Unmanned Systems Conference Blacksburg NRV VA

National Unmanned Systems Symposium to Take Place in NRV

BLACKSBURG, VA – The Ridge & Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) will host their second annual conference on October 9-10 in Blacksburg, VA to explore the state of unmanned systems technology, education, and research.

Peter Kunz, Ph.D., the Chief Technologist at Boeing HorizonX, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium.

The event will focus on the theme, “At the Intersection.” Main event programming will occur on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Local tours and other activities will be off-campus in the Blacksburg area.

The theme represents the progress in unmanned systems technology and the challenges and opportunities increasingly appearing at the intersections of fundamental areas: human with machine; sensing with control; open architecture with secure software and communication; air with land and sea.

“I’m so excited for ‘At the Intersection,’” said Nanci Hardwick, CEO of Aeroprobe and President of AUVSI Ridge & Valley. “Our second annual event is coming after the extreme success of our first event, which brought attendees and speakers from all over the country and was regarded as a highly organized event that delivered a lot of value to participants. ‘At the Intersection’ is another great opportunity for unmanned systems professionals to learn more about the current state of the industry. Plus, it calls attention to all the fantastic companies and assets we have here in the New River Valley.”

The event will feature plenary speakers, interactive panels, and demonstrations by leaders from industry, government, and education. Activities will include networking, recruiting opportunities, and tours of area unmanned systems facilities.

Abstract submissions and registration for the event are still open.

Contact

For more information visit www.auvsiridgeandvalley.org/events or contact Abigail Hammack at abigail@onwardnrv.org. Follow AUVSI Ridge & Valley on Facebook and Twitter.

About AUVSI Ridge & Valley

The Ridge & Valley chapter of AUVSI seeks to advance unmanned systems at the regional level, and to help drive publicity and awareness for the region as a resource for technical expertise. Additionally, the chapter seeks to bring more unmanned systems companies and jobs to the area, while working with local colleges and universities to develop educational and workforce development needs.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

VT College of Engineering #9 Among Public Institutions

BLACKSBURG, VA — Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering ranks 9th among public institutions, according U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best College Rankings.

The college of engineering is also 14th among all national universities. Read more about programs offered and engineering news at https://eng.vt.edu/

Overall, Virginia Tech is ranked the 25th best public university and 69th for all national universities.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski Announce 40 New Jobs

~Newcan Corporation to Invest $4 Million and Locate Headquarters and Manufacturing Operations to Pulaski County~

PULASKI, VA – On January 17, 2018, Pulaski County in partnership with the Town of Pulaski officially announced Newcan Corporation is moving their headquarters and their main production facility from Holbrook, Massachusetts to Pulaski, Virginia. The move will bring 40 new jobs and an investment of $4 million to Pulaski County. Newcan is a recognized leader in the production of high-quality precision stampings and perforated components. The company has a rich history dating back to 1902, and has pioneered many innovative techniques, resulting in an annual production of over 350,000,000 components. “We are an ISO/TS16949-registered supplier and our commitment to quality is second to none,” stated Rick Boettner, Chairman of Newcan. “We have a great relationship with the Town and County of Pulaski, so when we acquired Newcan it made good sense we would move it to Pulaski because of its premier location and its quality of workforce.”

“In today’s competitive market, I commend Falls Stamping and Welding for the innovation and vision to expand its current capabilities with a new business unit,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “A key aspect of strengthening our economy is ensuring that existing companies of all sizes continue to thrive in the Commonwealth. We thank this important corporate partner for creating 40 new jobs in Pulaski County, and look forward to Falls Stamping and Newcan Corporation’s future success.”

Newcan will be moving into its new home at 28 Jefferson Street in the Town of Pulaski. The facility currently houses Falls Stamping and Welding. Falls will continue to operate within the facility and both companies will have the same management team and ownership, though the companies will make different products and have different customer bases. “Newcan allows us to diversify our product offerings and enables us to increase our customer relationships,” stated Rick Boettner. “Newcan and Falls Stamping both have high standards for quality and customer service and we think having them together in the same facility will make them both even better.”

“It is becoming ever more important for Pulaski County to partner with our Towns to recruit business and industry and provide the support needed to help them stabilize and grow in today’s competitive marketplace,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “This is our first announcement of 2018 and it happens to be an excellent example of partnership, pragmatism, and teamwork on both the public and private side of the equation. We are so very thankful for Newcan and its leadership’s decision to locate their headquarters and main production operations to Pulaski County, and we feel confident this strategic move will afford Newcan and Falls Stamping the synergies needed to ensure they remain industry leaders in the precession stamping and perforated components arena for many years to come.”

