About us

From Humble Beginnings
The Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) dates back to 2005 when a group of government leaders and educational partners in Smyth and Washington Counties met to discuss strategies for boosting a weakening manufacturing workforce. Originally called the Smyth-Washington Regional Workforce Consortium, this initial group consisted of 14 industries (seven from each county); two county governments; two county school systems; two community colleges; and the Washington County Skill Center. The 14 manufacturers alone represented more than 6,700 employees in Smyth and Washington Counties.

Our fledgling organization immediately partnered with the National Association of Manufacturing's Manufacturing Institute, an organization that had already studied manufacturing workforce issues and tackled the skilled worker shortage. We then applied for and received a $900,000 grant from the Virginia Works Program, a statewide initiative created to promote economic growth in rural communities. These funds, in addition to matching and in-kind donations, enabled us to develop into the strong organization that SVAM is today.



Advanced manufacturing in the 21st century is the largest contributor to economic growth in our nation. The mission of the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing is to help area manufacturers develop a skilled workforce to remain efficient and competitive.

SVAM is a nonprofit membership organization created to build networking and skills training programs for industries, to educate the public about advanced manufacturing, and to publicize career opportunities.

Our partnerships with the National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the Virginia Council on Advanced Technology Skills, and the Virginia Tobacco Commission have led to education and major funding opportunities for Southwest Virginia manufacturers.

If your company is continually seeking trained workers, then we’re here to help. A membership in SVAM will make you eligible for reimbursement funds and skills training opportunities specifically designed to meet your company’s workforce needs.