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According to a 2015 report by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting LLP, over 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled across the United States over the next decade. The study also shows that thousands of additional manufacturing workers will be needed in Virginia to fill available job openings in advanced manufacturing, including in the Virginia Tobacco Region. Three occupational categories that are expected to face particularly acute talent shortages in the next decade: machinists, welders, and industrial machinery mechanics (a.k.a. mechatronics), were identified.
In FY 2018, EDA awarded $3,150,000 in Public Works funds to the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) to support the construction of a new building expansion to house the CCAM Apprentice Academy. The building will include classroom space, administrative support space, a break room, restrooms, and a high bay training area.
The CCAM is in the process of building a state-of-the-art education facility in automation, mechatronics, and machining. Through CCAM, apprentices and trainees can develop industry ready skills that will help to address the workforce skills gap in Virginia’s manufacturing sector. CCAM research supports an array of sectors including aerospace, energy, transportation and national security. CCAM is a member-based non-profit with over 30 members, including Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Airbus, and Newport News Shipbuilding, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, and Old Dominion University.