MEC’s Lee elected vice chairman of ODEC board

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) and EMPOWER Broadband, Inc. president and CEO John Lee has been elected to serve as vice chairman of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s (ODEC) Board of Directors. The new officers were elected at the Generation and Transmission Cooperative’s annual membership meeting held in Williamsburg on July 30.

mecKent Farmer, president and CEO of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, was elected to serve as chairman of the board; Lee was elected to serve as vice chair, and Southside Electric Cooperative president and CEO Jeff Edwards was chosen for the secretary/treasurer position. These officers will serve in those positions for the next three years through 2022.

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is a generation-and-transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to 11-member electric distribution cooperatives, including MEC, in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. ODEC, which now boasts over $2 billion in assets, is wholly owned by MEC and 10 other Members. Among its Virginia assets are 50% of the Clover Power Station (coal) in Halifax County, 11.6% of the North Anna Nuclear Station in Louisa County and two natural gas-powered peaking stations: Marsh Run Power Station in Fauquier County and Louisa Power Station also in Louisa County.

ODEC also wholly owns Wildcat Point Power Station, a combined cycle natural gas generation facility in Rising Sun, Maryland.

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Community college hires former county school maintenance director as new facilities manager

5d472f8525b39.imageHalifax County native Jay Jennings has been named the new facilities manager at Danville Community College (DCC).

“‘Excited’ is the word that best describes how I feel about this role,” Jennings said. “I don’t take much time to test the waters; I like to jump right in and be a part of the team. I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and helping out any way I can. Don’t be surprised if you see me on a roof or a lawnmower.”

Having graduated from Virginia Tech’s property management program in 2003, Jennings brings a strong construction background, holding previous roles with commercial contractors in Richmond and South Boston.

“I love the college so far,” he said. “My first impression of the campus is the people and how great they are to work with. I’m also impressed with the condition of the buildings and how they have been maintained and updated. I look forward to meeting and working with everyone this coming school year.”

Jennings joined the DCC team in July and is responsible for ensuring that campus facilities are safe, up to code and fully operational, managing contractors, training new employees and working with third-party vendors, planning and coordinating all installations, including telecommunications, heat, electricity and refurbishments, managing the upkeep of equipment and supplies to meet health and safety standards, inspecting buildings’ structures to determine the need for repairs and renovations, review utilities consumption and strive to minimize costs, supervise all facilities staff and external contractors, control activities such as parking space allocation, waste disposal and building security and maintaining accurate financial and non-financial records.

“My goal is to get our buildings running as efficiently and economically as possible,” Jennings explained. “I enjoy working with the controls side of the profession, so I like to monitor how the buildings operate. I’m the guy that goes around turning off lights in empty rooms. I take pride in saving money for the college, because there’s always somewhere else that money is needed.”

From The Gazette Virginian

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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