Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

At the site of a former supermarket in the town of Stuart, Patrick Henry Community College has opened new facilities that will make it easier for people in Southwest Virginia to train for valuable workforce credentials.

Plans for the 5,000 square foot facility were largely guided by local business leaders and county officials, to ensure that the facility would offer precisely the career and industry-growing training opportunities the county needs.

With a $170,000 renovation and more than $300,000 worth of state-of-the-art training equipment, the new space is ready to equip students for high-demand careers like mechatronics and industrial engineering. The renovation costs were covered in large part by fund-raising efforts of the Patrick County Education Foundation. The equipment was paid for through a state grant.

Local dignitaries turned out for ribbon cutting ceremonies at the new facility August 27.

“It’s been a long-time coming,” said Patrick County native and former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles. “The grand opening of the new and expanded community college complex here in Stuart, is a much needed– and long-awaited– development in a county that can use all the help it can get– and the help today is in the form of college education and workforce training.”

“Community colleges are on the front lines of higher education; getting our students to work is our goal,” said PHCC President Angeline Godwin. “PHCC has been working closely with the town of Stuart over the past few years to secure the new facility to better serve potential students in Patrick County.”

For students seeking a traditional degree, the original PHCC site just across the street in the town of Stuart will continue to offer many general education courses. In fact, a student could complete an entire general education associate degree without ever having to leave the county.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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