From the Danville Register and Bee
RINGGOLD — Delivery-van maker Morgan Olson has received a $500,000 grant from the Port of Virginia.
State officials announced the grant Friday morning at the company’s plant at Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park.
The money is from a Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant for the more than 500 full-time jobs created at the company’s facility so far and Morgan Olson’s use of the port.
The port’s grant money will go toward retaining jobs at the company’s plant, said Thomas Cross, director of state and local government affairs with the Virginia Port Authority.
“We’re grateful Morgan Olson’s a port user and for the hundreds of jobs they’ve brought to the commonwealth,” Cross told plant manager Steven Parker during the event.
The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program provides money to qualified companies to incentivize companies to locate new maritime-related employment centers or expand existing centers in localities to encourage and facilitate the growth of The Port of Virginia, according to the port’s website.
$28 million center invests in manufacturing technology, industry partnerships to support Virginia’s competitive assets
Danville, VA (October 5, 2022) – The Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA), a statefunded project located on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), is open and ready to attract new businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“As we strive to make Virginia the best place for veterans to live, work and raise a family, I am thrilled to announce the groundbreaking of our new IALR Center for Manufacturing Advancement in Danville,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This partnership will diversify, transform and grow Southern Virginia’s production capability for the Submarine Industrial Base as well, marking another major win for Virginia’s defense economy and labor market.”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin joined IALR and industry partners for a ribbon cutting to recognize the CMA as Virginia’s newest pro-business platform for developing manufacturing technologies that support business expansion in the region and skilled workforce development.
DANVILLE, Va. (October 5, 2022) – The U.S. Navy is launching its Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) within the State of Virginia’s Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA) on the Danville Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) campus. The creation of the AM CoE marks the first project partnership for the CMA. It demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to investing in and delivering the skilled workforce necessary to strengthen and expand the Navy’s industrial base to achieve the Nation’s strategic defense objectives.
A first for the Navy, the AM CoE will provide a platform for training a skilled additive manufacturing workforce through partnership with the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program, a rigorous, focused 24/5 training schedule that graduates student cohorts every four months in multiple disciplines critical to the defense industrial base (DIB). Industrial manufacturing partners include major shipbuilders like General Dynamics Electric Boat, Huntington-Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, Austal USA as well as key industry experts like Phillips Corporation, Industrial Inspection and Analysis, FasTech, Mitutoyo, and Master Gage & Tool, to bring multiple processes utilized by the DIB under one roof to improve efficiencies and reduce barriers to entry for manufacturers hoping to enter additive manufacturing.
RICHMOND, VA — Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that IperionX Limited (“IperionX”) (NASDAQ: IPX), a U.S. critical minerals company, plans to make a capital investment totaling $82.1 million to establish Virginia’s first titanium demonstration facility in Halifax County. The company’s project will develop over two phases, with phase one consisting of a $12.5 million investment in building construction and production-related machinery and tools, and a further $69.6 million investment anticipated under a Phase 2 expansion within three years of the initial development.
The company will initially occupy the 50,000-square-foot Halifax Shell Building in the Southern Virginia Technology Park and plans to expand the facility to 100,000 square feet in the coming years. IperionX intends to source 100% renewable energy to produce 100% recycled titanium to supply advanced industries including automotive, defense, aerospace, electric vehicles, and 3D printing. IperionX plans to develop the titanium demonstration facility as a showcase for the intersection of titanium powder production with additive manufacturing and other powder metallurgy applications. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia for the project, which will create 108 new jobs over the three-year Phase 1 and Phase 2 development period.
“We are thrilled to welcome IperionX to the Commonwealth. The new Halifax County operation will represent the first titanium metal powder facility in the U.S. using 100% recycled titanium scrap as feedstock, putting Virginia on the map for providing a critical material that is essential for our advanced industries,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We look forward to supporting this forward-thinking company that will develop a new supply chain of titanium right here in the Commonwealth while creating high-quality jobs.”
“IperionX selecting Virginia for this multi-phase investment beginning with its inaugural titanium demonstration facility is a huge win for the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “We are proud to welcome this visionary and innovative company to Virginia’s corporate roster.”
