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McAuliffe announces noncredit mechatronics certification in Virginia

economic-forecast-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center will be entering into a partnership with Siemens, a global technology company, to establish the only noncredit Level 3 Mechatronics training program in the world. The field of mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical, computer, and software and control engineering to design and manufacture products.

Until now, Siemens Level 3 certification has only been available at two universities in the United States and three worldwide: Middle Tennessee State University and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Yeungnam University College in South Korea. The new SVHEC-Siemens partnership will now make this training and certification available as a noncredit option offered in a compressed timeframe.

“Noncredit workforce credentials are an essential part of building the new Virginia economy and preparing our students to be competitive members of the 21st century workforce,” Governor McAuliffe said. “We want our students to earn in-demand certifications and use those skills to help Virginia attract businesses, resources, and new investment. This innovative Level 3 Certification exemplifies SVHEC’s dedication to its students, the community, and the region, and I commend the partnership with Siemens to make this possible.”

“This unique partnership between SVHEC and Siemens will allow students to pursue a specialized credential in an exciting field,” Secretary of Education Dietra Trent stated. “As a native of Halifax, Virginia, I have seen firsthand how difficult it can be for students in Southside and Southwest Virginia to gain access to the global marketplace. That is why we are committed to ensuring that all of our students have access to world-class educational opportunities, and SVHEC is helping us to achieve that lofty goal.”

“Governor McAuliffe is a dedicated champion of fast-paced, intensive noncredit workforce training for globally recognized industry certifications that lead to skilled jobs with good wages and a great future, as demonstrated in Executive Order 23,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “SVHEC’s partnership with Siemens represents the pinnacle of what we hope to achieve in workforce certification training across the state. I am especially proud that one of only four such training programs in the world will be based in rural Virginia.”

Siemens Mechatronic Systems training and certification is not focused or dependent upon Siemens equipment or products, allowing industrial maintenance technicians working in any industry, with any equipment, to reap the benefits of the training and certification. As part of Siemens’ ongoing workforce development collaboration in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the company also donated more than $2 billion of in-kind software grants in 2014 for manufacturing programs at community colleges, universities and education institutions.

“It is an honor to be tapped by Siemens for this extraordinary opportunity,” said Dr. Betty H. Adams, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. “The SVHEC and its partners are completely committed to providing the Southern Virginia workforce with access to the credentials necessary to compete in Virginia’s new economy. The Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program promises to introduce manufacturers from around the world to this region.”

“With technology transforming manufacturing, providing students access to hands-on training before they even enter the workforce in a plant environment gives them the skills needed to succeed,” said President of Siemens U.S. Digital Factory Raj Batra. “As a global leader in industrial automation and technology, Siemens is proud to partner with academic institutions like SVHEC to help develop the workforce of the future.”



The mission of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is to advance Southern Virginia’s economic potential through education, innovation and collaboration. The SVHEC provides educational access and workforce training, and is retooling Southern Virginia’s rural workforce for jobs in the new economy. With a focus on hands-on, short-term training programs, the SVHEC is increasing the supply of credentialed workers in the region. Please visit,, or call (434) 572-5473 or for more information.


About Siemens USA

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis, with approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries.