SVHEC Celebrates ITA and Mechatronics Completers

01-28-18 Completion CeremonyThirty-seven IT Academy (ITA) and Mechatronics trainees were recognized at the SVHEC’s Workforce Training Completion Ceremony on January 25th.

It was a night of firsts as the SVHEC celebrated several program milestones. Five Essel-Propack (Danville) employees were recognized for completing the SVHEC’s first customized Mechatronics training, and the IT Academy honored its first cybersecurity completers. It was also the first time all SVHEC Mechatronics trainees earned a 100% pass rate on the Siemens Mechatronics Level 1 certification exam.

The SVHEC’s Mechatronics program also celebrated its program completers earning a combined 56 industry recognized credentials.

The Honorable Richard “Ric” Brown, the Commonwealth’s newly retired Secretary of Finance, served as the completion ceremony’s guest speaker. “Good choices make good outcomes and you have made good choices,” he told program completers.

Former Secretary Brown went on to emphasize the importance of believing and investing in yourself. “You must really believe in yourself. I’ve worked for 12 governors and the one thing they all had in common was they believed in themselves,” Brown stated. “One key sign that you believe in yourself is that you invest in yourself. Your willingness to invest in yourself, to believe in yourself, to accomplish and complete the program of your choice as you’ve done here tonight, embodies the spirit of success,” he said.

The “spirit of success” was on full display as program completers accepted their certificates of completion and industry recognized credentials. For many, completing their training program meant the start of a career they’d previously only dreamed about. “For years, I have known that I wanted to enter the IT world, but wasn’t quite sure where to start. Attending the ITA has given me a foundation of skills and knowledge and a path to start my new career,” said Quiana Clark.

Fellow ITA completer Eric Fitch agreed saying, “The ITA program has allowed me to realize my dream of working with and on computers.”
For Mechatronics completer Josiah Strickland, completing the program was a path to a better life. “I chose the program because I wanted to be a better provider for my family,” he said.

For Sonya Wingate, one of the Essel Propack employees who completed the customized Mechatronics training, the program allowed her to become a better employee and to advance her career. “The program has helped me to see past the problem and be able to analyze and troubleshoot a lot quicker. It’s helped me become a stronger employee,” she stated.

After the ceremony, joyful program completers were embraced by family and friends beaming with pride. “We’re so proud of him,” said Josiah Strickland’s wife Judah Strickland. “It was very difficult for him to go through the program because we have three small children at home. But we are very proud of him and glad he was able to do this. He hasn’t had the opportunity to complete as much education as a lot of other people, so for him to go through this and the whole class pass with flying colors really made us very proud. We are so excited for him, and we can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.”

Essel Propack’s HR Manager Laura Tyree expressed great pride in their Mechatronics completers saying, “I’m so proud of the whole crew, and the time investment they made. They all work a 12-hour shift, but most of them work a night shift. Combine that with going to class on their days off and the investment on their part is amazing. I’m so proud of all of them.”

The enrollment period for the SVHEC’s Mechatronics and Welding programs is now open. Classes will begin this spring, and spaces are limited. For more information visit, email or call 


IT Academy
As an authorized CompTIA Academy, the IT Academy Professionals Program provides a core curriculum leading to two (2) CompTIA certifications—A+ and Server+. Advanced training in Networking Foundations and Security Foundations leading to CompTIA certification in Network+ and Security+ are also available.

Mechatronics is a hands-on training program combining knowledge of mechanical, electrical, computer, and software/control engineering. The program prepares individuals for a wide-range of jobs including electrical/electronics technician, maintenance mechanic, smart operator, and entry-level electrician.

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