Virginia received a $5 million Department of Defense grant to train workers for Virginia’s defense manufacturing industries in Danville and Hampton Roads. The grant will go to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, which includes IALR and Old Dominion University’s Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem.
“Virginia is a recognized leader in defense manufacturing. This groundbreaking partnership will help diversify and modernize the nation’s best maritime workforce to build and sustain the world’s best Navy, while providing young people a pathway toward fulfilling jobs in a high-tech, well-paid industry,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Using the funds, the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community will create a K-12 to university training pipeline, helping students in the Danville and Norfolk areas gain the skills needed for defense manufacturing industries. The training pipeline will increase manufacturing capacity, capability, resiliency, and diversity in the maritime defense industrial base.
“We are eager to extend our advanced manufacturing training and engineering programs to advance Virginia’s maritime workforce to industry 4.0 standards and beyond,” said IALR Executive Director Mark Gignac. “We aim to deliver the strongest, most diverse and most adaptable manufacturing workforce.”
As a part of the project, the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) program, administered by IALR, will be expanded to the Hampton Roads region. The grant will be invested over federal fiscal years 2022-2023. The funding is from the (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program.