Education is a Priority in Workforce Preparedness
Drone technology, mechatronics, 3D printing, robotics, software engineering.
Educational programs and training in these fields and more is available in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region where we place emphasis on educating our regional workforce for today and jobs of the future.
Starting in elementary school, e-Region students are exposed to technology resources, distance learning, robotics and math competitions, as well as STEM programs – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. And more than 75,000 students are attending college classes within a 125-mile radius.
Working cooperatively with the region’s community colleges and universities and the industry-driven Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM), companies that locate in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region have access to tailored training such as fast-track software programming, IT help desk training or advanced manufacturing technology. Students are exposed to the latest technologies in modeling and simulation, robotics, 3D printing, drone technology, cyber security, environmental technologies as well as software engineering.
Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges also provide training for Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), an assessment-based credential that gives employers and career seekers a uniform measure of key workplace skills.
Southwest Virginia’s e-Region is also home to three professional schools, the Appalachian School of Law, the Appalachian College of Pharmacy and Lincoln Memorial University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the only four-year branch of the University of Virginia, offers the state’s only undergraduate software engineering degree, one of a handful of such programs nationally.
- The Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing Center of Excellence offers two locations in the region where students receive hands-on, industry focused training for middle skill jobs that require education beyond high school, but less than a four-year degree. Middle skill jobs comprise about half of all U.S. jobs.
- Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon.
- A number of four-year colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech and East Tennessee State University, within commuting distance.
Education and Training Links
Southwest Virginia's e-Region is marketed by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority - VCEDA - a regional economic development organization created by Virginia's General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the economic base of the seven-county, one-city, coal-producing region in southwestern Virginia. Since its creation, VCEDA has helped create more than 20,000 jobs.