U.S. Navy breaks ground on Regional Training Center in Danville

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The U.S. Navy is constructing a Regional Training Center that will strengthen the workforce pipeline and national security.

The community celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

The 100,000-square-foot facility will allow for the growth of the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program.

“There’s a lot of people here that are wanting the job and wanting to get in the workforce, but there’s not enough space,” said Zander Russell, ATDM student. “So, this offers more space, more people to come in here and get the experience that they’re looking for, and get acceleration in the Navy base.”

The new Regional Training Center will include welding labs, classrooms, 3D printers, and more. It will provide a pipeline of 800 to 1,000 graduates per year who specialize in metrology, CNC machining, additive manufacturing, and other skills.

“That’s critical to the nation’s defense in providing components for ships that will ultimately house our sailors, our Marines and many of our military and will provide the first line of defense to defend the freedoms that we so many of us enjoy as Americans,” said Telly Tucker, President of IALR.

Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, joined ATDM students and instructors for the announcement.

“For us to be able to come here to Danville and take advantage of the rich talent workforce that exists here, to be able to retrain them on the types of skill sets that we need in our shipbuilding community, is extremely important to us,” explained Del Toro.

They expect to have the new training facility open by early 2025.