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Virginia's Advanced Manufacturing Facility Will Support New Companies

Jan. 29, 2019
The facility will be used to rapidly launch companies that want to locate to the region as well as help existing companies optimize their processes.

If a region is attracting new manufacturing companies, what's the fastest way to help them launch their business?

Well Danville, Va. has an answer to that.  The city announced on January 28 that it is building a 51,250 square-foot Center for Manufacturing Advancement.

The $25.5 million facility will be located adjacent to Kyocera and across the street from the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR).

The center is being paid for by the state and the Danville Regional Foundation and is expected to open in 2021.

The facility is necessary to support the increase of manufacturing companies coming to the city. The institute's executive director, Mark Gignac, said the center is the next step in the continued development of the area's advanced manufacturing industry.

"Part of the space is used to rapidly launch companies that want to locate to our region," said Mark Gignac, director of the Institute told Colter Anstaett of  He pointed out that four companies from the U.K. have located in the city over the last couple of years.

"We also wanted space for both existing and new companies to optimize their processes, Gignac said. “If somebody wants to optimize their assembly line without shutting down their facility, we will have a dedicated space. We will also be able to introduce new technologies, additive manufacturing and evolving technologies," Gignac explained.

Providing talent to these new companies is also something the city is able to provide. “The skill sets and demand for advanced manufacturing labor are continuously growing alongside the endless evolution of technology,” said Gignac,

“IALR has proudly championed the growth of this sector as one path toward regional economic transformation with the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining Technology; temporary, rapid-launch space for companies to use as they build, upgrade or occupy a permanent new facility; and economic development support to help attract new manufacturers to the area to benefit from the workforce pipeline and other regional assets of Southern Virginia.This new Center for Manufacturing Advancement will allow us to continue these activities on a larger scale and to promote business success in a collaborative, innovative setting.” 

The CMA will offer the following amenities for manufacturer tenants:

--- an ISO-certified inspection lab that will provide integrated inspection capabilities required to validate product quality. This service will reduce the start-up phase for a new company by 8 to 10 months, the time required to certify an inspection lab;

-- process improvement labs that will enable new and existing businesses to improve their processes in a more expeditious manner, thereby ensuring global competitiveness; 

--a platform for collaborative innovation that allows manufacturing companies, technology companies and engineering students to work together to discover, integrate and showcase emerging technology; and

-- concierge service that provides the wrap-around support needed by companies new to the U.S. during their critical start-up phase.

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