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Located in the heart of Southern West Virginia, Rock Creek Development Park holds vast promise for our region. For months, I have watched this ongoing project develop, and each milestone has brought us one step closer to the opportunity at hand. Since becoming president of Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College in January of 2016, I have had the privilege of getting to know both the students and residents of our area. I have heard their stories and have experienced firsthand the struggles this region has endured with the recent economic downtown in the coal industry. To that end, I have also learned that West Virginians never quit and are the hardest working men and women you will find across the country. That is why I see so much hope and promise in Rock Creek Development Park. It offers approximately 12,000 acres of flat, developable land ideal for new business and industry investment and a level of job creation that is unmatched throughout our state’s history. With such job creation, lies an exciting opportunity for both potential investors and those who call this area home. Over the years, the West Virginia Community & Technical College System (WVCTCS) has undergone significant restructuring and has taken on a new approach – one that focuses on preparing our state’s workforce to meet the long-term needs of business and industry operating in West Virginia. Over the past decade alone, our state’s community and technical colleges have created nearly 150 specialized programs, ensuring there are more job training programs in place than ever before. And I know I speak for myself and my fellow colleagues in saying that leadership at community and technical colleges across West Virginia have made it a priority to establish lasting partnerships with local businesses to design, develop and grow custom training programs. To me, this approach is a win-win situation. Business and industry now have access to the highly skilled and specialized workforce they need, while local students and displaced workers can receive the training required for stable, secure and well-paying jobs in the area. I’m grateful for the work of Governor Tomblin and his administration to bring this project to fruition, but it is now time for us to do our part. That is why I am offering the assistance of Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College to prospects interested in Rock Creek Development Park. An investment of this magnitude represents more than just a financial investment in our economy; it also demonstrates a vested commitment to our local communities and our workforce. Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College will continue to work hand in hand with leaders in government to ensure regional employers and potential investors haves direct and immediate access to our educational resources. Moving forward, we will also continue to work with companies to identify emerging careers and high-demand skill sets so that we can better refine our curriculums and create new programs to match business needs. The future of our state depends on our ability to provide business and industry with a highly skilled, well-trained workforce that’s ready to get to work and get the job done. And I can assure you, you’ll find just that in people of Southern West Virginia.
It’s a new year, why not have a new career? Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is hosting an event to prepare you for the job seeking skills you will need to land that perfect job. Join our University Transfer and Adult Education staff for a Job and Career Readiness Workshop to be held January 27, 2017 from 9am until 3pm on the Logan Campus. The workshop will include, interview skills, resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and personal job readiness. Lunch will be provided. All events are FREE and open to all students. For more information contact Toni Redmiles at toni.redmiles@southernwv.edu .
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College announced today that it has been named a Gold-level Military Friendly® School Award recipient for 2017. Victory Media, originator of the family of Military Friendly® employment, entrepreneurship and education resources for veterans and their families, published its special awards for 2017 Military Friendly® Schools and Employers at https://militaryfriendly.com. For more than a decade, Military Friendly® ratings have set the standard for companies and colleges demonstrating positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families. New this year, Military Friendly® Awards showcase the most powerful and effective programs of more than 200 companies and 1,200 post-secondary schools that were designated as “Military Friendly®” in November. Of those designated, 154 employers and 541 schools have been recognized for excellence in different categories, highlighting not only “Are you Military Friendly®?” but “How Military Friendly® are you?” “All of our Military Friendly® award recipients set the standard for excellence,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly® development. “They offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers.” Companies and schools must have successfully completed a 2017 Military Friendly® survey and been designated as a 2017 Military Military Friendly® School or Employer to be considered for the Awards program. The names of awardees are published online at https://militaryfriendly.com and will be printed in the December issue of G.I. Jobs® or Guide to Military Friendly® Schools. To see a complete list of this year’s award winners, or to learn more about Military Friendly® ratings and how to participate, visit https://militaryfriendly.com.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is reminding students that the application for the Applied Health and Nursing programs is now available. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2017 for priority selection. Applicants applying for Allied Health programs must have a GPA of 2.0 and be eligible to enter college level English and math. They should submit all high school or college transcripts and an ACT score. Although there is not an official minimum ACT score requirement, applicants will be selected competitively based upon total scores. The ACCUPLACER will not replace these scores. For consideration in Nursing, the applicant must be eligible to enter college level English and math before the application deadline. They must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in high school OR in previous college level courses in order to be considered for the Nursing program. Copies of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended must be attached. If the applicant has not taken previous college level courses, they must attach a copy of their high school transcript. The applicant must take the HESI A2 Exam and achieve a score of 75% or higher (please see the current nursing application on Southern’s website southernwv.edu for further information regarding the HESI A2 exam). Please note admission requirements for nursing differs from admission requirements to other Allied Health programs. For more than 30 years, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been preparing students for their critical leadership role in the health care industry. Choosing Southern means that you’ve not only chosen an innovator in allied health and nursing education, you’ve also chosen a program where your success is our priority. For more detailed information visit our website at southernwv.edu or call 304.896.7346.
