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News & Notices

Virginia Technical Institute Featured in "Work it, Lynchburg"

Monday, April 29, 2013

Virginia Technial Institute was featured in a story titled "A 'weld' of opportunity" that ran in "Work It, Lynchburg."

Sparks are flying at Virginia Technical Institute, where Central Virginia Community College’s Fast Track Technical Training welding class is underway. Ten students meet six hours a day, four days a week at the Altavista trade school, learning the skills they’ll need to be entry-level professional welders.

Read the full article here

The Future of Technical Education

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In the fall of 2011, Virginia Technical Institute (VTI) entered into a one-of-a-kind relationship with Liberty University (LU).  Recognizing the value of technical education, LU officials engaged with VTI to provide trade training to their four-year degree-seeking students.  Utilizing VTI’s state-of-the-art facilities and an internationally recognized curriculum from the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER), LU began offering elective credit in the areas of Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, Welding, and Carpentry.

The first cohort of 16 students ranged from art majors to industrial engineering majors.  This initial group of 16 grew to 127 students in just one semester.  Since the program inception, VTI has trained over 400 LU students using the NCCER curriculum.  Current classes include a unique blend of traditional VTI students, Liberty University students and craft professionals seeking a credential.

Liberty University’s respect for those professionals holding NCCER credentials is such that they now offer transfer credit for NCCER credentials.  Craft professionals who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree using LU’s convenient on-line delivery system may be given credit for NCCER credentials up to 31 credit hours.  Thanks to LU’s world-class online curriculum, those same professionals can earn their degree without ever leaving the jobsite.

Students participating in the program are in high demand from local industry.  VTI and LU placed several students in paid summer internships during the summer of 2012.  Each of these students was offered some level of continuing employment opportunity.  Participating companies included Georgia Pacific, Fleetwood-Goldco-Wyard, Southern-Air, and Moore’s Electric.

Four traits make the VTI program distinct. First, instructors emphasize a hands-on learning atmosphere where testing is treated as a learning opportunity and not simply an assessment procedure.  Second, by utilizing the curriculum developed by NCCER, students receive internationally recognized credentials ensuring their competiveness for craft jobs all over the globe.  Third, this all takes place in a state-of-the-art, 75,000 square foot facility.  Finally, students intensively train only in their intended craft.  There are no other educational distractions or demands.  Students have the ability to concentrate on training for their future career.   With plenty of space, real-world training equipment, and classroom emphasis on his/her area of training, most students are work-ready in less than a year.

Virginia Technical Institute’s mission is to meet the growing need of workforce training in Central and Southside Virginia.  VTI provides hands-on training in a variety of fields including Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Welding, Carpentry, and Industrial Maintenance.  VTI also offers contract training in the areas of Industrial Safety/OSHA Certification, and Leadership Development.

Virginia Technical Institute Announces Enrollment Milestone

Monday, January 21, 2013

Student enrollment at Virginia Technical Institute jumped from 176 in the Spring Semester of 2012 to 224 this semester—a 27% increase.  This brings total enrollment at VTI to 400 for the current academic year--a year-over-year increase of 44%.  According to Executive Director Keith Harkins, “students understand our most popular classes--welding, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC-- put them on a fast-track to employment. Industrial Maintenance has been a popular addition to our line-up as well.”   Much of the increase can be attributed to word-of-mouth recommendations from students.   Harkins also pointed out; “Our students serve as our greatest marketing tool.  If we provide them with quality training which leads to employment, they spread the word. Once students understand they will spend 100% of their time at VTI on their trade, they get it.  They understand how much more quickly they can learn a trade when it is the only class they have to take.”

In partnership with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), VTI provides hands-on instruction in a 75,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Altavista.

Virginia Technical Institute Announces 2012 Graduating Class

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today, VTI is proud to announce its inaugural graduating class.  Seventeen students will proudly complete their journey this semester in areas such as Welding, Plumbing, and HVAC.

Delegate Kathy Byron will give the inaugural commencement address during the ceremony to be held at VTI’s state-of-the-art facility in Altavista VA.

Virginia Technical Institute Announces Lab Dedication

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today, VTI is proud to announce the dedication of the Harry E. Harkins Tool Lab.

The state-of-the-art lab was dedicated in memory of Harry Harkins, a man who rarely traveled without his tools. Harry was generous with his time and was always willing to share his gifts as an electrician, carpenter, and plumber with family and friends who needed his help.  He always carried his tools in his car, and when he visited his four children, he usually worked through a punch list of various repairs.  Harry had a wonderful sense of humor and would often spend days planning a practical joke on an unsuspecting family member or friend.

This generous gift will enable countless others to reap the personal and professional rewards resulting from a technical education.  Harry would have been proud to be a part of enriching the lives of others in such an enduring fashion.