Newcan is a major supplier to the automotive and industrial filter industry and offers the largest assortment of lock seam tubes available on the market today. They have progressive tooling, feeding, and straightening concepts that allow high-speed production of the most precise stampings at speeds up to 250 parts per minute.

“We have a lot happening in downtown Pulaski and we are excited Newcan has decided to make their new home here,” shared Mayor Nick Glenn, Town of Pulaski. “We are in the process of revitalizing our Main Street and we could not be more pleased to add these new jobs and investments to our local economy. This is also another example of the County and Town working together to better our community as a whole.”

The company will be starting the move in February with hopes to having the facility up and running by July of 2018. Newcan operates three facilities throughout the U.S. that include Greenfield, OH, Gastonia, NC and now Pulaski, VA. This project marks the fifth (5th) basic industry sector announcement for Pulaski County in the past nine (9) months and brings the County’s 9-month totals to 645 new jobs and $65 million in new capital.

Pulaski County, Virginia
Jonathan D. Sweet ICMA-CM
County Administrator
Phone: (540) 980-7705
Email: jsweet@pulaskicounty.org

Newcan Corporation
Jason L. Taft
Chief Financial Officer and V.P. of Sales Phone: (440) 263-1961
Email: jason.taft@falls-stamping.com

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV No. 11 Best Place to Work in Manufacturing

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metro Area, commonly known as the New River Valley, was ranked the No. 11 Best Place to Work in Manufacturing by smartasset in their study this year. Data on 483 metro areas was considered and ranked according to six factors:
  • Manufacturing as a percent of workforce
  • Job growth from 2012 to 2015
  • Job growth from 2014 to 2015
  • Income growth from 2010 to 2015
  • Income growth from 2014 to 2015
  • Income after housing
  Advanced manufacturing can be found throughout Virginia’s New River Valley. The region is home to several major employers including Volvo (Pulaski County), Corning Inc. (Montgomery County), Celanese (Giles County), Kollmorgen (Radford), and Hollingsworth & Vose (Floyd County). Plus, training programs at New River Community College directly support the skills needed to work at companies in our region.  
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  Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.   Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

“How It’s Made” to Visit Korona Candles in Pulaski County

Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” is heading to Dublin, VA to film an episode about candles. Where better to visit that Korona Candles? The film crew will arrive in the NRV on December 15 to showcase tea candles, jar candles, and possibly wax melts.

Korona Candles, based in Poland, is a great representation of Advanced Manufacturing in Virginia’s New River Valley. Pulaski County is home to a growing number of internationally based manufacturers that use advanced technology to more efficiently produces goods.


Read more about Discovery Channel’s visit from Brooke J. Wood at the Southwest Times.


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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Forbes.com Ranks Virginia No. 5 Best State for Business

~ Commonwealth moves up in annual survey ranking business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life ~


RICHMOND, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia was named No.5 in the Forbes.com 2017 Best States for Business ranking. This position represents a jump from No.6 in the 2016 survey and No.7 in 2015. Virginia has placed in the top 10 since the ranking’s inception in 2006, and ranked among the top two states every year from 2006 through 2013.


“The Commonwealth’s advancement in major national rankings like Forbes.com is strong evidence of our success in building the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We are working tirelessly with our economic development partners across the Commonwealth to put Virginia on top, and today’s announcement demonstrates that our efforts are working. We are committed to building on this upward trajectory by offering the infrastructure, regulatory environment, and robust workforce to ensure Virginia is the premier business destination in the United States.”

Forbes uses six factors to determine state rankings, which include: business costs, economic climate, growth prospects, labor supply, quality of life, and regulatory environment. The Commonwealth finished in the top 10 in three of the six categories examined in the review published today, including #2 for Regulatory Environment, #3 for Labor Supply, and #8 for Quality of Life. According to Forbes.com, Virginia ranks second for its regulatory climate because of its strong incentive offerings and business-friendly government policies.


“Virginia’s improved standing in Forbes.com’s Best States for Business rankings is a testament to the commitment of Governor McAuliffe’s administration and all of our allies at the state, regional, and local levels to make the Commonwealth the premier destination for business,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “There is still work to be done to return Virginia to its top standing, and we will continue to build on this positive momentum working with members of the General Assembly and our public and private sector partners.”


For the entire Best States for Business ranking report, please visit here.


