2015 Manufacturing Awards

Nearly one hundred and fifty business, government and community leaders from all across Southwest Virginia gathered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on Thursday, September 24th, to celebrate manufacturing and its contributions to the economy in the region. At its annual Manufacturer’s Appreciation and Awards Dinner, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) reviewed its successful year of promotion of manufacturing as a career and renewed its commitment to continued growth in this all-important sector of Southwest Virginia’s economy. During the dinner, SVAM provided a panel discussion about the Economic Development Benefits of the Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Joe Gillespie, Business Expansion Manager for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Bruce Sobczak, Director of Workforce Development for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing; and Stephanie Surrett, Director of the SVAM Center of Excellence provided information based on their levels of expertise about the role that the Center of Excellence will play to grow the manufacturing base in Southwest Virginia and the benefits to the region’s economy. To end the evening, four manufacturers received awards to recognize their growth and contributions to the community. SVAM would like to thank its sponsors for this event: Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, The Manufacturing Technology Center, United Way of Southwest Virginia, and The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council.


Manufacturer of the Year award presented to West River Conveyors located in Buchanan County, Virginia

“Being selected for Manufacturer of the Year means a lot to us here at West River. We are proud of the quality products we manufacture, the charities we support and the advocacy for the industries that we support/support us. In such a volatile market, we feel very fortunate to have visionaries here at West River who knew we needed to diversify our products and markets. It was awesome to be recognized for the many accomplishments that West River has achieved in the past year alone.”




Excellence in Safety Award presented to Scholle IPN, located in Smyth County, Virginia

“We have a great team at Scholle IPN, Chilhowie. We focus on sending people home safe and sound, so that they can enjoy their lives. Without engagement from the entire team, our safety programs will not work. It was wonderful to see their hard work and perseverance recognized with the Excellence in Safety Award. Thanks again. I am certainly proud of our team. are indeed making progress.”






Innovations in Manufacturing Award presented to Hollingsworth and Vose, located in Floyd County, Virginia

“Receiving the 2015 Innovations in Manufacturing Award is significant to H&V’s Floyd operation and to the entire global company…Innovation is one of our company’s stated values, so being recognized is confirmation that our products are seen as innovative by those outside our company…H&V is honored and proud to receive this award. We would like to thank SVAM for the recognition and their work in support of manufacturing in Southwest Virginia. ”





The Environmental Stewardship Award presented to Universal Fibers, located in Washington County, Virginia

“Universal Fibers is both humbled and proud to receive the SVAM 2015 Environmental Stewardship Award. It is clear to us that sustainability is a journey. It’s one that our leadership and our strategy is dedicated to. To fully become part of the fabric / culture / DNA of Universal, it must be reflected by our associates in the communities in which we live and work. Thanks for telling us that we are indeed making progress.”