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$25.5M center for manufacturing advancement coming to Danville

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has broken ground to build a...
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has broken ground to build a 51,250-square-foot, $25.5 million Center for Manufacturing Advancement on the IALR campus.(IALR)
Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 1:48 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has broken ground on a new Center for Manufacturing Advancement in Danville.

The 51,250-square-foot CMA will offer a platform for business success targeted at manufacturing companies establishing or expanding their presence in Southern Virginia. It’s a $25.5 million project being funded by the Commonwealth and the Danville Regional Foundation.

“Southern Virginia is a top location for advanced manufacturers from across the globe, and the Center for Manufacturing Advancement will undoubtedly help attract more of them to the region,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This state-of-the-art facility will play an important role in driving economic development and innovation in Virginia, while also helping the existing Danville-Pittsylvania business community grow and thrive.”

“Southern Virginia has a rich legacy workforce development program in place to support the hiring needs of top advanced manufacturers across the region and state,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. “The new Center for Manufacturing Advancement is a natural next step in positioning our area as a leader in this sector, and as an expert resource for those companies wishing to establish a location here locally.”

The CMA will be built on the IALR campus, next to the recently-completed Kyocera SGS Tech Hub. It’s expected to open in 2020 and will have two floors with offices, meeting rooms, areas to house support services and the following amenities for tenants:

  • Rapid-launch facilities that will enable new businesses to begin limited operations off site during what is traditionally the initial down time as new businesses wait for their factory to be constructed and equipped to support full operations;
  • An ISO-certified inspection lab that will provide integrated inspection capabilities required to validate product quality. This service will reduce the start-up phase for a new company by 4 to 6 months, the time required to certify an inspection lab;
  • Process improvement labs that will enable new and existing businesses to improve their processes in a more expeditious manner, thereby ensuring global competitiveness;
  • An industry 4.0 integration and training lab that will support next-generation manufacturing requirements
  • A platform for collaborative innovation that allows manufacturing companies, technology companies and engineering students to work together to discover, integrate and showcase emerging technology; and
  • Concierge service that provides the wrap-around support needed by companies new to the U.S. during their critical start-up phase.

Other partners in the project include architect Dewberry, Blair Construction, Master Engineers & Designers, Dunlap & Partners Engineers and landscape architect Site Collaborative.

“The vision for this center is bold, and it will have an enormous impact on our region’s future by providing the resources and environment for innovators and manufacturers to come together and create new products,” said City of Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones. “I look forward to seeing what products and innovations come out of this center in the years to come and the new opportunities that will be available for our citizens.”

“The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors has targeted advanced manufacturing as a crucial component of all our economic development efforts,” said Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “We know that this new facility will improve manufacturing processes and capabilities in our region and create an easier startup process for companies locating here, strengthening Pittsylvania County’s status as a great place to do business.”

The new CMA is expected to serve as an important economic development tool and provide Virginia with a competitive edge in 21st century manufacturing.

For more information, click here.

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