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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
July 7, 2014  
Quick Links to each article
Tech on the Square at 3 Notch'd on July 31st
Comcast Business & Innovation 4 Entrepreneurs Announcement
Attend the SVTC Events & Programming Meeting July 16
Local Technology Students Shine in National Competition
Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver welcomes a new Attorney
CSPDC receives USDA Grant
LightCastle joins 1 Million for Work Flexibility
GARCC ribbon cutting for STEM Education Center
Online Survey about Virginia's Workforce Needs
Highlighting New Member: Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board
Highlighting New Member: People Places
Tech on the Square
July 31, 2014 at 3 Notch'd Brewing Co. Harrisonburg Taproom from 5-7PM
Come and catch up with fellow technology users and creators at this casual summer networking event.  We'll support our new downtown neighbors 3 Notch'd Brewing  at 241 East Market St (Urban Exchange Building).  While we can't pick up the beer tab (twelve brews on tap), we will bring in some pizza from Benny Sorrentinos around the corner.  Come, hang out and tell us about your summer adventures and projects for the fall.

Sign Up Here
Registration is appreciated to help planning.
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Member News:  Comcast Business announces Grand Prizes for Innovation Contest

Comcast Business and Inc. Magazine announced June 26th that six entrepreneurs from across the U.S. have been named grand prize winners in the "Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs" program, a national competition that awards more than $600,000 in cash and services to aspiring entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to grow their business and enhance profitability.


After a two week public voting period, six business owners were selected as grand prize winners from 32 regional winners. Regional winners had won a $5,000 cash award plus Comcast Business Internet and TV services for two years, along with a $2,500 allocation for other Comcast services. Each grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 cash award as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City where they will receive one-on-one consulting with nationally recognized business experts and Comcast senior executives. Grand prize winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in New York City on August 25, 2014.


Terry Connell, senior vice president, Comcast Business, said, "They have shown the ability to utilize technology in their business , and with the help of the Innovation 4 Entrepreneurs program, they have the opportunity to get one-on-one advice from top experts to help take their organization to a whole new level."


Link to Comcast Business press release including winners & prize details

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Be an Active SVTC Member--help choose our programs for 2014-2015
Events and Programing Committee Meeting, July 16, 9AM, Ice House Building

SVTClogoTRANSP The SVTC Events and Programming Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, July 16 to brainstorm ideas for this year's SVTC events.  Any SVTC member is welcome to participate.  If you've got ideas for "stuff" (regular events such as luncheons or special events such as tours) either join the meeting or send us your suggestions via goggleform.

Register to attend the meeting

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Local Schools well represented at Technology Student Association National Conference

June 27-July 1, 2014


The 2014 national Technology Students Association (TSA) conference was held in the Washington, D.C. area this week with more than 6,500 students and educators registered to participate. Middle and high school student members took part in more than 60 competitive events based on STEM projects/ principles/ concepts learned through during the school year. Competitions include; Engineering Design, Flight Endurance, Structural Engineering, Biotechnology Design, Geospatial Technology, Debate & public speaking, Systems Control (robotics), Webmaster (design, build and launch a website).


Local High Schools Ranked in National Competition

  • Technology Bowl -Head-to-head, technology oral question/response team competition.  
    • #1-Turner Ashby High School, Rockingham  
    • #2 East Rockingham High School, Rockingham
  • Technology Problem Solving --Teams work on site to develop and create a solution to a problem using the limited materials provided and the tools allowed.  
    • #2 East Rockingham High School, Rockingham
  • Extemporaneous Speaking, (individual) give a three-to-five minute speech fifteen minutes after having drawn a card on which a technology or TSA topic for a speech is written 
    • -#4 Caleb Hurst, Turner Ashby High School, Rockingham
  • Animatronics --Team designs, fabricates and controls a device that will communicate, entertain, inform or demonstrate using sound, lights and an environment.  
    • #4 Stuarts Draft High School, Augusta
  • Engineering Design--work to design and fabricate a device that will meet the specific needs of a person with a disability.Semifinalists demonstrate the problem and solution in a timed presentation.
    • #5 Millbrook High School, Fredrick (Winchester) 
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Production--design, fabricate, and demonstrate ability to use a CNC machine to produce mousetrap car parts. The entry is evaluated for the distance it travels and proper documentation.
    •  #7 Stuarts Draft High School, Augusta
  • SCIVIS-- develop a visualization focusing on a subject or topic from one or more of the following areas: science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
    •  #9 James Wood High School, Frederick (Winchester)
TSA is a national organization for students engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Open to young people enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA's membership includes more than 200,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools spanning 48 states. TSA partners with universities and other organizations to promote a variety of STEM competitions and opportunities for students and teachers. TSA is supported by educators, parents, and business leaders who believe in the need for a technologically literate society.  
Link to TSA Website

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Member News:  Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver welcomes a new attorney
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The law firm of Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC is pleased to announce that Derek J. Brostek has joined the litigation practice group with a focus in civil, business, and insurance issues. Derek received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary.  He also received his LL.M in Military Law from The Judge Advocate Generals' Legal Center and School (Army JAG School). He is admitted to practice in Virginia.   


