Foundation Grant Will Enable Paul D. Camp Community College to Respond to Growing Demand for Solar Jobs

Dr Lufkin and JJ Smith

Dr. Dan Lufkin, president of PDCCC, accepts a check from J.J. Smith, Valley Proteins president. The award will help create a Career Studies Certificate program in energy technology with a focus in solar energy, a growing field in the college’s service region.

 
The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is presenting Paul D. Camp Community College with the 8th Annual Valley Proteins Award for Workforce Development. The $10,000 grant is funded by Valley Proteins, and it will help the college create a Career Studies Certificate (CSC) program in energy technology with a focus on solar energy.
 
With four large solar farms in various stages of review, approval, and construction within the PDCCC service region, college officials were eager to get the program up and running to accommodate the nearly 500 specially-trained jobs the facilities will require. Paul D. Camp has campuses in both Franklin and Suffolk.
 
“This CSC in energy technology will provide both the entry-level and mid-level solar energy training to support the construction, operation, and maintenance of the burgeoning solar industry currently underway in the rural Hampton Roads area,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois.
 
The Valley Proteins Endowment Fund is awarded annually to support workforce development programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges in the areas of environmental science, commercial truck driving, heating and air conditioning, and office technology.
 
“We are very grateful to have received this Valley Proteins grant. The goal of our program is to provide the community and industry with the best-trained students possible. This generous grant will provide our students job opportunities in the growing field of solar energy in PDCCC’s service region,” observed PDCCC President Dan Lufkin.
 
The process of earning a certificate in energy technology can be completed in one academic year. PDCCC expects to begin offering the Energy Technology Career Studies Certificate program in the fall of 2017. It is anticipated that the success of the first class of graduates will attract even more students to the program.
 
This is the second time Paul D. Camp Community College has earned the award. Previous recipients of the annual award include Blue Ridge Community College, Eastern Shore Community College, John Tyler Community College, and Southside Virginia Community College.
 
Headquartered in Winchester, Valley Proteins, Inc. is committed to supporting the workforce, particularly in the areas in which it has a business presence. The 66-year-old firm operates plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Its processing facilities recycle food waste materials into usable products and bio fuels for feed and industrial applications.