New PDCCC warehouse facility provides vital skills

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

by Wendy Harrison

Instruction is underway at the new Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training facility located in the back of The Tidewater News building at 1000 Armory Drive.

“We are currently running two programs out of the facility,” said Workforce Development Director Angela Lawhorne. Forklift, Reach Truck and Clamp Truck Operator sessions have been conducted there, as well as our new Warehouse and Distribution Foundations course.

“The new course is in high demand now as employers are requesting applicants with knowledge of material moving equipment operation, safety, and soft skills,” said Lawhorne. “Our program has it all.”

The course includes OSHA 10 safety certification, 15 hours of forklift and other material moving equipment training, the Career Readiness Certificate, and an 8-hour employability and soft skills segment.

“The PDCCC Division of Workforce Development has been working closely with all three area Economic Development partners, as well as employers, including International Paper, Ace Hardware, Target Distribution Center, Quality Custom Distribution, Emser Tile, and Cost Plus World Market, along with support from The Port of Virginia, to make the Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility a reality,” said Lawhorne.

According to Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Renee Felts, additional funding is being sought.

“We would like to make even more improvements to the facility in order to designate it a tour stop for site consultants when businesses are considering our area for startup, relocation or expansion,” she said. “This will make our area more marketable to employers.”

The concept of using the space that was no longer needed by the newspaper was the brainchild of PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin and Tidewater Publications LLC Publisher Tony Clark.

“This is in alignment with our efforts to continue to offer relevant programs,” said Lufkin. “We are very excited to be able to meet the needs of area employers and put our graduates in a better position to earn jobs with sustainable wages.”

Lawhorne added that the new course is “the perfect complement” to the Suffolk based Class A CDL Truck Driver training and the online Logistics Management program.

“With the continuing growth of manufacturing, and warehouse and distribution in our region, we need to prepare the people in our community to meet the needs of those employers,” she said.

Several students have obtained jobs within one week of completing this training. For more information, log onto or call 569-6050.

WENDY HARRISON is public relations specialist for PDCCC. Contact her at