Holding their career studies certificates from SVCC are Presto Products Apprenticeship graduates are (from left) Kenneth Smith, Dwayne Hutcherson Sr., Darrius Hayes, Adolph Briggs Jr. and Earnest Harrison. Not pictured are Timothy Scott and Patricia Thaxton.

On Jan. 26, Southside Virginia Community College, in partnership with Presto Products, held a socially distanced event celebrating seven Presto apprentices who received a career studies certificate for completing the Presto Electrical Apprenticeship program.

“The journey for these apprentices was a very unique one because of the pandemic,” said Kelly Young, Presto plant manager in South Boston. “The two-year process for them was very challenging, but the students persevered.

“They picked up life skills along with college credits needed for a career studies certificate.

“The skill set they have developed in this program will really help them as they continue their career path.”

“The apprentices who complete this program learn a mind-set of critical thinking and troubleshooting which is vital in the manufacturing field,” said Beth Thompson, Presto production manager. “These graduates are employees that move on to higher paying positions within the company.”

Presto owns and operates five strategically located manufacturing facilities including one in South Boston.

Apprenticeship programs provide hands-on career training while earning wages; college credits; a career to build upon; and a national credential, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more information about the apprenticeship programs offered at SVCC, contact Kristie Morris at