Advanced manufacturing is a viable and well-paying job option for young people in the region, according to one workforce partnership.
The Dan River Region Collaborative is working to implement a regional initiative to show young people that products are still being made in Southern Virginia and to educate them about the skills needed to enter today’s manufacturing workforce, said collaborative project director Julie Brown. Nineteen percent of the region’s workers are still in manufacturing.
“I think it’s going to take a collective effort to make sure we’re doing our best to expose young people to career and job opportunities that are here in Southern Virginia,” Brown said.
The local effort will collaborate with the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s “Dream It. Do It. Virginia” campaign, which is also part of a national initiative. The state association will help the local workforce partnership create videos and marketing material about regional industry and end-products to show in schools. Starting next year, the Dan River Region Collaborative would also like to partner with regional manufacturers for on-site summer camps.
The campaign would also inform teenagers how to get the proper training, certifications, internships or higher education to enter various manufacturing careers. Most jobs don’t need a traditional four-year degree.
Manufacturers across the country are concerned where their entry-level workers will come from as advanced processes and new technology mean workers need more math and computer skills and hands-on training.
“The goal is to strengthen the manufacturing pipeline,” Brown said.
Getting the next generation engaged in manufacturing is essential for companies looking to grow in Southside, like Drake Extrusion in Martinsville and Amthor International in Gretna.
For the complete news article from GoDanRiver.com, please click here. (Article will open in a new browser window.) For more information on Dream It. Do It. Virginia, please visit www.dreamitdoitvirginia.com. (*Note web address correction from that which is printed in the GoDanRiver.com article.)