SoVA CME Celebrates First Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics Program Completers

Front Row (l-r): Earl Dixon, Eli Mitchell, and Antawn Marrow Back Row (l-r): Will Soyars (Instructor), Thedore Dunn, Phillip Coles, and Ricky Gordon (Instructor)

The SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence (SoVA CME) is celebrating its first cohort of students who have completed the industrial maintenance/mechatronics training. After 13 weeks of accelerated, hands-on training, students learned the skills required to gain employment as an industrial maintenance technician or machine operator.

They also earned industry-recognized credentials including the internationally recognized Siemens Level 1 Mechatronics certification. Students will be formally recognized at the SVHEC Workforce Training Completion Ceremony on July 12th.

The term “mechatronics” encompasses a broad range of technical disciplines including mechanics, electronics, control systems, and computer terms. “Mechatronics is not only the marriage of electrical, mechanical and computer technologies, but it is a holistic philosophy for looking at how these individual topics make up the entire system. This allows technicians to keep machinery running by eliminating downtime which helps with a company’s efficiency and bottom line,” said Will Soyars, SoVA CME Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics Program Leader.

Students began their training on March 14th, and attended classes four days a week, six hours a day. They received extensive hands-on instruction in each mechatronics discipline, and had the opportunity to earn certifications in Siemens Level 1, NCCER-CORE, NCCER-Electrical Level 1, Industrial Maintenance Electrical and Instrumentation Level 3, OSHA 10, and National Career Readiness. With their new marketable skills, students were able to attract the attention of regional employers.

“Everyone entered the program as either unemployed or underemployed,” said Scarlett Brandon, SoVA CME Program/Marketing Coordinator. “After going through the SoVA CME Mechatronics training, most students received job offers and went straight to work as soon as the program ended,” she said.

“The program includes knowledge, experience, and hands-on training in mechatronics. With the certifications I’ve earned, I’m much more marketable for employment,” said student Phillip Coles.

“The need for qualified technicians is at an all-time high,” said Gordon, who serves as SoVA CME Programs Technician. “Mechatronics certification is short-term, hands-on training that offers a path to good jobs that exist today,” he continued.

Student Earl Dixon agreed saying, “If you are looking for a career, with hands-on experience, and short-term training, you should take advantage of this opportunity. I am thrilled to know about the mechatronics field.”

Recruitment is now underway for students to enroll in the second cohort of industrial maintenance/mechatronics training. Classes will begin Monday, August 29th. Interested individuals should attend an upcoming information session to learn more. Information sessions will be held in the SVHEC-Innovation Center on the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, July 13th at 5:30pm
  • Thursday, July 14th at 5:30pm
  • Thursday, July 21st at 10:00am
  • Wednesday, July 27th at 10:00am
  • Tuesday, August 2nd, at 5:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 10th at 5:30pm
  • Thursday, August 18th at 5:30pm

Contact Scarlett Brandon, SoVA CME Program/Marketing Coordinator at 572.5473 or email to register for an information session.

SoVA CME is one of three manufacturing Centers of Excellence funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) in consultation with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing. To date, TRRC has awarded $4 million in grant funds to the SoVA CME initiative.

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