Southside Electric Cooperative Donates to SVCC Ag Program

Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton
Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business
109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA 23821
200 Daniel Road, Keysville, VA 23947 

Training Future Employees through Internship Opportunities in Southside Virginia

Project explanation and specific learning activities

Internships are a win-win situation for businesses and students.  Businesses obtain short-term employees who can participate in day-to-day activities or special projects, and employers are able to assess the interns as potential full-time employees.  Students gain hands-on experience to complement classroom training and are able to determine if the responsibilities of the internship position match future full-time employment interests.  With appropriate planning, the internship can also provide insights into many different facets of the business.

Southside Virginia Community College proposes to develop a formal internship program, utilizing grant funds to develop the business partners  for the internship program, to provide partial stipends for the students in the first segment of the internship program, and to fund the part-time  internship coordinator’s onsite evaluative visits of the interns.

Expected outcomes

Students, the future workforce of the region, will gain valuable hands-on work experience in an array of businesses in the Southside region.  SVCC serves a ten-county, 4,200 square mile area, ranging from Greensville County in the east to Halifax County in the west, and from Cumberland County in the north to Mecklenburg County in the south.  The region has a strong agricultural base, and the SVCC agribusiness program (initiated in Fall 2010) is designed to train students for a wide range of agribusiness-related positions, including production, sales, management, marketing, finance, and human resources. 

A final outcome of this project is an expected increase in enrollment and interest in the agribusiness program at SVCC, thus leading to more qualified employees for the area industries.  Students who plan to continue pursuit of a bachelor’s degree will be prepared to transfer to land grant universities such as Virginia Tech and Virginia State and our geographical neighbor in North Carolina, NC State.

Initiated by the SVCC Foundation director, Mary Jane Elkins


According to the Virginia Agribusiness Council, agriculture and forestry are Virginia’s #1 industry, contributing almost $70 billion to our economy annually!  Based on this information, it is apparent that agricultural education is important and vital for the preparation of tomorrow’s workforce across the Commonwealth, especially in Southside Virginia.  Through a partnership with the Southside Electric Cooperative, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) seeks a grant of $10,000 to support the initial phase of an internship program for students in SVCC’s Agribusiness program.