RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) is pleased to announce its newest Dream It. Do It. Virginia (DIDIVA) partner, the Dan River Region Collaborative (DRRC) led by Dr. Julie Brown. Dream It. Do It. Virginia – Southern Virginia is a regionally-focused effort that is a part of the statewide Dream It. Do It. Virginia initiative. DIDIVA outreach includes career image marketing as well as a free online career resource built by industry to inform people about the benefits of and ways to pursue careers in advanced technology fields, like manufacturing. A regional portal will be built as a part of the main www.dreamitdoitvirginia.com website that will contain information about career opportunities in advanced technology fields and how both students and those in the current workforce can transition into these fields with the necessary skills specific to Southern Virginia. Anticipated launch date of the Southern Virginia portal is August 2012.
“The Dan River Region Collaborative and its SOVA Advanced Manufacturing Partnership are proud to partner with the Virginia Manufacturers Association as regional affiliates for the Dream It. Do It. Virginia Initiative” states Julie Brown, DRRC’s Project Director. “The planned pipeline development activities and access to resources will be critical as we look to replace workers in the manufacturing sector. Our task is to help young people understand that the manufacturing environment has changed and, along with it, the skills that are required for successful employment in this sector, which makes up approximately 19% of the region’s workforce.”
Twenty three percent of current workers in manufacturing careers are eligible to retire today, according to a statewide 2007 Skilled Trade Gap Analysis Study. To help industry prepare for these career vacancies, the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) partnered with The Manufacturing Institute, the educational foundation associated with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), to bring the national Dream It. Do It. initiative to Virginia. The goal of the national, state and regional Dream It. Do It. efforts is to help shape and strengthen the next generation of skilled talent for advanced technology industries, like manufacturing.
“As a central narrative for industry, educators, workforce professionals and community partners, Dream It. Do It. Virginia expands opportunities to move Virginia’s development of a world-class skilled workforce forward through regional collaborations like this,” explains Alice Scott, State Director of DIDIVA. “Dream It. Do It. Virginia – Southern Virginia will provide those planning careers with a virtual tool to explore jobs, wages and training regionally in a way they never have before. We are thrilled to work together with the Dan River Region Collaborative to make this possible.”