Derek joins the firm following his recent retirement as a Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. He spent his early years in the Marine Corps as an artillery officer and working with Marine Corps Security Forces. In 1998, Derek was selected by the Marine Corps to attend William and Mary Law School in order to become a Marine lawyer. Following his graduation in 2001, he served as a Marine lawyer for 13 years. He spent the majority of his time working in the area of criminal law, including trial work, teaching trial advocacy, and strategic policy work. He also served in Afghanistan working with operational law and detention operations.

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Member News:  CSPDC Receives USDA Rural Communities Development Grant

New SVTC member, the CSPDC (Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission)  has been awarded a $50,000 grant from USDA for the Rural Communities Development Initiative (RCDI).  This was a nationally competitive grant with 48 grant awards made in 26 states.  The CSPDC project was the only one awarded in Virginia.  This grant will provide funding for CSPDC to work with our small rural localities on strategic planning, technical assistance and capacity building to help them become more economically viable and more successful in moving projects and programs forward in their communities.

"These grants will bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of regional organizations to help small and emerging businesses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "They also will help organizations experienced in economic development create more job opportunities for rural residents across the country."

Link to full press release

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Member News:  LightCastle joins 1 Million for Work Flexibility
Click logo for Website
LightCastle Technical Consulting announced on its blog this week its support for 1 Million for Work Flexibility, a national initiative "for options in the workplace that give organizations and their staff the freedom to better decide when, where, and how work will get done."

On its blog LightCastle says, "My goal when founding LightCastle was to create an environment where each person could work in the way that they were most innovative, productive, and fulfilled.  When it was time to grow LightCastle beyond its founders, a lot of discussion and thought went into what the work environment would be like.

LightCastle joined with other organizations such as :  the USDA, Thomson Reuters, United Health Group, the Green Business Bureau, Humana and others in support of the initiative.

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Member News:  GARCC--STEM Education Center Ribbon Cutting
July 17, 2014 from 5pm-6pm

The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for the STEM Education Center at Camp Shenandoah, 222 Boy Scout Lane, Swoope VA.
RSVP here

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JLARC/ General Assembly Workforce Survey--please participate.
Online survey assesses skills needed by Virginia Employers
click logo for JLARC website

The Virginia General Assembly has directed staff of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to evaluate the success of the state's workforce development programs in equipping Virginia workers with the skills and credentials that employers need. To incorporate the perspective of the business community, JLARC researchers are conducting an online survey of Virginia employers.


To obtain input from as many Virginia employers as possible, JLARC invites SVTC members and newsletter readers to participate in the survey. Your input will strengthen the quality and accuracy of research presented to the Virginia General Assembly. By providing us with your company's perspective, you can help align Virginia's workforce development programs and the skills and credentials of the workforce with your company's needs.


Participating in the survey is important for several reasons: 

  • The effectiveness of workforce development programs cannot be assessed without the input of the business community.
  • Your input could improve the quality of Virginia's workforce.
  • Your input could increase the number of Virginians that possess the skills and credentials most valuable to your company. 
  • Your input could improve the quality and effectiveness of Virginia's publicly-provided recruitment and training services, which can be economical resources for businesses.

Link to     


 Some important information about this survey:

  • Please complete this survey by Friday, July 11th, 2014.
  • The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • Your responses are confidential. Survey results will be presented only in aggregate form and will not be attributed to specific individuals or companies. 
  • The survey is intended for private sector companies (both for-profit and not-for-profit) that have operations in Virginia and employ Virginians.
  • Executive leaders and human resources staff will generally be best suited to answer the survey questions. Respondents are encouraged to seek the input of colleagues when needed. However, JLARC can only accept one response per company.

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Welcome New Level 1 Member:  Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board 

The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board (SVWIB) is an incorporated, non-profit organization serving 16 localities in Northwestern Virginia. The SVWIB operates five Valley Workforce Centers and directs numerous workforce initiatives partnering with business, education, economic development, and other community and faith-based organizations to thoroughly understand the current labor market and to develop innovative solutions to address board regional workforce issues. Valley OJT is one such innovative workforce solution that provides grant funding to employers to offset wages of certain new hires during their initial training. Some local companies have received over $100,000 in wage reimbursement . Hundreds of workers have been trained, received certifications, and been put back to work. Private employers - call us today to explore our OJT services.

For more information use or contact Debby Hopkins.

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Welcome New Level 1 Member: People Places

People Places is a nonprofit therapeutic foster care agency in Staunton, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.
"At People Places, we connect kids to families and a safe place they can call home.  We support foster and adoptive parents on their journeys from caregivers to mothers and fathers.As the industry leader in treatment foster care, we draw on 40 years of local practice and our own family of professional counselors and social workers, special education teachers, and managers to nurture families across Virginia and the country. Our strength lies in the relationships we build between parents, staff members, and the children we support."

For more information use or contact Michael Blinn.

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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 4901
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council | 800 S. Main Street | MSC 4901 | Harrisonburg | VA | 22807