Camp Community College has been selected to receive a $100,000 GO Virginia planning grant to  describe current needs and gaps in mechatronics in the Western Tidewater region, along with strategies on how to address those needs and create an advisory committee consisting of industry and governmental partners to guide creation of the plan.

This grant will go toward surveying the business landscape, workforce skillsets (and skills gaps), and assembling a comprehensive plan to upskill industrial and warehouse workers through both short-term training and long-term degree programs at Camp Community College. While the primary target industry is logistics, mechatronics, which is the use of advanced, technical machinery such as robotics, has a wide focus.  Exploring new and innovative ways to implement mechatronics has many applications that can serve Region 5’s targeted industries, including Advanced Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Port Operations, Ship Building, Maritime Technologies, and Aerospace.

The project consists of two phases. The first phase involves researching and studying the needs of regional employers to create a comprehensive workforce development plan. This will involve working closely with businesses to pinpoint skills gaps and design training and certification programs addressing those gaps. The second phase, informed by the findings of the first, is expected to cover curriculum development and the roll-out of training programs.

Final deliverables would include a comprehensive workforce plan, an expanded mechatronics curriculum, and the establishment of training programs tailored to meet regional business needs.

Partners in this project are Camp Community College, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, City of Suffolk, City of Franklin and Southampton County and Isle of Wight County. Camp Community College and all of the partners are part of GO Virginia Region 5.

We are excited about the support from GO Virginia and our partnering cities and counties,” said Dr. Corey L. McCray, President of Camp Community College. “With the increase in industrial automation in our region, it is important that employees are prepared to meet the skills challenge. This grant will help Camp Community College and its partners in Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, Franklin and Southampton establish related courses of study that are linked directly to the Industrial and Logistics Industries and career opportunities for local citizens.”

“GO Virginia supports programs to create more high-paying jobs in industries that diversify and strengthen every region of the Commonwealth,” said Nancy Grden, President & CEO, Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable, which also serves as the Support Organization for GO VA Region 5.  “This project, a partnership among business, education, and government, fits perfectly with Region 5 and our growth industries of logistics and advanced manufacturing.”

Work on this project began April 15.

This project was funded in part by GO Virginia, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia's economy and fosters the creation of higher wage jobs in strategic industries.