Senator Warner praises Danville Institute’s defense manufacturing program

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Advanced Training in Defense Manufacturing program at the Danville Institute is putting Danville into the minds of the nation’s leaders.

“The word about this is starting to trickle out, I’ve had other members of the Senate say, ‘Hey, Warner, where’s Danville and what’s this program that’s going on?’” said US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) during the Advanced Training in Defense Manufacturing Summit.

Backed by $7.5 million in federal funding, the program started in 2020, giving 36 students four months of hands-on training to fast track them into the Defense Manufacturing workforce, bringing workers Warner says the industry desperately needs.

“Majority of companies that are in the defense industrial base say the lack of trained labor is one of their biggest concerns, and we have to provide that pipeline of folks to secure those national jobs,” said Warner.

Warner says proactive programs like this are vital to national security and keeping up with China.

“I think this kind of program that trains the folks, combined with other research initiatives going on here and around the country, we have to realize this is the biggest threat we have ever faced,” said Warner.

Even though the work done in Danville could became a model that will be spread throughout the country, Warner believes it could lead to more jobs for the region.

“We think there is a very good possibility that parts of the defense industrial base, there are 6,400 companies that some of these would put satellite operations here and across southside,” said Warner.

The program will soon put more than 40 students through another session of the program.

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