With more than 15,038 people employed at 270 firms, advanced manufacturing companies are a strong cluster in the Roanoke Region. More than 12 percent of the Roanoke Region’s private sector workforce is employed in manufacturing, compared to 10 percent nationally.

  • Area employers draw from a labor force of more than 300,000.
  • Low unionization. Less than 3 percent of the workforce in the Roanoke MSA is unionized.
  • Products include night-vision goggles, optical cable, industrial controls, transmission parts, packaging, and food products.
  • Foreign investment from Japan, Germany, and Canada.
  • Abundant utilities including fiber, water, and electricity.
  • Electric rates below the national average; redundant service available.
  • Affordable, high-quality assistance available through GENEDGE Alliance’s network of field offices.

Higher Education Connection

Virginia Tech Center for High Performance Manufacturing

  • Developed to help manufacturers cut costs, improve operations and keep up with customer demand.
  • Areas of specialization include: flexible automation; logistics; production and information systems; rapid prototyping and tooling, and low-cost composite manufacturing.

Advanced Technology in Mechatronics at Virginia Western Community College

  • Providing hands-on experience with industrial control technology key to manufacturing automation.
  • Only school in Virginia to provide a Siemens Certified Mechatronics System Assistant certification.

Advanced Manufacturing & Packaging Technology Program at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

  • Provides training through course work and labs.
  • Based on Integrated Systems Technology.

Customized training at Virginia’s community colleges

  • Mechatronics program incorporates training in mechanical and electrical systems and information technology into a single curriculum.