Gene Haas Foundation Grants $1 Million to Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, Danville Community College

Stewart-Haas Racing Driver Kurt Busch to Carry Commemorative Decal Highlighting $1 Million Grant to The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research on No. 41 at Richmond April 23, 2015

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and Danville Community College (DCC) are the recipients of a $1 million grant from the Gene Haas Foundation, which has granted more than $11 million to entities that champion advanced manufacturing education.

The $1 million grant will be used to build the new Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining on the IALR campus in Danville, Virginia, and support a third-year level of learning for students completing DCC's Precision Machining Technology two-year degree program. The experience will provide students the opportunity to train in an authentic manufacturing workflow cell as part of the Capstone Integrated Machining Technology project being implemented for the first time in America through the IALR/DCC partnership.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 29 New Jobs in Henry County

Hardide CoatingsGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Hardide Coatings, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced surface coatings, will invest $7.25 million to establish its first Virginia operation in Henry County and create 29 new jobs with an average salary of $50,000, which is well above the average prevailing wage in the region. Virginia successfully competed against Oklahoma and Texas for the project, which is a result of the Governor's meeting with company officials outside London during the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow.

Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, "Creating jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector is critical as we work to build a new Virginia economy. I am thrilled to announce these new jobs, which pay well above the average prevailing wage for the region.I had the opportunity to meet with company officials last summer in the U.K. about this project,and we are honored to welcome Hardide Coatings to the Commonwealth's growing roster of international companies."

"This is a big win for rural Virginia as the region continues its economic rebound," said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "Hardide Coatings is a growing global company, and this significant investment to expand its manufacturing presence to serve worldwide customers is a great testament to the strong workforce and infrastructure in place in Martinsville-Henry County and the Commonwealth as a whole."

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Watch the 2015 Corvette Z06 obliterate Virginia International Raceway

A 2:41.3-second lap around VIR's Grand West Course? That's just obscene.

The video you're about to watch is astonishing.

In it, GM engineer Jim Mero beats VIR's Grand West Course into submission with the mallet that is the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Mero and the Chevy team spent a few days at the track with a bone-stock car, and this video is the fruit of the effort. It's a scalding 2:41.3 lap time, which is enough to put the Z06 in the ring with some of the world's most brilliant supercars.

Which machines do I speak of? By comparison, our friends at Car and Driver recently whipped out a 2:43.1 time in the Porsche 918 Spyder. It's the fastest anyone from the magazine has managed to lap the course.

Watch it go down, as captured by the Vette's Performance Data Recorder.


The Corvette in the video is running heavy-weight oil and the most aggressive suspension settings detailed in the owner's manual. Other than that, it's just Mero coaxing crazy velocity from the car.

The dude's no stranger to whipping a Corvette around, and anyone who knows him will tell you he's one hell of a driver. If his name sounds familiar, it should. He's the man who scalded the Nürburgring with the C6 ZR1 not so many years ago:

Speaking of the Nurburgring, it's no secret that GM will take another stab at the Green Hell with the new Z06. We can't wait to see what Mero does there.


Governor McAuliffe Announces 200 New Jobs in Henry County

Monogram Food Solutions to invest more than $36 million to expand processing operation

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Monogram Food Solutions, LLC, a Memphis-based manufacturer of value-added processed meats, will invest $36.475 million to expand its meat snacks production operation in the Henry County Patriot Centre Industrial Park. Virginia successfully competed against two other states for the project, which will create 200 new jobs.

Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, "Monogram Food Solutions is a major employer in Martinsville-Henry County, and an investment of this caliber creating 200 new jobs is a tremendous win for the region as it continues to rebound economically. The company is putting more people back to work and helping to diversify the industry base, both of which are critical for building a new Virginia economy."

"Today is a great day for economic development in Virginia," said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "Strengthening relationships with existing businesses is essential to the economic vitality of the Commonwealth, and Monogram Food Solutions continues to thrive in our welcoming business environment. The company's decision to grow its operation in Henry County is a great testament to the advantage of doing business in Virginia."

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TMI Auto Tech, backed by tobacco grant, aims to develop the ‘Spider’, 19 new jobs

TMIlogoTMI Auto Tech, exclusive North American manufacturer of the Ariel Atom vehicle, has been awarded an $838,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission to develop a new sports car, the Spider. The project is anticipated to create 19 new jobs.

The closed-body Spider is different from the Ariel Atom and will be made of lightweight, high-strength woven carbon composites.

TMI partnered with the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority back in March to submit the grant to the Tobacco Commission.

