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Connecting Students & Employers

Caesars Entertainment is bringing more than 2,000 jobs to the region with the construction of their new casino in Danville.

“When creating IETs that could be used across our region, we wanted to make sure that they met the needs and/or wants of our clientele (students and employers).”

Team Southside Solutions

Jacqueline Scolpini

Team Members Project Summary:
  • Nadara Rust Kingery, Danville Public Schools Adult & Career Education Center
  • Jacqueline Scolpini, Pittsylvania County Public Schools Adult and Career Education Center 
  • Lealice Hagwood, Martinsville City Adult Education and Career Services
  • Robin Gravely, Henry County Public Schools Adult Education
  • Chris Ezell, Danville Public Schools Adult & Career Education Center
  • Peer Coach: Amy Davis, Virginia Department of Corrections
With new industry coming to our region (12), team members wanted to connect more students with jobs & internships using technology but still be able to provide the same quality instruction when delivering curriculum. Merging technology and face-to-face instruction was the solution. We have created a way to reach more students and provide more opportunities for them to receive certifications without sacrificing a top-notch educational experience.


When challenged with finding a topic that would be both useful and new, we had one leading question that started our search. How can we help students connect with jobs and internships? Although there is not a definite answer to a broad-based question as to what connects participants to programs/credentials, we realized that at the base of the goal it deals with students having credentials. Brainstorming commenced and questions such as “In what format does this credentialing need to be?”, “Can distance learning be incorporated?” and lastly, “Can we create something that can be duplicated across the region?” Although there were other questions and thoughts, we now had a focus. We wanted to create a way for students to have better access to beneficial integrated education and training (IET) programs.

When creating IETs that could be used across our region, we wanted to make sure that they met the needs and/or wants of our clientele (students and employers). We wanted to make sure in picking IETs on which to focus resources that obtaining the credential would actually help them acquire jobs or opportunities available in our area. Making sure the industry certification programs chosen were portable, asynchronous, simple, and had distance options was the focus when developing the IETs. 

These certifications needed to have the credibility to be used across the United States. Having a nationally recognized certification that you can take with you wherever life may lead is important. Being able to build on these certifications is also beneficial for stackable credentialing. Once the initial certification is obtained, it will open opportunities to obtain other related certification that can help your employability. 

Simple formatting and being asynchronous in nature are qualities that are vital to our students’ success. A lot of our adults have families and responsibilities that are also competing for their attention. Having a simple, less stressful format is what will help the students be able to function in their lives and complete their goals at the same time. Not all of our students can meet for a class at the same time so being asynchronous is vital to the usefulness of these training sessions.

Lastly, the option of distance learning in today’s world is vital and non-negotiable. Having just been through (and continuing to go through) a pandemic, people are still very apprehensive about doing in-person activities.  Not only are people nervous, but they also have very busy lives. Being able to complete these training sessions when each individual has a “free moment”, is very appealing and functional for anyone. Having the ability to attend in person and then knowing you do not have to quit due to life happening gives people the ability and confidence to complete these programs. 

With all of these necessary qualities established for the programs, we started creating Integrated Education Training Programs for CDL Learners Permit, Customer Sales and Service, and ServSafe Food Handler. After these are 100 percent completed and implemented, we have a few other programs that we will be looking into to be able to create training programs for. OSHA 10, CNA, and Hospitality are on our docket due to the needs in our area.

To learn more about how Team Southside Solutions developed their project, check out their AE&L Conference ReMix Team Challenge Showcase presentation.

Padlet logoWe are including some of the comments received for each showcase team. View more of the showcase discussion in the 2020 AE&L Conference ReMix TeamShowcase Padlet.



“I was inspired by thinking about which certifications will meet regional demands.”

“I was inspired by putting all the materials for a certification course on a flash drive or shared Google drive.”

“I was excited when I heard the Governor had approved for 5 locations to welcome a casino.  My first thought was all about the employment opportunities for the chosen areas.  It is such a great time for Adult Education to partner with those certifications.  Seriously, I cannot wait to hear about outcomes and solidifying an ongoing partnership.”

Jacquiline ScolpiniJacqueline Scolpini is the Lead Instructor for Pittsylvania County Public Schools Adult and Career Education Center. She started her career as a high school special education teacher and continued in that field for 10 years. She then worked at a private school and started an academic learning center to help students receive differentiated instruction and attention. All of her experiences then led her to the rewarding world of adult education where she continues to grow and learn.

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