2017 Southwest Virginia Manufacturers’ Expo

On August 8th, Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing hosted its 2017 Manufacturers’ Expo at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia. The fourth annual Expo hosted a variety of attendees, ranging from manufacturers, to vendors and resource providers. The purpose of the event was to provide a venue for manufacturers to network and share best practices in a peer-to- peer environment. It provided a way for manufacturers to learn more about the local resources available to them through the capabilities of their fellow manufacturers and the organizations that support manufacturing.

SVAM invited manufacturers from across the region, with representatives from thirteen manufacturing companies attending to provide information about their company and learn about others. This was in addition to the resource providers and vendors who came and set up booths as well as the industry members and the general public who chose to attend. The day was structured with several blocks of networking time to provide participants an opportunity to spend some time getting to know the other exhibitors and attendees. Several manufacturers and organizations in attendance took a few minutes to provide a presentation about their company during the event.

Breakout sessions were offered to allow focused learning opportunities. Te-Kai hSu with Strongwell led a session titled, “Branding Manufacturing for Millennials and Centennials”. Scholle IPN Packaging led a session titled, “Building Performance and Productivity through Employee Engagement. The final Breakout Session was hosted by New River Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board titled, “Ready of Not?”. This session provided an interactive survey and discussion on what is “work ready”.

A lunchtime presentation was provided by Tony Cerilli of Genedge to provide insights on how a company can optimize its supply chain.

Participants were also given a networking BINGO card to complete throughout the day to encourage attendees to speak with and get to know the maximum amount of attendees. Of those who completed the scavenger hunt, one was chosen as the winner of the day’s grand-prize, provided by SVAM: “The Sweet Deal” package from the Barter Theater which included two tickets to see a play as well as dessert and coffee for two at Anthony’s Desserts. Door prizes were also given, provided by various companies in attendance.

SVAM would like to thank all those who participated and attended the expo this year, especially the sponsors of the event: New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, Samuel Pressure Vessel Group, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Genedge, Joint IDA of Wythe, Price and Ramey, Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, and Price and Ramey Insurance.