” Starkey sees welding as not only a technical career but as art. “It’s an opportunity to work with your hands. The process is so powerful and you are controlling it, it’s beautiful!” “These young men have always shown a lot of promise in terms of their ability to apply their welding skills,” Taylor said, adding that they enjoy welding and look forward to each project. CTC programs in high demand The economy is changing and technical programs such as welding, mechatronics, electrical engineering technology and information technology are in high demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics the growth rate for these careers will be higher than average through the year 2018. Most of these programs do not require a four year degree and success can be found with many of the certificate programs as well. Starkey and White are planning a career on the pipeline. Both are currently employed while attending classes but look forward to the working independence graduation will bring. Getting ready for next year Planning for the SkillsUSA event has already begun for next year. Taylor says they now have a team with the experience needed to bring home the gold. “2016 was a learning year. We hope to have more students, more coaches and more programs represented next year.” If you are interested in a technical career or more information on the programs Southern provides visit us online at
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently participated in the 46th Annual SkillsUSA West Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference held at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, WV, Monongalia County on April 15 and 16, 2016. Southern students Brandon White and James Brown brought home a silver medal in the Team Competition Welding/Fabrication and Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey received the bronze medal in the Individual Welding Competition. “This was Southern’s first trip to SkillsUSA and our students did very well, “ said Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President Dr. Robert E. Gunter. “This is a test of industry standards and our students are not only meeting those standards, but they are excelling.” SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, provides career and technical education students with quality experiences in leadership and skills development. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, SkillsUSA has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor as a “successful model of employer-driven youth development training programs.” The success of SkillsUSA is directly related to the involvement of students, teachers, administrators, and business and industry partners. This year’s theme was “Connecting You to Career Success,”. Keynote speaker for the event was businessman, Jim Justice. For more information on technical programs at Southern visit us online at . Pictured : James Brown, Welding Instructor Jim Brown, Welding Instructor Sheridan Taylor, Michael ‘Chase’ Starkey and Brandon Whit
Velva Pennington, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Finance and Administration has been selected Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College 2016 Employee of the Year. Having served on Southern’s team since 2008, Pennington is dedicated to the mission and values of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. She is known as a team player. Her dedication to serving the staff, faculty, and students are noted by her co-workers in her nomination for this honor. They describe her as someone who is dedicated, patient, always supportive, an inspiration, optimistic, and compassionate. She is always willing to go above and beyond to help anyone Her supervisor described her as being a model employee and dedicated to the College and the Finance Department. Her nominator said, “Velva is a true example of, not only how an employee should be, but how a person should be.” Pennington is a resident of Dingess, West Virginia and is actively involved in church and community activities. She is a member of the Trace Church of God where she is a Sunday school teacher and serves as Family Training Hour Director. She is a member of a Christian Fellowship Bowling League which raises money for different charities throughout the community. In her spare time she enjoys riding and racing ATVs. She says it was a surprise and an honor to be named employee of the year. “I work with so many great people that are more deserving of this award. I just want to say thank you.” Pennington says she likes working at Southern because she feels she can make a difference. “The college is a vital part of the community and I love being part of the college to help represent West Virginia in a positive way. One of my ultimate goals is to prove to others around the world that West Virginians can be and are educated. This is a very important goal to me because it seems like the only publicity that West Virginia receives is negative and I would like to share the positive aspects of our great state and the accomplishments of its people. I feel that working at Southern will help me accomplish this goal.” Pennington holds an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration from Southern, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University, and a Master’s in Integrated Marketing from West Virginia University.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be participating in a Job and Resource Fair coordinated by the office of Senator Joe Manchin. The event will be held on May 6th from 10am until 3pm at the Chief Logan Convention Center. Not only will job seekers have an opportunity to find out who’s hiring but also learn ways to improve their job opportunity outlook. Attendees may get tips to make a good first impression and “Dress for Success” with Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley,get information and tips on resumes, interview skills and future workshops from Southern Community and Technical College, sign up for assistance with WorkForce WV, discuss veterans benefits that you may be eligible for with the WV Department of Veterans Affairs, learn about apprenticeships with the RCBI National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, talk about services that you or your family may be eligible for with State Agencies, such as Department of Health and Human Services, the Bureau for Child Support and others.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will celebrate all graduates at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony to be held Saturday, may 14th at the Coalfield Jamboree in downtown Logan. Natalie Roper, Executive Director of Generations West Virginia will be the keynote speaker. The ceremony will begin at 10am. In addition to the all-campus ceremony on May 14th, Allied Health and Nursing Division, will host separate, personalized graduation ceremonies for their students, where graduates will be recognized with an awards event and nursing pinning ceremony. The Allied Health Awards Ceremony will be at 2pm on Thursday, May 12 at the Savas-Kostas Performing Arts Center on the Logan Campus. Also to be conducted at the Savas-Kostas Performing Art Center is the 2016 Nursing Pinning Ceremony. This event will begin at 6pm. Southern invites all graduates, families and friends to attend both ceremonies to fully experience the pomp and circumstance, and joy and pride, that marks one of the most memorable times in a student’s life. We can't wait to celebrate with you!