From Cardinal News | Written by Dwayne Yancey
In December 1999, Danville and Pittsylvania County were in what felt like a death spiral. The community’s longtime economic mainstays – textiles and tobacco – were shrinking. The worst still lay ahead and, while no one knew that at the time, some sure sensed it. Meanwhile, in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech had just named a new president – Charles Steger – who would take office the following month.
One of the most influential business people in Pittsylvania, Ben Davenport, traveled to Blacksburg to meet with the president-elect. (Disclosure: Davenport is one of our donors but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.) “My hope was to engage Virginia Tech in a new kind of outreach,” Davenport said at the memorial service for Steger in 2018. “Well, Charles quickly saw the infrastructure we could create. And through helping us he began the creation of a new model for the role of a land-grant university. His backing attracted support from the General Assembly and I’m happy to say the rest is history.”
That “new kind of outreach” that Davenport referred to was the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research that was founded in 2002. Here’s what I wrote for The Roanoke Times when Steger passed away: “At the time the idea of a high-tech research center in Danville seemed far-fetched. Today, though, Danville is a city on the rebound – and staking a claim in the new economy in a way that couldn’t have been imagined back then.” Eight foreign flags fly over downtown Danville to signify all the countries whose companies have invested in manufacturing operations in the city. I used the occasion to pose the theory that perhaps college presidents are more important than governors, because here was an example of Steger’s legacy that was panning out nearly two decades later.
From Cardinal News | Written by Grace Mamon
The ribbon cutting for Pittsylvania’s AeroFarms facility will be this afternoon, signifying the end of the construction phase for the New Jersey-based indoor vertical farming company. AeroFarms says this operation will be the largest of its kind in the world.
The 140,000-square-foot facility is a $42 million investment, located in Cane Creek Centre, a joint industrial park owned by Danville and Pittsylvania County.
AeroFarms has already started growing and selling out of its Pittsylvania location, and the ribbon cutting is an official grand opening for the site.
But what exactly is indoor vertical farming? And how does it fit into the agriculture industry?
Indoor vertical farming is a subset of something called controlled environment agriculture. CEA is a technology-based approach to farming, where factors like temperature, humidity, airflow, light intensity and duration, and water supply can be controlled to try to produce optimal conditions for growth.
Familiar examples of controlled environment agriculture include greenhouses and hydroponics.
From Cardinal News | Written by Grace Mamon
Cardinal News brought Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, to Danville to speak about the future of advanced manufacturing.
Workforce investment is key in bolstering the advanced manufacturing industry, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers said Monday in Danville.
Areas that want to invigorate their manufacturing, like Danville and the surrounding Pittsylvania County, need to grow the talent pool and invest in people. That’s how you attract leading manufacturers, Jay Timmons said.
GRETNA – Pittsylvania County officials and community leaders joined representatives from Tradesman Trucking to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new 22,500-squarefoot facility in the Gretna Industrial Park. A growing trucking and transit company that provides freight and other services, Tradesman Trucking is investing $4.5 million and creating 30 new jobs with this project.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Tradesman Trucking is investing to make Gretna their company headquarters, creating many great jobs in the process,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Vic Ingram. “The company’s leadership are legitimately excited to join the community, improve the area, and make the Town of Gretna and the entire County a better place. The Gretna Industrial Park will make a great home for this growing company, and I am excited for the continued positive economic momentum we are seeing across Pittsylvania County.”
This project is the first phase of a two-part, $6.5 million plan. Due to anticipated demand for warehouse space and the offered processing services, Tradesman Trucking is already discussing additional land purchase options to develop another 25,000 square-foot facility on adjoining property.
“Our primary goal in this relocation to Gretna is to enter as a member, serve as a neighbor, and co-labor to build and grow this community that we have already become so fond of,” said James Garner, Managing Partner of Tradesman Trucking. “When you choose a location for business, you are also choosing a community, and as such we believe that the community we are located in should both be supported by us and support us. We feel that the people of Gretna will make excellent neighbors as they are like-minded, hard-working folks.”