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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
October 26,  2018
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Rockingham-Harrisonburg Works (Application Deadline for Businesses 11/1)
TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)
FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament (11/3) -- Volunteers Needed | Start-Up Grants Available
Deep Neural Networks: How They Work and When They Don't (11/15)
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit (12/7)
Cybersecurity Basics for Managers (1/7-1/17)
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Please join | Rockingham-Harrisonburg Works
(Application Deadline for Businesses 11/1)


Students often do not have connections with potential employers or understand the career opportunities that are available to them in our area. In response, Rockingham County Public Schools and Harrisonburg City Public Schools will host Rockingham-Harrisonburg Works, a working luncheon to connect high school juniors and seniors with area employers

This will allow students to investigate careers they perhaps have never even considered and allow them to make informed decisions about their career pathway. The luncheon will be Monday, December 17, 2018, 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the James Madison University's Festival Ballroom. We ask that you consider having your company participate in  Rockingham-Harrisonburg Works and hope you will send a representative to talk with students individually about the possibilities available to them.
During the meeting, tables will be set for each business/industry representative to eat lunch with students and talk about careers. Students will sign up before the event to meet with up to three employers. The idea is to have students actually meet employers to gain a better understanding of opportunities. There is no cost for your company to participate-only a time commitment of a few hours.
Rockingham County Public Schools and Harrisonburg City Schools is partnering with Cued-In, a local company, to provide an electronic platform where students can access current listings for possible mentorships, internships, apprenticeships, and cooperative education opportunities. Their application will help bridge the gap between education and business.  Rockingham County Public Schools and Harrisonburg City Schools are committed to preparing students with critical/creative thinking, collaboration, and communication skills-skills highly desirable in today's workforce. In addition their schools are seeking to expand and strengthen the partnership with the business community to reinforce these skills and better prepare students for the workforce.  If you wish to open a CUED-In business account, visit postings will be approved by CTE staff before they become "live" to students.
If you would like to send a representative to talk with students, please use the application link below. There is a limited number of seats for employers, so please respond by November 1 if you would like to participate by completing the following form:

TECHSTERS | For Middle School Girls (11/3)

November 3, 2018 | 8:00 am - 1:00 pm 
JMU Lakeview Hall, Harrisonburg

On Sat. morning, Nov. 3, many technology and innovation business councils in Virginia are working together to host a statewide  "Capture the Flag" event that will introduce girls to the  cybersecurity industry in a fun and interactive game style. This program hopes to inspire a future generation to discover technology, get excited about STEM, and build code for real-world applications.

The Shen. Valley portion of this state-wide online competition takes place in Harrisonburg. It's free, requires creativity, is FUN, includes mentors  - but  no technical knowledge is required.

Pre-registration is needed so we can plan the equipment.

Our volunteer mentors will mostly be female (e.g. the JMU student group Women in Technology); and best of all - the members of the winning (highest placing in the Valley) team will win an iPad.   

Equipment and FYIs:
  • Participants can bring their own Internet-ready, wifi-enabled laptops and will log into the wifi network
  • Team size: up to three girls. Teams will form after arrival.
  • We will supply 12 computers for up to 36 girls. Please indicate on the registration form whether you will bring your own laptop or will borrow one.
  • After registration, we will email JMU parking instructions

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor
Massanutten Technical Center 

and Event Sponsors
Staunton Innovation Hub
November 3, 2018 | JMU ISAT-CS Building
Volunteers are currently needed!

This event is free and open to the public! Come see what it's all about. Prepare for excitement, robotics, and LEGOS! Better yet -- volunteer. Just a few hours of your time can have a huge impact! To sign up as a volunteer, please complete the following form: Harrisonburg Regional FLL Tournament Volunteers

2018 Challenge: Into Orbit
Join FLL's mission into the 30 th season of FIRST ®! Prepare for blast off, break out of your earthly constraints and go INTO ORBIT SM. The 2018/2019 FIRST ® LEGO ® League season will transport your team into space, where you'll explore, challenge, and innovate in the vast expanse of space.

FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO ® MINDSTORMS ® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism ®

For more information, visit

Team Start-Up Grants Available
Each year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council sponsors three new FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams from the Shenandoah Valley. Approximately half of the start-up cost of a new team is reimbursed, up to $350.

Teams must be located in the footprint of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's area of operation and intend to participate in the FLL competition within one year of receiving the grant. This grant can be used towards any equipment required for competition in FIRST LEGO League, including one or more LEGO robotics kits, a competition practice table, and an FLL field setup kit.

If you are interested in applying for the FLL Start-Up Grant, please complete the following form, and follow the steps as indicated on the form:  FLL Reimbursement Grant Application (pdf)

November 15, 2018 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Over the last ten years, deep neural networks have been at the center of a machine learning boom that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the tech industry, governments and academic institutions.  Dr. Sprague will briefly explain how deep neural networks work, why they've had such a big impact, and why they *won't* solve all of our problems.

About the Speaker
Nathan Sprague , Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at James Madison University and the Coordinator of the JMU Robotics Minor.  He teaches courses in AI, Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles.  His research interests are in the areas of machine learning and computer vision.


December 7, 2018 |  3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | JMU Lakeview Hall

Join us at the JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit, all eight courses who will display and present their final projects to administrators, industry client partners, family and friends. You are invited to join us to connect with extraordinary students, watch presentations and explore an open symposium of demonstrations and displays of student solutions.

The 8 Courses:
  1. Augmented/Virtual Reality
  2. Autonomous Vehicles
  3. Blockchain
  4. Community Innovations
  5. Creativity and Innovation
  6. Hacking for Diplomacy
  7. Internet of Things
  8. Medical Innovations
January 7 - 17, 2019
(see timeline below for times and locations)

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

Course Format
Monday, Jan. 7th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Harrisonburg
Thursday, Jan. 10th: Online 9:00 - 11:00 am
Monday, Jan. 14th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Roanoke
Thursday, Jan. 17th: Online 9:00 am - 11:00 am

About the Instructor:
David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Web Developer)
  • Ryzing Technologies, Staunton (Mechanical Engineer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Engineer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 
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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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