CCAM Unveils Industry-Leading GO TEC® Training Lab to Foster Next-Gen STEM Talent

GO TEC open house 1

The newly unveiled GO TEC® Training Lab at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) aims to support the training and technical support objectives of the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC®) program. The facility is strategically positioned to provide specialized training in key focus areas: precision machining; welding; IT/cybersecurity; robotics, automation, and mechatronics; advanced materials; and biotech engineering.

GO TEC was launched in 2018 by the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, VA. There are now over forty GO TEC Career Connections labs operating in Virginia middle schools. The lab at CCAM is already training local middle school teachers from six Central Virginia school divisions, many of which represent underserved communities, including Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Surry. The expectation is that GO TEC will soon expand to support many more school divisions in Central VA.

During the Open House on January 25th, guests from across the community had the opportunity to tour the newly commissioned lab, experiencing firsthand the cutting-edge resources that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of STEM education.

John Milton-Benoit, President & CEO of CCAM, emphasized, “We applaud the unwavering vision of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and the years of hard work to bring an industry-driven training initiative to engage 6-8 grade students and help them find their full potential.”

Lorin Sodell, Director of Business Development and Advanced Manufacturing Education for CCAM, as well as Director of External and Industry Engagement for Virginia State University’s College of Engineering and Technology, highlighted the uniqueness of the lab. Sodell stated, “CCAM is pleased to house the GO TEC Training Lab in our state-of-the-art facility. It is critically important for students to get early exposure to the outstanding possibilities for STEM careers, and GO TEC provides that opportunity in an engaging and fun environment.”

The Lab is a collaborative effort, supported by Virginia State University and Brightpoint Community College. Keith Boswell, President and CEO for Virginia’s Gateway Region, noted, “It fits perfectly with our mission to transform the region’s economy through attracting, retaining and growing industry by providing a highly skilled workforce that is ready to meet the needs of regional employers.”

The impact of the GO TEC Training Lab extends beyond the confines of the facility, offering Teacher Training Academies for middle school educators at their locations. GO TEC staff from IALR provide training and support on the same equipment used in classrooms, ensuring a seamless integration of the curriculum. Virtual livestreaming and troubleshooting support are also available.
In the future, the Lab is poised to serve as a valuable resource for the community, industry, economic development, and educational partners. Updates and additional information can be found at

The GO TEC Training Lab, encompassing renovations, accommodations, and cutting-edge equipment, was made possible through generous support from GO Virginia, The Cameron Foundation, John Randolph Foundation, and CCAM.

This project was funded in part by GO Virginia, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia’s economy and fosters the creation of higher wage jobs in strategic industries.

For media inquiries, please contact: Alicia Durham, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

About CCAM
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is a non-profit, applied research center providing production-ready advanced manufacturing solutions to member companies across the globe. With a mission to propel innovation in manufacturing, CCAM serves as a collaborative hub for industry, academia, and government. Learn more at

About GO TEC® and IALR
Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) is a talent pathways program committed to providing industry-driven training initiatives to empower students with the skills needed for success in STEM-related fields. Learn more at

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation through applied research, advanced learning, manufacturing advancement, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax, and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Danville and Martinsville. Learn more at

About Virginia’s Gateway Region
Virginia’s Gateway Region is an economic development organization focused on attracting, retaining, and growing industry to create a highly skilled workforce for regional employers. Learn more at

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