The market for the Spider is a familiar one for the company: club racers, promotional vehicle purchasers and school car programs. TMI hopes to build 100 of the vehicles for international distribution over the next five years with the starting price of $135,000.

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New 90,000sf shell building in Martinsville

Martinsville Virginia shell buildingA new shell building at Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek officially is on the market.

A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday at the lot 8 shell building, located at 1320 Beaver Creek Drive in the industrial park. Speakers included Henry County Administrator Tim Hall, Henry County Board of Supervisors Chairman H.G. Vaughn and Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins.

Hall described the shell building as "a true partnership" between the county, the city, the EDC, the county Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and other area organizations and businesses.

This collaboration has proven that the shell building program can and will be successful, Vaughn said.

"For the proof, you just have to look across the street to Commonwealth Laminating and Coating, or ... to RTI Metals Inc." Vaughn said, as both of those businesses have moved into shell buildings in the Patriot Centre.

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Ready for a comeback?

In 2006, a joint subcommittee of the Virginia legislature studying the needs of the manufacturing sector and the future of manufacturing in the commonwealth found disturbing statistics.

Since peaking at 432,500 in 1989, Virginia's manufacturing employment had fallen to 296,600 by June 2004.

The numbers haven't improved since then.

In June, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Virginia's manufacturing employment at 229,100, a more than 20 percent dip in a decade.

Despite those statistics, the outlook for manufacturing in Virginia seems to be improving.

You have to look no further than a recent announcement by China's Shandong Tranlin Paper Co. Ltd., which says it will invest $2 billion in an advanced manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County. It is expected to employ 2,000 workers by the end of the decade.

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Natural and organic food producer moving to Danville

Sky Valley Foods logoSky Valley Foods, a North Carolina-based maker of natural and organic sauces and salad dressings, announced today that it is relocating to Airside Industrial Park in Danville, where the company expects to expand its business and add new product lines.

The new location at 145 Cane Creek Blvd., formerly occupied by Amcor Tobacco Packaging and Shorewood Packaging Corp., will provide added space for expansion.

"This project brings a wonderful addition of new jobs to our region," Mayor Sherman Saunders said." We have a major food processing company just down the street, and now a second food processor joins Nestle in Airside Industrial Park. Sky Valley Foods will be a significant contributor to our local economy, and I welcome them with a hungry appetite."

The company produces salad dressings and specialty sauces, including condiments, marinades, salsa and pasta sauce, for the natural and organic food consumer. Its branded products are Bella's, Organicville, Sky Valley and Simply Delicious.

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Patrick Henry Community College, Eastman, Commonwealth Laminating, and New College Institute partner to launch the Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing

Keister Richardson, a marketing technical services representative with Eastman Chemical, installs window film Thursday on a vehicle at Patrick Henry Community College. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)The Center for Advanced Film Manufacturing offers a renaissance for Martinsville and Henry County, according to local educational leaders.

The center represents a partnership and collaboration between Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), New College Institute (NCI), Eastman Chemical and Commonwealth Laminating and Coating.

Students who enroll in the program will be able to take a new 28-credit Advanced Film Certification program offered through PHCC; take classes at PHCC and NCI; access equipment at Eastman and Commonwealth Laminating; have potential hands-on internship opportunities; and have a leg-up when seeking employment at area advanced manufacturing facilities.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 155 New Jobs for Henry County

Kilgour Industries Ltd to invest $27.3 million in first U.S. operation

RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Kilgour Industries Ltd, a United Kingdom-based supplier of aircraft airframe and engine machined products will invest $27.3 million in its first U.S. operation in Henry County and create 155 new jobs. Kilgour specializes in computerized numerical control (CNC) machining, wet chemical surface treatments and sub-assemblies of aerospace components. Virginia successfully competed against Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina for the project.

Speaking about today's announcement in Martinsville, Governor McAuliffe said, "Securing an investment of this magnitude and 155 new jobs for a region that is continuing to rebound economically is a tremendous win for Virginia and a major step towards growing and diversifying our economy. This competitive project is another illustration of the Commonwealth's leadership in the aerospace industry. We are thrilled that Henry County will be home to Kilgour Industries' first U.S. operation, which will enable the company to meet increased demands and expand its customer base."

"More than 236 aerospace firms call Virginia home, and today we celebrate the addition of Kilgour Industries to the roster," said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "This high-tech manufacturing company is an excellent fit for Henry County to continue to diversify its economy, and we look forward to Kilgour's future success in the Commonwealth."

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