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Southwestern Virginia Training Center fights to stay open

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HILLSVILLE (WSLS 10) - The fight is on to save a local facility that helps people with developmental challenges.

The Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville is scheduled for shut down in 2018.

By 2020, four out of five training centers across Virginia will be closed.

These buildings house residents with severe intellectual difficulties.

Governor Bob McDonnell signed the order to close the centers. Now, families are collecting support from the Hillsville center's 17-county region to ask Governor Terry McAuliffe to reverse this decision.

Executive Director Charlotte Barkley said, "We have collected resolutions from most of the counties, the cities, churches, towns, civic groups. We have almost a thousand letters to the governor, and we plan to make a presentation to the governor."

Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel released a statement saying, "We intend to focus attention and resources to southwest Virginia to ensure the community services are in place to care for the residents of SWVTC before the facility's scheduled closure two years from now."