Obama applauds manufacturing partnership
President visits Virginia, discusses billion dollar initiative linking state engineering schools, U.S. manufacturers
President Obama visited the Rolls-Royce's disc-manufacturing facility at Crosspointe in Prince George County earlier this month, praising it for its partnership with Virginia universities to incorporate faculty and students into workforce development and research.
The University has been collaborating with the facility since 2007, and will now participate in a $1 billion project created by the Obama administration to advance manufacturing facilities with innovative methods and technology.
Obama said he applauds the initiatives which will eventually help restore manufacturing jobs across the nation.
"We brought together the brightest academic minds, boldest business leaders, the most dedicated public servants from our science and technology agencies all with one big goal: renaissance in American manufacturing," Obama said.
The President explained the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a billion-dollar initiative, is a national network of the most advanced engineering schools and manufacturers. Participants will work together to creatively research technology and manufacturing methods. The University, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University and the Virginia Community College System will work together in the initiative.
Students will be able to actively take part in research and discover job opportunities, which is crucial to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.
"While it advances research, this partnership is also a great educational opportunity for our students, and gives us an opportunity to cooperate with other higher education institutions in the state," University President Teresa Sullivan said in a press release.
The collaboration has also helped create a new laboratory for the University's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments. Students will be able to help design and build prototypes for the facility in Crosspointe.
According to the University press release, the initiative will also create a new Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) in Crosspointe. CCAM will serve as a manufacturing laboratory where faculty and students from the University, its partner schools, Rolls-Royce and seven other companies will work to create innovative ideas and move them into the global market.
"Students and workers are picking up new skills; they're training on state-of-the art equipment; they're solving some of the most important challenges facing our manufacturing," Obama said. "All this brain power, experience and skill are coming together in this hub... it allows everybody to learn from each other"