Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) to Build Center For Manufacturing Advancement

 51,250-square-foot, $25.5 million Center to enhance Southern Virginia’s advanced manufacturing field

(DANVILLE, Va.) – The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is pleased to announce plans to build a 51,250-square-foot Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA) on the IALR campus. The innovative CMA will offer a platform for leading-edge business success specifically targeted at manufacturing companies establishing or expanding their presence in Southern Virginia.

“The skill sets and demand for advanced manufacturing labor are continuously growing alongside the endless evolution of technology,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. “IALR has proudly championed the growth of this sector as one path toward regional economic transformation with the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining Technology; temporary, rapid-launch space for companies to use as they build, upgrade or occupy a permanent new facility; and economic development support to help attract new manufacturers to the area to benefit from the workforce pipeline and other regional assets of Southern Virginia. This new Center for Manufacturing Advancement will allow us to continue these activities on a larger scale and to promote business success in a collaborative, innovative setting.”

The CMA, projected to open in 2021, will be built adjacent to the recently completed Kyocera SGS Tech Hub facility. It will feature two floors, offices, meeting rooms, areas to house support services and the following amenities for manufacturer 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 8 to 10 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; • 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.

With few other regions currently offering a similar complement of services, the CMA is expected to serve as an important economic development tool and provide Virginia with a competitive edge in 21st century manufacturing.

The CMA’s location on the campus of IALR will allow it to leverage resources by drawing its governance, leadership and administrative support from IALR. The total cost is expected to be $25.5 million, which will be funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as the Danville Regional Foundation.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with applied research, advanced learning, advanced manufacturing, conference center services and economic development efforts. The Institute’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

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