Carol Ann Howerton, Principal Investigator/Project Director for the National Science Foundation Grant, Director for Distance Education, and Professor of Computer Information Systems at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been recognized as an Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education. Howerton received the award during the 2016 annual conference of the West Virginia Community College Association and the West Virginia Association for Development Education recently held in Charleston. Howerton was nominated this year for her leadership in proposing the Creating Resources, Opportunities, Pathways and Support (CROPS) in Agriculture project through the POWER initiative for grant funding. CROPS will be a regional, multi-state comprehensive program that promotes economic diversification, job creation, and workforce development and reemployment opportunities that support and contribute to the local and regional growth of the Agricultural Industry in southwestern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky through educational initiatives. The proposal is a result of focused discussions with local and state leaders, local economic development organizations, local farm owners, residents, extension agents, and potential partners who identified existing initiatives, issues and needs along with potential areas for development and support. Howerton’s leadership on both state and federal grants have contributed significantly to Southern’s ability to expand and enhance program offerings and services for students, faculty, and staff. With 28 years of service, Ms. Howerton has served in many capacities at Southern. She began her career in August of 1988 as a data processing instructor, and later became the Applied and Industrial Technology Department Chair in 2000. She currently holds the positions of Principal Investigator/Project Director for the National Science Foundation Grant, Director for Distance Education, and Professor of Computer Information Systems. Howerton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Concord College, and a Master of Science degree in Management of Information Systems from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. She resides at McConnell, West Virginia, with her husband, John.
Howard Seufer, a partner in the Charleston office of Bowles Rice, has been appointed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to the Board of Governors at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Seufer has practiced in the area of education law for more than 35 years. During his career, he has served all 55 of West Virginia's county boards of education, all eight of its regional education service agencies, the West Virginia Center for Professional Development, the State Department of Education, West Virginia community colleges and other institutions of higher education. As counsel to the West Virginia School Board Association, he is West Virginia’s liaison to the National Council of School Attorneys. Seufer leads the Bowles Rice Education Law Group, ranked #1 in West Virginia School Law by The Best Lawyers in America® and listed as "Top Tier" in West Virginia for Education Law by U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Best Law Firms. In addition, Best Lawyers in America has designated Seufer as its 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Education Law in the metro area encompassing southern West Virginia. A trained facilitator, Seufer is frequently engaged as a presenter and panelist on school law issues, emphasizing preventive legal advice and practical action steps for education leaders and administrators. Seufer is an emeritus director and past chair of the nation’s first statewide education fund, the Education Alliance. He also serves as vice chair of the West Virginia University Diversity Visiting Committee. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College 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 www.southernwv.edu or call 1-866-SWCTC1.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has been awarded $220,000.00 from the WV Advance Development grant to create a PowerSports Technology Program. The Powersports Technology program will offer interactive classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the technical and mechanical repair of sophisticated recreational outdoor vehicles such as motorcycles and ATVs. Emphasis within the program on troubleshooting and maintenance allows students to build a solid foundation in shop safety and precision measuring as well as the systems of repair work standard in the industry. Additional entrepreneurial training will be available to those individuals in the program interested in starting their own small business. “We have an opportunity to provide the industry in our community with world-class technicians,” said Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President Dr. Robert E. Gunter. “Southern continues to look for ways to enhance the work force in our region, and the new Powersports Technology program does just that by targeting the specific needs of the growing industry in our area.” Southern West Virginia dealers, Mike Ratz and Eddie Keefer have been a guiding force to seeing this program come to life. They agree that finding qualified technicians is a challenge as there are few training centers. “There is a great demand nationwide not just locally” said Keefer. “This program could be a great opportunity for those looking to turn a hobby into a career or to retrain from a recent layoff.” “This program meets a need in our community, “remarked Keefer. “Not just the existing businesses but I can imagine repair shops popping up all over.” For more information visit southernwv.edu or call Guy Lowes at 304-236-7619.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College student Shane Blackburn has been elected to serve as student representative to the institutions Board of Governors. A native of Pike County, Ky and a 2011 graduate of Belfry High School, Blackburn is enrolled in the Mechatronics program, Blackburn will and graduate in May 2017 with an Associate in Applied Science and Certificate in Electro-Mechanical Instrumentation. He plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management and continue with a career in Robotic Surgery. Blackburn serves with the WV Army National Guard as an Infantryman. He has traveled the world as a missionary and served in Uganda, Nicaragua, Honduras and New Orleans. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College 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 www.southernwv.edu or call 1-866-SWCTC1.
West Virginia Executive Magazine reached out to each of the Mountain State’s higher education presidents to acquire their unique perspective on the challenges facing our state, where we are heading, how education needs to evolve to prepare the work force of tomorrow and what role education will play in helping move the Mountain State forward. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College president, Dr. Robert E. Gunter is featured in the article. To view Dr. Gunters remarks visit http://www.wvexecutive.com/ .

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