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Centers Of Excellence Will Train for Manufacturing Jobs

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston will soon be the home of a Center of Excellence for advanced manufacturing. As part of efforts to rehabilitate the industrial base in Southside and Southwest Virginia, SVHEC, the New College Institute in Martinsville, and a yet to be named location in the southwest, have been awarded $2 million dollar start up grants from the Virginia Tobacco Commission.

Philip Morris To Invest $50 Million In Chesterfield County Warehouse Project

Philip Morris plans to lease four buildings totaling one million square feet off Bermuda Hundred Road in the Meadowville area of Chesterfield County. Philip Morris will lease the warehouse complex on 118 acres in Chester, to store raw materials used in making its tobacco products.

Blueprint Virginia And The Future

The non-partisan Virginia Chamber of Commerce is very active at the General Assembly, not endorsing parties or candidates, but ideas. Virginia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barry DuVal says, in terms of job creation, Virginia must make workforce training a top priority.

Speaking to the Richmond Academy of Medicine, DuVal said new jobs go where there’s a workforce. DuVal introduced the group to Blueprint Virginia, a long term business strategy for the Commonwealth, developed by the Chamber, after canvassing over 7,000 businesses.

Ethanol Plant Operating in Hopewell

Ethanol is finally being produced in Hopewell at a plant that not long ago looked like it might never open. Vireol Bio Energy expects to produce 170 million gallons of ethanol in the next three years and buy more than $100 million worth of grain from Virginia farmers to do that.

Operations began last month and hiring is underway. Mark Haley is the Hopewell City Manager. The plant is beginning operations converting corn to ethanol. That has led to an often tense relationship with farmers who buy feed, but, Haley noted, other grains can be used.

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