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Talent Development

Patrick Henry Community College

PHCC LogoPatrick Henry Community College (PHCC) is one of 23 community colleges in Virginia. Not only does PHCC provide post-secondary education, it serves students from throughout Patrick, Henry and Franklin Counties for dual high school and career & technical education. PHCC has been rated among the top ten Most Tech-Savvy community colleges in the country by the Center for Digital Education. Most importantly, industry or relevant third-party certificates are embedded in the curriculum of all academic programs as a means to enhance career readiness of graduates.

Flagship manufacturing programs at Patrick Henry Community College:

Certified Production Technician Program – This program aligns with the nationally-recognized certificate, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Standards, to enhance core knowledge and skills for production work, from entry to front-line supervisory level. Program covers 4 modules: Safety Awareness; Quality Practices and Measurement; Manufacturing Processes and Production; Maintenance Awareness focuses on preventive maintenance, indicators for correct operation, and issue recognition related to Electrical, Pneumatic, Lubrication, Automation, Hydraulic, Couplings.

General Engineering Technologies – Students develop skills in the application of theories and hands-on experience in a variety of engineering settings such as industrial, manufacturing, and commercial. Graduates will be qualified for jobs such as engineer’s assistant, supervisor trainee, manufacturing specialist, quality assurance auditor, CAD technician, maintenance lead person, team leader, and computer controlled process technician.

Industrial Electronic Technology – This program provides highly skilled industrial technicians. Training covers Sensors and Transducers, Automated Controls, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) Motor Control Circuits, AC/DC Motor Drives, Pneumatics, Microprocessors and Computer Programming, Computer Hardware and Software Applications, Instrumentation, Electronic Data Communication, Systems Troubleshooting and Preventive Maintenance.

Industrial Welding Certificate – Students develop proficiency in skills with the use of current technological tools of the profession, and take the American Welding Society D1.1 Structural Welding Code Certification Test.

Unique Motor Sports Program

The Racing College of Virginia, housed at Patrick Henry Community College, offers specialized training that not only aligns to needs for NASCAR, but other automobile-related manufacturing and repair occupations. The program’s notoriety attracts student nation-wide. Students earn credentials through college certificates for Motorsports Engines Technology, Motorsports Fabrication and Set Up Technology, and Motorsports Management. They learn the basics in addition to machining, welding, engineering, and how to operate data acquisition system and software to design different parts critical to a race car. In fact, they build cars from the ground up, applying advanced manufacturing skills, and actually race with their car on the Patriot Race Team, with students serving on the pit crew. All faculty members have real-world racing experience, spanning professional go-kart racing to the Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR, HT Motorsports, Arrington Manufacturing, Roush Racing, Toyota, Harvick Racing and many other local companies and fabrication shops hire program graduates.

Motorsports Engine Technology –advanced skills and knowledge in the production of high performance engines to meet workforce needs of race teams and engine manufacturers.

Motorsports Fabrication and Set Up Technology –fundamental skills for race car component installation and repair, including proficiency in structural alignment, vehicle set up for prescribed environments, and adjustment to track conditions.

Motorsports Management –specialized skills related to the management of a motorsports-related business.

Relevant Career Certificates for Automotive Manufacturing Industries include:

  • Industrial Controls –fundamental skills for installation and repair of electrical control systems, including proficiency in electrical codes, OSHA criteria, programming system controllers, and system troubleshooting.
  • Industrial Maintenance Electronics - skills and knowledge needed for maintenance and repair of modern production equipment. Graduates earn proficiency in electrical codes, OSHA criteria, and system troubleshooting.
  • Welding - fundamental skills and knowledge in metal trades. Graduates demonstrate proficiency in oxyacetylene processes, arc and MIG welding procedures.

High-Demand Occupational Programs for Employment

Driven by Business and Industry Leadership Teams (BILTs) composed of local industry representatives, Patrick Henry Community College is developing and implementing career tract programs for Logistics and Advanced Manufacturing. By targeting job growth industries and working with local industry representatives, short-term training and credentialing is provided in an environment that simulates the work environment. In addition to industry-specific skills, soft skills are an essential part of the curriculum.

New College Institute

NCI LogoNew College Institute (NCI) is a beacon for automotive parts suppliers because of the relevant programs offered. Until New College Institute established in Martinsville, 4-year universities were located 2 hours away. Community leaders envisioned a locally-driven program drawing on the best of the greater regional post-secondary education resources throughout the state. This visionary approach enables the community to drive curriculum to address needs for local business growth, including development of in-demand skills for specialized manufacturing. A $15 million, 52,000 sq. ft. building is in construction in the heart of Martinsville’s Uptown district to be the first new building on the NCI campus. Cutting-edge equipment will be housed in this new facility and provide an important proof point as to the quality and current nature of skill development occurring at NCI.

Flagship NCI Programs:

Academy for Engineering and Technology 

Developed in partnership with Virginia State University, NCI offers high
AETschool juniors and seniors dual enrollment with university credits, all at no cost. Paid internships are offered to enhance hands-on learning, along with industry tours and other industry participation. The academy includes two tracks of study:

  • Engineering – curriculum address engineering design, construction and project management.
  • Technology – curriculum focuses on applied engineering and involves industry-current software, equipment, tools and techniques.

The program will evolve into a 4-year degree program, and ultimately PhDs, with the first Bachelor degrees awarded in 2015.

Experiential Learning in Technology & Engineering - “ELITE” Internship Program

Funding from the New College Foundation, the Harvest Foundation, and local employers enables employers to “test drive” creative and hardworking students while providing students an opportunity to experience what they are studying in real-world situations. Students at college and high school levels are eager to participate in internships. ELITE’s purpose is to help students interested in engineering and technology careers learn skills they need for modern jobs, such as being able to work in teams and communicate well, while helping them make connections with an advanced manufacturing industry for potential long-term jobs, according to NCI.

ACT Work Ready Community

To prove the readiness of the region’s workforce, the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with PHCC and other schools, are actively implementing National Career Readiness Certificates. Students earn the certificate through WorkKeys assessments based on situations in the everyday work world, including: applied mathematics, applied technology, business writing, listening, locating information, observation, reading for information, teamwork, and writing.

Youth Interested in Manufacturing

Martinsville and Henry County are connecting students with manufacturing at an early age.


During National Engineering Week, over 700 sixth graders participated in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Day program. Engineers from local manufactures as well as New College Institute professional met with students to inspire career paths that connect to local manufacturing opportunities.

Summer Camps for Manufacturing

New College Institute sponsors and organizes summer camps for middle school students featuring key topics to spark career opportunities.

  • Math Camp – shows students how everyday math, recreation and life skills are used to balance the quality of daily activities. 
  • Science Camp - "hands on" experiences to demonstrate the importance of science in daily life and in future developments.
  • Technology Camp - provides exciting learning experiences demonstrating the everyday use of innovations in technology. Students create a mechanical device and examine uses of technology in the local region.
  • Creative Design Camp - Students brainstorm and design projects from creative resources in the community. Teamwork, brainstorming, and creative design are key components of the program, along with a visit to the FAB Lab.