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College announces new Board of Governors members, Raamie Barker and Kevin Zachary. Fletcher Raamie Barker is the former Senior Advisor to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and former Chief of Staff to then Senate President Tomblin.Barker is a former public school teacher; has worked as an editor of six West Virginia newspapers, and as a publisher of two. He has also served as editor/publisher of newspapers in North Carolina and Kentucky and as Labor Commissioner, aide and speechwriter to former Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. (1985-89). Barker holds a Master’s degree from Marshall University. He is married to the former Lillian Farley of Harts, and is the father of three children and grandfather of three. He and his wife reside in Chapmanville, West Virginia Kevin Zachary is the CEO for Logan Regional Medical Center. He has also served as CEO of Parkview Regional Hospital and Ennis Regional Medical Center in Texas. Zachary was COO of Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma, a 148-bed acute care hospital in Durant, OK and served in other leadership roles at hospitals in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Zachary holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas and an associate degree in nursing from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. He lives in Logan with his wife, Belinda, and son Matthew. The Zachary’s also have two adult children at college in Texas. Southern provides accessible, affordable, quality education and training at each of its four campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties and its Lincoln County High School location in Hamlin, WV. For further information visit or call 1-866-SWCTC1.
Natalie Roper, Executive Director of Generation West Virginia, will address the 2016 graduating class of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College on May 14, 2016. Roper has been the Executive Director of Generation West Virginia (GWV) since October 2014. Generation West Virginia is a statewide network of young talent organizations established to serve as a source of action and a voice for young talent across the Mountain State. The group represents the current and future generation of young leaders who want to contribute to our state’s present and future success with energy, ideas, collaboration, and most importantly action. Roper works with local and state partners to strengthen statewide programming and infrastructure needed to attract, retain, and advance young talent in the Mountain State. Roper received her undergraduate degree and Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Virginia. With an interdisciplinary background in nonprofit administration, grassroots advocacy, and social innovation, Roper leads GWV’s efforts to serve as a voice and a source of action for young West Virginians. A West Virginian by choice, Roper is motivated each day to help make the state a place where more of the next generation can choose to stay. Commencement Exercises will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree Theater in downtown Logan. The public is invited to attend.
Deciding to move on to a four year college can seem to be an intimidating task. Dozens of questions about the transfer process fill your mind, and you’re not exactly sure what to do. Well we do! Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will host Transfer Opportunity Days to answer all your questions. The dates and locations are: Monday March 21st Logan Campus 10 AM– 2PM Tuesday March 22nd Williamson Campus 10AM-2PM Wednesday March 23rd Boone Campus 10AM-2PM Thursday March 24th Wyoming Campus 10AM-2PM For more information contact Tim Ooten at 304-236-7658 or
If you’re tired of blindly applying for positions to never receive a call, then bring your networking skills to the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Career Event 2016. Spend time connecting face-to-face with representatives of prominent local companies, while receiving advice to help you succeed while on the job hunt. Southern is hosting the event on Monday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Logan Campus. The event is open to job seekers of all career stages. This career event gives employers the opportunity to offer job seekers challenging employment while fulfilling the employment needs of our area. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Dianna Toler, Director of Disability and Adult Services/Career Development Office at or 304-896-7315.