South Boston success story

TOM RAAB copyAt the Virginia Main Street Downtown Intersections State Conference in Lynchburg, held July 22-24, South Boston town manager Tom Raab (above) and Echelon Resources executive Edwin Gaskins made a 45-minute presentation to a crowd of roughly 30 town managers and Main Street members on how to turn large, historical buildings from dilapidated hulks into useful structures. They recounted how Echelon Resources had renovated what is now Imperial Lofts in South Boston, transforming the shuttered Tultex plant into market-rate apartments and business incubator. Raab and Gaskins discussed various aspects of the project, including paperwork and renovation requirements. “We told them how we took a building that was probably going to have to be torn down and put a new roof on it and put in probably 45 new apartments,” Raab said. Echelon Resources plans to add another 15 apartments later. / August 01, 2019

South Boston, Halifax receive more than $144K in grants for 19 projects

sobohaliThe towns of South Boston and Halifax are among 16 Virginia cities and towns receiving more than $144,000 in Virginia Main Street grants and technical assistance for 19 projects on Wednesday.

The towns of Halifax, South Boston, Ashland, Lawrenceville, and the cities of Franklin and Petersburg have been awarded technical services to complete proposed projects.

Downtown Investment Grants were awarded to the towns of Altavista, Blackstone, Orange, and St. Paul, and the cities of Hopewell and Staunton.

Six Commercial District Affiliate grants were awarded to the towns of, Scottsville, Pulaski, South Hill and Bowling Green and the city of Radford.

“We got two of them,” said a pleased South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab. “I think it’s excellent that they – Virginia Main Street – realizes we’re doing a great job and are willing to help us.”

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Virginia Reclaims “Top State for Business” Title in CNBC Ranking

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CNBC has named Virginia America’s “Top State for Business” in 2019. CNBC unveiled Virginia as the top state for business this morning during a live broadcast from Shenandoah River State Park, and Governor Northam was on location to discuss the announcement. The top ranking is determined by CNBC following an extensive study of all 50 states based on 64 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness. Virginia is tied with Texas for most years named top state for business by CNBC, with wins in 2007, 2009, 2011, and now 2019.

“I am proud to bring the title of America’s top state for business back to Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “One of my primary goals has been to make Virginia the number one place to do business, and to do it in a way that benefits all Virginians and every region of the Commonwealth. This recognition underscores our work to build an inclusive and diversified economy, invest in our workforce, and create quality jobs—and is proof that companies of many different sizes and industries can find a home in Virginia.”

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Virginia Companies Increase International Sales through Commonwealth’s Premier Exporting Program

July 11, 2019

~ Fourteen Virginia companies recognized for completing two-year international business acceleration program ~

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that 14 companies from across the Commonwealth have graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. The program, which now has 290 graduates, assists Virginia exporters that have firmly established their domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy.

“The Virginia Leaders in Export Trade program provides growth-minded companies with the tools and expertise they need to navigate new markets and successfully export overseas,” said Governor Northam. “International trade is a powerful economic engine in our Commonwealth and we are proud to support this valuable program that helps businesses of all sizes and industries thrive in the global marketplace. I congratulate these Virginia companies on their tremendous international performance and I am confident they will see continued success here in Virginia and abroad.”

The graduating companies recognized during an event in Richmond today include:

• Avizia (Fairfax County)

• Axis Global Enterprises Inc. (City of Virginia Beach)

• Fulcrum Concepts, LLC (King and Queen County)

• Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation (GCAPS) (Halifax County)

• High Threat Concealment (James City County)

• Higher Logic (Arlington County)

• International Flooring & Protective Coatings, Inc. (IFPC) (City of Norfolk)

• Klas Telecom Government Inc. (Fairfax County)

• Logos Technologies LLC (Fairfax County)

• Matrix International, Inc. (Fairfax County)

• Ozmo, Inc. (Montgomery County)

• PunchOut2Go, LLC (Albemarle County)

• Red 5 Holdings, Inc. (Fairfax County)

• The PBE Group (Tazewell County)

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Longwood University to offer new bachelor's degree programs in South Boston

longwoodSOUTH BOSTON, Va. (WSET) -- If you live on the Southside, a new partnership will soon help you further your education.

Longwood University will offer two new bachelor degree programs at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in South Boston.

Starting in the fall of 2020, you'll be able to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education.

If you'd like to learn more about these programs and how you can get involved, there will be information sessions on July 11th and August 8th at 5:00 p.m. to meet with Longwood University program coordinators and admissions staff.


Mechatronics, welding training begins in August

SCHECJuly 8, 2019

There’s still time to enroll in the Mechatronics Siemens Level 1, Mechatronics Siemens Level 2 or welding training programs at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC). Classes begin in August, and financial assistance is available.

Mechatronics covers a wide range of topics including electrical components, pneumatic systems and programmable logic controls (PLCs) and prepares trainees to quickly identify and correct malfunctions with automated equipment.

“I chose this program to further my knowledge in mechatronics in a program that was more about the actual real world application versus learning from a textbook,” said mechatronics completer Tyler Whitlow.

Whitlow, who is employed at Essel Propack in Danville, quickly saw the relevance of his training as he was able to apply what he was learning to on-the-job situations. After completing Mechatronics Siemens Level 1 training, Whitlow was promoted to lead technician, and was able to do more electrical/mechanical troubleshooting. He completed Mechatronics Siemens Level 2 training in the spring and earned the internationally recognized Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Associate credential.

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New leader announced for GO Virginia project

July 5, 2019

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) selection committee announced Dr. Tammy Hurt has been hired as the GO TEC program manager effective July 1.

She will lead this GO Virginia-funded initiative to expand talent development efforts for critical career paths across GO Virginia Regions 1, 3 and 4. This area encompasses many of Virginia’s rural counties stretching from Wythe County to Greensville County.

“On behalf of IALR and the selection committee, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Tammy Hurt as the GO TEC program manager,” said Dr. Julie Brown, interim director for GO TEC and director of advanced learning at IALR. “Her K-12, STEM and CTE experience will prove invaluable as she leads the planning and execution efforts for this quickly progressing project. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Hurt and, under her leadership, continuing to build a highly skilled workforce capable of attracting and retaining top employers to our commonwealth.”

Hurt most recently served as the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coordinator for Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS). Previous roles include her work as a middle school principal for PECPS and as an assistant principal and CTE (Career and Technical Education) instructor with Mecklenburg County Schools. Hurt recently received her Doctorate of Education from Liberty University, where she also earned her Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction and her M.Ed. in administration and supervision.

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ABB wins major industry award for submersible transformer inspection robot

Monday, July 1, 2019

ABBABB’s free-swimming robot that redefines transformer inspection services recently received the 2019 ‘Power Product of the Year’ award.

On May 30, ABB was presented an Electrical Review Excellence award for its ABB Abilityinspection for transformers — TXplore — in the ‘Power Product of the Year’ category. Electrical Review is the leading electrical industry publication in the UK.

The judging panel, under the leadership of the highly-respected industry figure — Prof. Ian F. Bitterlin, consulting engineer and visiting professor at University of Leeds, was impressed by the capability of TXplore to make transformer inspection a much safer activity while also boosting asset availability for power grid operators.

While there have been major advances in monitoring and diagnostic technology for power transformers, there are still times when an internal inspection is required. The traditional approach requires an outage lasting three or more days, while the oil is drained to enable a technician to climb inside the unit. Following a successful inspection, the transformer must then be refilled before re-starting operation.

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