In the next few weeks, students will begin using Patrick Henry Community College’s new facility in Patrick County. The college is about to launch the first two programs to be fully located in the newly opened space. The first class will be an Electrical Groundsman course starting on September 30. The second class is the Mechatronics Bootcamp which will start on October 3.

“These programs and many others that we will be able to hold in this facility provide students a direct pipeline to employment,” says PHCC’s Vice President of Workforce, Economic, and Community Development, Rhonda Hodges. “We are so grateful to the Patrick County Education Foundation, Town of Stuart, the Tobacco Commission, and the many others who have made this new training facility possible. We are excited to see how access to a state-of-the-art training facility may change the lives of many Patrick County residents.”

The Electrical Groundsman course is a four-week program that will help aspiring groundsmen earn the multiple certifications required to work in the field. After one month, graduates of the program will be eligible to work for electrical contractors at utility companies. Moreover, a groundsman licensure is the first step in a career that could lead to a lineman position and eventually to a journeyman lineman position which typically pays $27 or more an hour.

PHCC’s Electrical Groundsman graduates looking to advance their career will find their courses can seamlessly transfer into Wytheville Community College’s Electrical Linesman Course.

Groundsman training does not require a high school diploma or GED. Groundsman workers do not work more than four feet off the ground. Students only need to have a valid driver’s license. The classes meet Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Mechatronics Bootcamp is a four-course series of short-term classes where students will learn the basics of mechatronics like hydraulics and electrical engineering. By the end of the four courses, students will be prepared to earn a Siemens SMSCP Level 1 Certification. With this certification, graduates are eligible for a wide variety of well-paying jobs that are in high demand locally and nationally. This semester, the Mechatronic Bootcamp meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. through December 12.

Students in either course may be eligible to receive state funding to help cover the cost of tuition. To find out more about these courses and the available funding, contact PHCC’s Workforce Systems Specialists Tanya Sprinkle at (276) 656-0260.