Smiley speaks to Chamber about SVCC's Career Readiness Certificate

Debra Smiley, Director of Workforce Development for Southside Virginia Community College, talks about the Career Readiness Certificate to Chamber members and guests.

A large crowd attending the July meeting of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce learned about Southside Virginia Community College and what it has to offer from Debra Smiley, Director of Workforce Development.

  Smiley talked about The Career Readiness Certificate, which can prove to employers that you can do the job. This Pre-Course for this testing is available at SVCC. The certificate bridges the gap between an employee’s existing skills and those required on the job, which can be costly and time consuming, she pointed out.

  The certificate provides employers and job candidates with a measurement tool for assessing workplace skills to match the right people to the right job.

  One of the first steps in enhancing your resume is to take the WorkKeys assessment, which helps ensure candidates are able to successfully complete training programs. There are three categories of employees on which the certification focuses.

  Emerging employees are high school and college or technical training graduates that are entering the workforce for the first time. Transitioning workforce are unemployed, underemployed and recent active duty military that are seeking employment. Current employees are already holding a position in the community.

 There will be a Career Readiness Certicate Prep Course at SVCC, 1300 Greensville County Circle on July 28, Sept. 6, Oct. 4 and Dec. 6 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call Angela McClintock at (434) 949-0107 or Testing is available the second Tuesday of each month July through December. Testing is at 9:30 a.m.

 There will be a Career Readiness Boot Camp Sept. 12-29 on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m-Noon at the SVCC Campus located at the Greensville County Complex. Registration is required. Register online at or call Angela McClintock at (434) 949-0107 or

  The credential not only assists individuals, it also helps assure employers that the people they hire and promote have the skills necessary to succeed. Having a skilled and trained workforce is vital to attract business and industry to our area, he pointed out.

  At job hiring fairs, people with the CRC credential are usually interviewed first and have a greater chance of leaving with a job offer than those who do not have a certificate.

 The Virginia CRC is a credential designed to provide evidence that an individual is ready for work with respect to fundamental standards or workforce literacy. 

 She also spoke about a new program in precision machining for transitioning soldiers that have no skills. Their tuition is paid to help them start a new life in the civilian population.

  She talked about how the workforce training classes benefits students and the need for continuing education or for people to be trained in a trade.

  Dominion helped SVCC outfit a lab to help with training locals for the jobs such as welding and electricity. If our local workforce is trained in jobs that companies are looking for then employers are more likely to settle here and to hire local residents for their job vacancies.

 This Southside Virginia Community College Access the Future Program is a public/private partnership with Emporia and Greensville County that allows current graduates, who meet scholarship guidelines, to attend SVCC with no out of pocket expense for tuition through a combination of federal/state financial aid and donor funding. 

  Student benefits include no out of pocket tuition expenses for two consecutive semesters (1 year) at SVCC. Students must complete and submit a college application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information, SVCC scholarship application and complete the college’s placement requirements.

  Smiley praised the Precision Machining classes, also known as Integrated Machining, that are available through SVCC. The program offers a two-year Career Studies Certificate at the SVCC located at the Greensville County Government Complex. 

  The curriculum prepares students with the analytical, creative, and innovative skills necessary to take a production idea from an initial concept through design, development and production, resulting in a finished product. 

  SVCC has the largest geographic service area of any community college in the state, covering 10 counties and the City of Emporia. SVCC has two main campuses, the Christanna Campus, located near Alberta, and the John H. Daniel Campus, in Keysville. It also offers classes at a number of off-campus sites and online.

 Major off-campus locations include the Southside Virginia Education Center, in Emporia; Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, in South Boston; Estes Community Center, in Chase City; Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center, South Hill; and the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center in Blackstone. Along with these major sites, SVCC has many smaller off-campus sites scattered throughout its service region that serve a large number of students.