Full Release


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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Area Development: British-Based D3O Opens North American Hub in Blacksburg, Virginia

D3O, a British-based impact protection company and market leader in protective wear and shock absorbing materials, opened a operating base in Blacksburg, Virginia. Located within the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, a research park for high-technology companies, the new D3O office, part of the company’s expansion in North America, will serve as the regional hub for sales, marketing and development functions.


Bill VanMullekom, SVP D3O LLC, said: “This move firmly marks our commitment to delivering the best in impact protection technologies to our customer base across North America.


Read the full article on Area Development.


Onward NRV Works to Reach Radford Alumni

Onward NRV Executive Director Charlie Jewell, joined by Award-Winning IT Professor Jeff Pittges, took a 2-day trip to Northern Virginia last week to help Radford University alumni reconnect to Virginia’s New River Valley.

By partnering with the RU Alumni Association, Jewell was able to deliver a 2-minute pitch in front of guests at the RU alumni networking event held at The Goal in Reston, VA. This event was an excellent opportunity to launch and give away some of the NRV branded boxes, which were handcrafted by St. Pierre Woodworking in Floyd, VA and contained goodies representing the NRV. Jewell also scheduled meetings with alumni business leaders to educate them on Onward’s work to attract and grow the four targeted industries for the region.

The goal was to help communicate the business advantages, job opportunities, and lifestyle amenities in the region to RU alumni. The outbound marketing was also meant to increase awareness of the advantages specifically in Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Processing, and Unmanned Systems.

The idea to reach out to alumni was born of the research on the four targeted industries. Many business leaders noted that they are satisfied with their current employees, but harbor some concerns about finding enough employees when it comes time to expand their businesses. Therefore, Onward wants to reconnect with alumni living outside the area that may want to move back in the future in order to communicate what the region has to offer them.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Advanced Manufacturing welder

NRV Receives Top Rankings in Virginia in the ‘Best of the Southern Auto Corridor’

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA– Virginia’s New River Valley is mentioned as some of the best spots in Virginia by Southern Business & Development magazine’s Best of the Southern Auto Corridor list.

In four out of the ten categories, the NRV was mentioned 7 times. Businesses and assets mentioned include: Volvo, Federal Mogul, Corning, VTTI, and NRCC.

The Volvo Trucks assembly plant is located in Dublin, VA in Pulaski County. The plant is Volvo’s largest hub for manufacturing and employs approx. 2,000 people.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has a 2.2 mile Smart Road that can simulate weather like rain, snow, or fog, and is used to advance transportation and autonomous technology.

New River Community College has one of the best programs for automotive worker training. There is even a dedicated staff member at NRCC that works to support Volvo’s training needs.

In general, Virginia is an excellent place to locate a business in the automotive or advanced manufacturing industry. The law structure and central location to South, Northeast, and Midwest markets make it a very strategic location. Specifically, I-81 runs through the heart of the New River Valley and the region in close proximity to interstates 77 and 64 via I-81, making interstate access easy and convenient.

Falling Branch Corporate Park

Montgomery and Pulaski counties were also mentioned as some of the best places for automotive parts suppliers. There are sites in both counties that would make an excellent fit for businesses in the automotive or advanced manufacturing industries. In Montgomery County, the Falling Branch Corporate Park is an excellent option. The park has graded sites ranging from 3 to 16.7 acres and the county recently acquired an additional 124 acres to develop larger sites. Just off I-81 and highway 460, this park is ready for a new tenant.

NRV Commerce Park

Pulaski County also offers the New River Valley Commerce Park, this site is certified by McCallum Sweeney as an American Electric Power (AEP) Quality Site. The park has robust infrastructure and boasts sites up to 120 acres.

SheaDawn Park Rail

SheaDawn Park, a private development in Pulaski County, also boast excellent infrastructure and a rail spur. Twenty-two miles of the Crescent and Heartland rail corridors converge in Virginia’s New River Valley, which is easily accessible at ShaeDawn.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Roanoke Times: NRV to Lure Robots to Town as Autonomous Industry Booms

BLACKSBURG, VA– The NRV begins training part of its focus on the Unmanned Systems industry with a tour of Virginia Tech’s new drone cage and the Smart Road at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute at the end of a conference hosted by the Ridge and Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Photos by Matt Gentry, Roanoke Times

Read more from regional leaders like John Provo, director of the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development; Charlie Jewell, executive director of Onward NRV; and Michael Fleming, CEO of TORC Robotics in the full Roanoke Times article.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.