The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office in Virginia today announced a $50,000 grant for the Scott County Economic Development Authority that will help purchase laboratory equipment for the Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence satellite training facility in Duffield.
Grant money will be used to purchase fabrication design equipment for a lab that enables students, inventors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the region to learn cutting-edge technology, create prototypes, produce replacement parts for equipment, and more. The Scott County Economic Development Authority is the grant’s applicant.
“Through its capable and eager workforce, Southwest Virginia is in a position to establish itself as a center for 21st century industry and manufacturing,” said Basil Gooden, Ph.D., Virginia’s USDA Rural Development State Director. “This grant will help train that eager workforce to attract, staff and manage those industries.”
The Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence trains and retrains the region’s workforce in advanced manufacturing utilizing staff from local community colleges and industries. Its goal is to make Southwest Virginia a top destination for new industries.
The grant is part of funds set aside in the 2014 Farm Bill for Strategic Economic and Community Development to aid in implementing regionally based, multi-jurisdictional strategic economic development plans. The program prioritizes projects supporting regional and long-range plans and gives rural communities additional incentives to strengthen regional capacity.