Southwest Virginia Community College hosts open house for new Bluefield location

BLUEFIELD, VA (WOAY) – Southwest Virginia Community College will soon be opening a brand new off-site location to give more options to students.

In Bluefield Virginia, they invited prospective students to tour their newest location and see what it has to offer.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Brandon says the new location will help offset commuting issues that some students face.

“One of the things that students in the Bluefield area specifically mentioned was the amount of time it took to commute to our campus. Depending on where you’re at in town, it could be 45 minutes to an hour to drive to campus,” Brandon said.

The first programs to be offered at the new location are high-demand, hands-on trades.

Students will get the opportunity to work on real equipment such as HVAC machines and heat pumps.

“Our first few programs are electronics, HVAC and mechatronics. These are high-demand fields for the eastern Tazewell County area. These machines allow students hands-on experience in those fields. They’ll do the exact same work that they’ll do in the workforce.”

One instructor at the college, Nick Nelson, says that these trades are worthwhile for anyone to learn. He claims almost all of his students have found work not long after completing the program.

“Nationwide, HVAC is probably one of the most demanded jobs there is,” Nelson said. “If you have HVAC training, you can go anywhere in the United States and get a job.”

Admissions are open now and classes begin in March. In the fall they’re hoping to offer more courses at the off-site location including transfer classes and health sciences classes.

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