New Workforce Training Center in Buchanan County Moving Forward

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Southern Gap Transportation & Logistics Center Construction Underway

Vansant — July 15, 2019 — Construction for the much-anticipated Southern Gap Transportation and Logistics Center began earlier this summer after the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority approved Swope Construction as the contractor for the project during a prior meeting in the spring.

“We’re happy to see this exciting project for Buchanan County and the surrounding area moving along,” noted Jay Rife, chair of the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Board of Directors.

The IDA intends to partner with Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) to offer a Commercial Driver’s License and diesel repair program, as well as additional credentialing programs – among them, SNAP-ON credentialing through the National Coalition of Certification Centers. Heavy Duty Diesel Scanner Diagnostics, Multimeter, and Battery Starting and Charging are among those credentialing programs. The Diesel Repair program will also serve the CDL program by repairing and maintaining the trucks used. Additionally, the center will offer a Certified Logistics Associate/Certified Logistics Technician program. “We are working with the IDA now to develop and finalize our training program plans for the Center, and we’re looking forward to announcing more details as construction nears completion”, stated Randall Rose, Dean of Workforce & Continuing Education at SWCC.

Construction is targeted for completion in early 2020, with workforce training programs anticipated to roll out shortly afterward. Most training to be offered at the Center will incorporate Virginia’s FastForward training initiative components, which help fast-track training participants to careers in the region and Virginia. “SWCC is dedicated to becoming a premier workforce training provider for the Virginia Community College System and for the

Commonwealth as a whole and this anticipated partnership is a good example of the steps we are taking to help reach that goal,” stated Dr. Tommy Wright, president of SWCC.

Once complete, the Center will also house offices for the Buchanan County IDA. The project will be made possible through a partnership of the Buchanan County IDA, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA), and SWCC. VCEDA has approved up to $5.729 million in grants for the construction, development, and implementation of the center.

The Buchanan County IDA’s mission is to foster the economic growth of Buchanan County. Southwest Virginia Community College is dedicated to being the region’s premier workforce solutions and training provider, serving the college’s service region since 1967.

For more information contact:

Scotty Wampler
Director of Marketing & Tourism
Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority
276-244-1542 scotty.wampler@buchanancounty-va.gov

Randall Rose
Dean of Workforce & Continuing Education
Southwest Virginia Community College
276-964-7683 randall.rose@sw.edu