Manufacturing Resources Fair
On March 21st, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing, in partnership with the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, held its Manufacturing Resources Fair at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia. The purpose of this event was to give local manufacturers an opportunity to connect with and become more aware of the resources available to them in Southwest Virginia. This was the first event of its kind for Southwest Virginia manufacturers!
The event was structured in a very flexible way so that manufacturing representatives could come and go as they pleased throughout the morning. Resource providers set up tables throughout the event room with information regarding the types of services they provide to manufacturers in the region. This allowed manufacturers to casually network with the resource providers in attendance. Manufacturers were given a map of the room to help make sure that they could make the most of their time. Megan Pack, Human Resources Manager at Woodgrain Millwork, Inc., stated:
“I attended the Resources Fair because I knew it would be a great way to explore the different resources offered in the area. I was very happy with the experience because it was well planned and easy to navigate. The hosts and vendors alike were very professional and knowledgeable. I hope to utilize some of the resources in the future. My particular interests were the Ignite program provided by United Way of Southwest Virginia and the Employer Health Services provided by MSHA. Two of my passions are helping to bridge the gap between students and potential employers as well as increasing wellness for employees. The Resources Fair helped me to discover how I could fulfill each of those.”
Resource providers benefited from this event not only from having a platform to share information about their services to potential clients, but also by having the opportunity to network with one another throughout the day. Manufacturers were provided with a comprehensive Southwest Virginia Manufacturing Resource Providers packet. This packet contained information about the resource providers including their purpose as an organization, the resources they provide, their service area, and their contact information. This packet is available for download here: SWVA Resource Providers Packet
There were twenty resource providers in attendance. These organizations, along with SVAM, included: Professional Networks, First Community Bank, SVAM Center of Excellence, Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, GENEDGE, UVa-Wise. SWCC Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, United Way of Southwest Virginia , Mountain States Health Alliance, Price & Ramey Insurance, Manufacturing Technology Center, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, Occupational Enterprises, Inc., Virginia Highlands Community College, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services. Some of the resources provided by these organizations included grant funding, training opportunities, training funds, employment support, quality management services, growth and innovation services, consultations, funding available to help businesses stay in business, and much more!
The Manufacturing Resources Fair was part of a larger manufacturing resources initiative. The Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing is also hosting monthly webinars as part of their Manufacturing Resources Webinar Series. The first webinar, The Right Connection at the Right Time, provided by the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, is available to view here.
Stay tuned for more information regarding manufacturing resource providers in Southwest Virginia!