The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - VL54
anufacturing remains a strong player in
the area, according to the Roanoke Regional Partnership: about 11 percent of
the local workforce is employed in the
field, compared to 10 percent nationally. In the past
few years companies like the Ardagh Group, which
manufactures packaging, have cut a ribbon. There
are more employers here than a decade ago, but
the rise of automation and other technology advances means the number of manufacturing workers has declined slightly.
Ardagh has locations worldwide, but the more
typical manufacturer might be Custom Tool & Machine, the 2017 Small Business of the Year as se-
SKILLED WORKERS ARE A NECESSITY FOR THE HIGH TECH INDUSTRY.
54 | 2018 VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
lected by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. The company specializes in CNC machining
and serves industries from aerospace to medical. It
was founded by a husband and wife team 26 years
ago and now has a client base reaching overseas.
Chamber President/CEO Joyce Waugh said the selection committee was impressed by its "growth, diverse customer base and the company's unwavering
commitment to providing quality products."
Manufacturing is more high tech these days and
that's where the call for more skilled workers comes
into play. Virginia Western Community College President Dr. Bobby Sandel has made workforce training
his mantra and the school's Mechatronics program
MANUFACTURING: COURTESY OF ROANOKE VALLEY TELEVISION, RVTV-3