PDCCC gets grant for solar tech

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, December 15, 2016

Paul D. Camp Community College has earned the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education’s eighth 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 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.


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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 under way in the rural Hampton Roads area,” VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois said in a press release.

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,” PDCCC President Dan Lufkin said.

“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.”

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.

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. 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.