The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) and collaborative partner the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC) today announced that a regional Center of Excellence (CoE) has been added to the Workforce Training Network plan, following TICRC approval.
Bruce Sobczak, CCAM Director, Workforce Development, said, “The newest location to be added to the Workforce Training Network plan is in Southwest Virginia’s agricultural and tobacco region. The center will be developed to offer a new level of advanced manufacturing training to make Virginia attractive to global manufacturers looking to expand and relocate.”
Tim Pfohl, Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission Interim Executive Director, said, “The designation and funding approvals to establish three Centers of Excellence to serve residents and employers across the tobacco region is the culmination of significant efforts by the Tobacco Commission, CCAM, the CoE project teams, and our many partners to envision these centers and the programs they will offer. Now we’re ready to tackle the more important challenge of making the centers successful in delivery of programs that will make Virginia a global leader in advanced manufacturing workforce training.”
To date, three Centers of Excellence have been approved for development and will operate as affiliates to the planned Advanced Manufacturing Academy.
Plans call for the Academy to serve as the hub in a network of training centers across southern Virginia, where complete training programs will be offered in skill areas including machining, welding and industrial machinery mechanics. The centers will deliver hands-on training to students in essential manufacturing skill areas and will develop distance learning programs. Each center will train and certify 70 to 80 students a year with industry recognized certifications from organizations including the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, American Welding Society and Siemens.
Under the approved plan the centers are to be located at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, the New College Institute in Martinsville, and the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing in Abingdon. While the centers will be based in these three communities, they will serve a much larger geographic area through multiple satellite training locations in each service area.
Plans also call for two additional training centers to be established in other parts of the state.
The Academy has received development funding commitments from the TICRC and Commonwealth of Virginia. CCAM is applying for matching U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding.
CCAM bridges the gap between research and commercialization, accelerating new manufacturing technology developments to market. CCAM’s 21 industry and government members include Canon Virginia Inc., Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, Oerlikon Metco, Airbus, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blaser Swisslube, Hermle Machine Co., Mitutoyo, Paradigm Precision, Buehler, Cool Clean Technologies, GF AgieCharmilles, Mechdyne, National Instruments, EOS, SIS and the NASA Langley Research Center.
Academic partners are the University of Virginia, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University.