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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
May 17,  2019
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SVTC May Luncheon & Annual Meeting (5/23)
Valley Governments Work to Include Drones in Public Safety, Marketing Tasks
Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) Grant Round will Open on Monday, June 24
Immerge to Build Custom Website for Nonprofit (application deadline 5/22)
Maker City Pop Up: Electronic Extravaganza (5/25)
Cats Cradle Seeking Board Member with IT & Website Experience
Welcome Back Level I Member: LightCastle Technical Consulting
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
SVTC May Luncheon & Annual Meeting (5/23)
On May 23, we will host  our Annual Meeting AND our May luncheon. Prior to the Annual Meeting, we will conduct our spring 2019 election for class 1 of directors and introduce the slate of candidates on  our election page.

All SVTC members will receive their electronic ballots via email, and anyone who has not participated in the electronic voting will have the opportunity to vote for the class I of candidates with a paper ballot at the Annual Meeting.

A panel of seven of our TechNite19 winners will be joining us at the luncheon:

"Exploring Rockingham's Past" is an ongoing public history collaboration between JMU's History department, JMU Libraries, and the Rockingham County Circuit Court Clerk's office designed to preserve and make select historical court records publicly available.

Workplaceless creates digital courses and learning programs that help professionals and teams learn the skills needed to thrive in a distributed work environment.

Dr. Melissa Stange, director of the Computer Science Program, facilitated a cross-curricular group of nineteen students who participated in the Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge. This LFCC team placed second in the challenge.

Blue Ridge Community College's Technology Camps
BRCC's technology camps serve as an initial introduction to a variety of STEM fields and are the beginning of a pathway of STEM studies from education to employment. To date, ninety-eight students have participated in these summer technology camps.

BarTrack's revolutionary commercial applications are designed for bar owners, managers, and bartenders to standardize draft beer quality by maximizing the bar's efficiency, realizing lost revenue, and improving quality of service.

Nick Swayne serves in several different yet related roles locally, regionally, and at the state level. He serves as Executive Director of 4-Virginia, Founder and Director of JMU X-Labs, and Executive Director of the Virginia-DC FIRST LEGO League (FLL).

Toni Sheets serves as the Executive Director of Technology in Harrisonburg City Public Schools. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of technical, data and information technology; supervision of twenty staff members; evaluating, deciding and purchasing all network equipment; and managing the technology department budget.

(BTW, ALL the Tech Nite nominees are highlighted in this pdf [ TN19 nominee summaries], which is just one of the ways we like to highlight technology and innovation in the #ShenandoahValley.) 

Thank you to our luncheon sponsors!


Valley Governments Work to Include Drones
in Public Safety, Marketing Tasks

Photo: The News Leader | Julia Fair

Areas within the Valley, especially the City of Staunton, are starting to explore the use of drones for various tasks. Kurt Plowman, SVTC board member and Staunton City's IT director, became the first Staunton City employee to receive a federal drone license. Plowman explains that drones can be particularly beneficial to the  police department and fire and rescue teams. Rather than sending a person into a dangerous situation, a drone pilot can " conduct preliminary sweeps, clear houses, check on chemical leaks and search for missing individuals."

Drones have also been turned to for marketing purposes, such as making videos, in Staunton and Waynesboro. Augusta County has started to consider the use of drones as well. 


 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI)
Grant Round will Open on Monday, June 24
2020 VATI Application Deadline

The Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) extends broadband service to currently unserved areas. VATI prepares communities to build, utilize, and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure with the goal of creating strong, competitive communities. Consistent with the enabling legislation, DHCD will award the $4 million appropriation to eligible applicants, subsidizing construction costs and providing last-mile services to these unserved areas of the state.

The FY2020 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant round will open on Monday, June 24, 2019. The deadline for completed applications will be Monday, Sept.3, 2019. 
DHCD has received $19 million for FY2020 to implement broadband infrastructure deployment in partnership with units of local government and private internet service providers across the Commonwealth. The funds shall be used to extend service to areas that presently are unserved by any broadband provider.

2020 VATI Draft Guideline Release
Please follow this  link for the FY2020 VATIdraft guidelines. Public comment on the VATI guidelines will be due by Monday, June 10. 
There will be two public input sessions to discuss the proposed FY2020 VATI guidelines and criteria. While stakeholders are welcome to attend either or both sessions, the first session will focus on gathering feedback and input from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), while the second input session will focus on gathering feedback and input from units of local government and citizens. Public comment may also be emailed to
VATI How-To-Apply Webinar

DHCD will be hosting a FY2020 VATI how-to-apply webinar for the FY2020 on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 10 a.m.


Immerge to Build Custom Website for Nonprofit
(application deadline 5/22)
Immerge, a division of McClung Companies, is announcing a new partnership program. The "Partners in Growth" program offers a local nonprofit organization a free marketing website. 

Immerge is offering a custom website built on the ExpressionEngine content management system (CMS). This partnership is a way for the selected nonprofit organization to market its mission and for Immerge to showcase their website design and development capabilities. 

To be eligible, you must be a 501(c)3 organization and be located in Augusta, Page, Rockingham, or Shenandoah counties. Immerge has begun accepting applications at Applications are due on May 22, 2019, and the selected nonprofit will be announced on June 3, 2019.

Submit application to by May 22, 2019

Maker City Pop Up: Electronic Extravaganza (5/25)


Pop-Ups are drop in activities that are free with membership or paid admission and there is no pre-registration required. Pop-Ups will be first come/first serve and children can stop by for part of the time or stay the whole time. There will be suggest ed activities based on the Pop-Up theme that week.

Lego We-Do, Makey Makey, Little Bits, and other electronic components will all be available for makers to explore. You'll also have a chance to make simple paper circuits to take home.

Cats Cradle Seeking  Board Member
with IT & Website Experience
Attention cat lovers! Cat's Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley, Inc is interested in  expanding their current nine member board of directors, a volunteer working board. Cat's Cradle is a 501c3 organization focused on feline spay/neuter, rescue/foster/adoption and pet retention and rehoming to reduce area shelter intake and euthanasia. They are based in Harrisonburg with a service area covering Harrisonburg/Rockingham, Staunton/Augusta/Waynesboro, and Page counties

Cat's Cradle is currently looking for a board member with IT and website experience who would like to use their experience and skills to help Cat's Cradle promote their lifesaving programs. 

Interested in joining the board? Please contact Jennifer at  or call 540-255-3377.

Welcome Back Level I Member!
LightCastle Technical Consulting
LightCastle Technical Consulting offers custom software development and system and infrastructure monitoring. Our development is focused on applications built using Ruby and JavaScript. We monitor our clients servers, network devices, and other critical elements using Zabbix.

  • Shentel, Edinburg or Waynesboro (two IT Internships)
  • Vision Technology Group, Harrisonburg (Tier III Network Engineer)
  • Chiedo Labs, Harrisonburg (two full-time Javascript Developer openings, Back-End Developer, React Developer, Web Development Intern)
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Developer, Senior Software Developer, etc) 
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • Ryzing Technologies, Staunton (Mechanical Engineer)
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