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.