ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Leaders from Emory & Henry College and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center signed a partnership agreement in Abingdon Tuesday.

The agreement will bring new programs to the Abingdon education center campus. Those programs will focus on healthcare and business, according to a release from Emory & Henry.

The release states Emory & Henry will also have its own office at the center where college staff may work with future and current students.

“Both parties will work collaboratively in the use of resources to the greatest advantage in service to the highest education needs of the citizens of the region and encourage expansion of higher education in the region,” the release states.

Executives commemorated the official partnership to expand educational opportunities in the region at a ceremony. Among those present were Emory & Henry President Dr. John Wells and David Matlock, agency head of Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

“We recognize that partnerships are really the future and making certain that students have an easy pathway to credentials, and this helps to accomplish that,” Wells told News Channel 11 at the signing.