From Theory to Practice: Creating a Pipeline of Skilled Workers in Advance Manufacturing for Central Virginia


The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) hosted an Advanced Manufacturing Education Day event in partnership with John Tyler Community College (Tyler) on May 1,2019. Over 130 people from industry, academia, and government were present. The focus of the event was: “What is working in advanced manufacturing education.”

Will Powers and Edward “Ted” Raspiller

Workforce Advisor to Governor Ralph Northam, Dr. Megan Healy held the opening remarks stressing the importance of supporting a robust pipeline of skilled workforce in Virginia. Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. was in attendance.

TYLER / CCAM Advanced Manufacturing Education Day May 1, 2019 Event Video

CCAM’s president and ceo, Will Powers and Tyler’s president Dr. Edward “Ted” Raspiller announced CCAM’s partnership with Tyler to help increase current pathways for education success in Central Virginia with advanced manufacturing industry needs in mind.

Speaker topics included:

  • “Taking a Different Road: How education providers and companies are getting creative and traveling new paths t fill the skills gap” by Denise Ball, Workforce Development Specialist from Tooling U-SME
  • “Business-Education Government Partnerships” from Steven Dimmett, Associate Principal for Chesterfield Career and Technical Center
  • “Workforce Pipeline Solution with the Power to Transform” by Troy Simpson, Director of Advanced Manufacturing, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
  • “The Apprentice School: Education with a Purpose” with Paul Hoffman, Admissions Recruiters, The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding
  • “Driving Toward a New Model for Automotive Manufacturing Education” with Dr. Laine Mears, Professor & BMW SmartState Chair of Automotive Manufacturing, Clemson University Department of Automotive Engineering and Dr. Paris Stringfellow, Operations Director, Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Clemson University

Panelist from Manufacturing USA were on hand to discuss workforce initiatives including:

  • Josh Cramer, Director, Education and Workforce, America Makes: Additive Manufacturing Institute
  • Joannie Harmon, Workforce Manager, IACMI: Advanced Composites Institute
  • Rebecca Hartley, Director, Education and Workforce Development, ARM: Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute
May 1 Education Day Speakers
  • Lizabeth Stuck, Head of Engagement and Workforce Development, MxD: Digital Manufacturing Institute

Moderators: Mary Ann Pacelli, NIST MEP Program Manager, Workforce Development and Michael Britt-Crane, DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office, Education and Workforce

CCAM’s role in advanced manufacturing education is to help develop a vertical educational pathway from trainee to Pd.D. for students, transitioning military, and workers who are switching careers. The event speakers and panelist were chosen to spotlight bridge building from one educational onramp to the next: from high schools, to career and technical centers, community colleges, four-year degree programs, and advanced degrees. The event showcased how industry, academia and government can move from theory to practice on how best to teach advanced manufacturing education in Central Virginia.

Registration was closed in mid-April when the event hit capacity. Registered participants included:

May 1 Education Day attendees

Additive Mfg. Institute, Aerotek Skilled Trades, Allen Jones Consulting, LLC, Amsted Rail, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, ARM Institute, Buehler, Chesterfield County Public Schools, Chesterfield County Public Schools: Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, Cimquest, City of Emporia, Clemson University Department of Automotive Engineering, Colonial Heights Public Schools, Colonial Heights Public Schools, Commonwealth Aerospace LLC, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems, Commonwealth of Virginia, Community College Workforce Alliance, Crater Regional Workforce Development Board, DARS, Department of Labor and Industry, Digital Mfg. Institute, Dinwiddie County, Dinwiddie County Public Schools, DOD Mfg. Technology, DOLI, Electrical Equipment Company (EECO), Fahrenheit, G.D USA, GENEDGE, GF Machining Solutions, Goodwill of CCVA, Greensville County, Grow Capital Jobs Foundation, Harlow Fastech LLC, Henrico County Public Schools, Hopewell City Public Schools, Hopewell/Prince George Chamber, McGuire Veterans Hospital, IACMI: The Composites Institute, InSource Solutions, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Jewett Machine, John Tyler Community College, Liebherr USA, Longwood University, Machine Tool Technology, Mechdyne, Career and Technical Committee Prince George County Public Schools, NASA Langley Research Center, Next Steps Educational Academy, NIST, Ofc. Of Gov. Ralph Northam, Office of Senator Mark Warner, Office of Senator Tim Kaine, Old Dominion University, Pace Company, Patrick Henry Community College, Petersburg City Public Schools, Petersburg Kappa League, Philip Morris USA, Pilz Automation Safety, Prince George County Public Schools, Prince George County, VA, RayTech Machine Tools, Inc., Rockwell Automation, Rockwell Automation, Rolls-Royce, Senate of Virginia, Service Center Metals, Smithfield High School, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Southside Virginia Community College, Science Museum of Virginia, The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding, The Cameron Foundation, Tooling U-SME, University of Virginia, US Army, US DOL TransPORTs- BRM Advisors, USDA, VA McGuire Richmond, VCU College of Engineering, Virginia Career Works Crater Region, Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Department of Veterans Services, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, Virginia’s Gateway Region, Wauford Group, and WestRock.

Over the course of the last eighteen (18) months, CCAM has held a series of well attended Research Days at their South Prince George County research facility.  CCAM has held research days on additive manufacturing, automation and machining.  These events have been well attended with an average of 125+ attendees drawn from members, potential members, federal agencies and research-based universities.  The next event focused on education will be National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) on October 4, 2019. MFG Day is an opportunity for students, parents, educators, and supports to learn about stimulating and lucrative careers in manufacturing.

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