Packaging is a strong cluster in the Roanoke Region with 1,900 people working for 60 packaging firms. Printing and packing companies in the region include a workforce that does everything from design and printing of packaging to packagaing materials on metal, plastic, or corrugated cardboard to to business forms to packaging for food and beverage products to printing.

Roanoke Region Strategic Advantages

  • In 2016, 12 percent of the Roanoke Region’s private sector workforce was employed in manufacturing, topping both Virginia (7.1 percent) and the U.S. (9.9 percent).
  • Area employers draw from a labor force of more than 300,000.
  • Products include high-end consumer packaging, coffee-table books, and plastic bags.
  • Abundant utilities — fiber, water, gas, and electricity — with electric rates below the national average.
  • Affordable, high-quality assistance available through GENEDGE Alliance‘s network of field offices.

Higher Education Connection

Companies have access to research and resources available through higher education centers.

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, manufacturing logistics, production and information systems, rapid prototyping and tooling, and low-cost composite manufacturing.

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

  • Education partner of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI)
  • Focus is on mechatronics — integration of mechanical, electronic, and software engineering — to control advanced automation and hybrid systems.
  • Amatrol Inc. equipment and instructional modules.