State officials talk key issues with local leaders

State officials talk key issues with local leaders

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Halifax County hosted Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball, Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) President and CEO Stephen Moret, members of their staff and others for a round table event held late last month.

The round table session, held at Southern Virginia Technology Park, included manufacturing and business representatives as well as Sen. Frank Ruff; Legislative Assistant to Del. James Edmunds Shelia Bradley; and representatives from GO Virginia, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), ChemQuest Technology Institute (CTI), Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and the Halifax IDA.

The discussion focused on the vision for rural economic development. Topics addressed included broadband technology, inclusive of MBC’s work in the region; CTI’s research for companies worldwide; the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center plans for the region; and relevant pending legislation.

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Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

A longstanding corporate citizen of Chatham, Eastern Panel Manufacturing Inc. is investing $1 million to expand its manufacturing operations. The custom plywood manufacturer recently moved from its former 30,000-square-foot site to a 55,000-square-foot facility in the Chatham Industrial Park.

Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County’s director of economic development, knew Eastern Panel was in growth mode. He contacted the company’s president, Keith Van Asch, as soon as he learned it was looking for a new facility.  

“I knew the company was testing the water to see how the market was building product-wise. They were looking at numerous options,” Rowe says. “I wanted to show him what kind of building product we had. He liked what we put together.”

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Panaceutics to create 70 new jobs in Pittsylvania County

Panaceutics to create 70 new jobs in Pittsylvania County

Governor Ralph Northam made a special announcement on the southside. A pharmaceutical company is creating dozens of new jobs in the area. "Panaceutics and Pittsylvania County that's got a good ring to it," said Governor Ralph Northam.

A $5.8 million investment, and 70 new jobs are coming to the Danville/Pittsylvania County area thanks to a company called Panaceutics. Panaceutics will operate its research and manufacturing facility in the Cane Creek Industrial Park.

"We make a product to personalize nutrition and medicine, where we take the active ingredients and then formulate it based on genetics, on your lab tests, on you age, sex, weight, factors like that," says Panaceutics co-founder Edison Hudson.

In short, these little pouches have vitamins and minerals, as well as any specific medications you may need, all in one.

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In visit, governor praises Dan River Region’s precision machining programs

In visit, governor praises Dan River Region’s precision machining programs

The Dan River Region’s precision machining programs not only brought Virginia’s top elected official to Danville on Tuesday, it attracted another state’s governor as well.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson toured the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and other facilities to provide an example to Hutchinson and his delegation of community investment in workforce training.

“After seeing it, I’m glad that I came,” Hutchinson told the Danville Register & Bee following a tour of the Institute and its Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining. “It’s an amazing investment in the community and its future.”

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Amthor International announces $7.1 million expansion in Gretna

Amthor International announces $7.1 million expansion in Gretna

Good news for Pittsylvania County: dozens of new jobs are coming to town.

Amthor International, which is a tanker truck manufacturer, has been in Gretna since 1992. Now, they will be expanding, adding 90 new jobs over the next five years, and much more.

"Amthor International, the largest tanker truck manufacturer in North America, is going to invest $7.1 million to expand its operations in Gretna, Virginia," announced Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Todd Haymore.

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GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, along with Danville government and education leaders and dozens of high school students, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for George Washington High School’s new precision machining program Thursday.

“This is the only facility like it in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said in a speech beforehand. “No other high school has anything like it.”

Along with Danville City Council and Danville School Board members, the machining program’s first class of nine students sat in the front row while McAuliffe introduced the program. Before the speeches, the students showed off the practice area and classrooms in the new facility, which included dozens of shiny aluminum machines the size of office desks, a computer lab with dozens of computers and a classroom.

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Intertape Polymer Group Bringing 15 New Jobs to Pittsylvania County

Project Will Also Include $7 Million Investment

Governor McAuliffe announced today that Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) will expand their manufacturing operation in Pittsylvania County. The expansion will include the installation of three production lines at their facility in Pittsylvania County. The expansion will create 15 new jobs and bring $7 million in capital investment.

Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore said, “It is gratifying that Intertape Polymer Group chose to expand its Pittsylvania County operation out of more than a dozen locations around the globe. The Commonwealth’s diverse advanced manufacturing sector employs more than 240,000 Virginians, and our workforce remains one of our greatest assets to help win competitive projects. We look forward to a continued partnership with IPG and to the company’s next chapter of success in Southern Virginia.”

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 35 New Jobs in Danville-Pittsylvania County

Governor McAuliffe Announces 35 New Jobs in Danville-Pittsylvania County

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that Unison Ltd, a leading global tube bending machine specialist, will invest $5.2 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park, jointly owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and the United Kingdom for the project, which will create 35 new jobs. Governor McAuliffe successfully recruited this project for the Commonwealth during his June 2017 trade and marketing mission to Europe where he met with company officials at the Paris Air Show.

“We are thrilled to add Unison to Virginia’s international corporate roster, and know the company will be a strong addition to the growing manufacturing community in Danville-Pittsylvania County,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the event. “I met with Unison officials on this important project in June, and am proud the Commonwealth was selected as the company’s entry point into the U.S. market. Strengthening the advanced manufacturing sector is a key component of diversifying and building the new Virginia economy, and we look forward to helping Unison succeed.”

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Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Southeast Manufacturing News featured an article on Virginia's workforce development program in the August 2017 issue.

View the virtual edition.

 
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Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Virginia’s Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant shares its strategies for attracting, hiring and supporting its workers, while Danville Community College excels with its integrated machining education model.

Photo: This worktable demonstrates some of the more interesting parts students are tasked with machining in the Gene Haas Center. Rather than take contracts from customers, the program focuses on giving students work that ensures that they leave with core competencies in milling, grinding, EDM, tool presetting and metrology.

A recurring topic of discussion during my recent trip touring Virginian manufacturing facilities was labor: finding it, hiring it, training it. For some manufacturers, the local reality is that there are not enough already-skilled people looking for work. Hiring under these circumstances entails offering access to technical education of some kind, or a lot of on-the-job training. On the other hand, some other manufacturers have been able to partner with local higher-education institutions in order to establish “pipelines” of people with the skills necessary to begin work with less additional training.

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