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.

Welding@SVHEC is a 10-month, hands-on training program providing instruction in MIG, TIG, Stick, and Pipe welding. Successful trainees have the opportunity to become NCCER certified welders, and pursue advanced training leading to American Welding Society credentials. No prior welding experience is necessary.

“The most valuable aspect of the welding training program was learning to TIG and Pipe weld,” said Adam Epps, who turned his technical training into employment at Boxley, Inc., in Lynchburg.

In addition to technical training, individuals who complete an SVHEC workforce training program learn employment success skills and receive job placement assistance which includes referrals and program specific job fairs.

Individuals interested in mechatronics or welding training should contact Scarlett Brandon, SoVA CME program coordinator, at 572-5473 or email

From The Gazette Virginian