Dream !t Do !t Virginia                                                                                                 VMA's Workforce Development Newsletter    

Volume 1, Edition 2, September 2012    


In This Issue

Quick Links


Dream It. Do It. Virginia Workshop: Making a World-Class Workforce  


October 19, 2pm - 4pm, Norfolk Marriott Waterside


Re-branding Manufacturing for Tomorrow's Workforce - This workshop will demonstrate the new Dream It. Do It. Virginia Network's 3.0 Operating System as the most powerful online resource in the Commonwealth for career exploration and manufacturing image building.  Participants will discuss the industry's goals for closing the skills gaps in K-12, incumbent workers and emerging workers as well as the development of a workforce scorecard to measure the Commonwealth's progress towards closing the skills gaps.  The workshop will also feature a special session on the challenge of work readiness.  If you want to do something about closing the skills gaps in Virginia, this is the session for you.


Space will be limited, so first seating will go to Forum attendees and DIDIVA network partners. Please email Gabe O'Brien if you wish to attend this workshop, but if you wish to register for the entire Virginia Industry Leadership Forum, visit http://vamanufacturers.com/conferences-and-events/virginia-industry-leadership-forum/.   



Don't miss these opportunities to hear more about DIDIVA! 


VMA's Director of Workforce Development, Katherine DeRosear, has been invited to present about Dream It. Do It. Virginia to 350 Virginia Career Coaches on September 12, 2012 during the Career Coach Academy at the Downtown Richmond Marriott.


VMA's Director of Workforce Development, Katherine DeRosear, has also been invited to present at the Governor's Energy Summit October 2-4, 2012 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center during the education track. 


VMA's Vice President, Alice Scott, will be a keynote speaker as well as lead a breakout session about DIDIVA on October 4 during the 2012 Virginia Association of Career & Technical Education Administrators (VACTEA) Conference at The Hotel Roanoke. 



ECPI University helps Transitioning Military through G. I. Bill

After being laid off from his job as a machinist, Michael Martin was encouraged to make an appointment with Joe LaRaffa, Admissions Advisor at ECPI's Moorefield Campus in Richmond.

"After meeting with Joe, I quickly decided that ECPI was the perfect fit," says Michael. "As a husband and father of two, ECPI's flexible schedule was enticing. Furthermore, going to school would give me the opportunity to use my GI Bill, which was set to expire in just a couple of years."


Along with his Marine Corps experience, Michael had a strong manufacturing background but wanted to broaden his career options. He decided to major in Electronics Engineering Technology (EET). Throughout his 30 months at ECPI, Michael invested in his education, always striving for the best. He served as President of the Electronics Club, was invited to join the National Technical Honor Society and graduated with a 3.94 GPA.


"When I completed my coursework," says Michael, "ECPI's career services department submitted my resume to Rolls-Royce at their newly established Crosspointe campus located in Prince George County, Virginia. A short time later, I was invited to participate in a phone interview, which led to a 6-hour on-site interview."  


According to Sarah Beadle, Rolls-Royce H.R. Business Partner, team members are highly valued within the Rolls-Royce organization. "Our people are a major part of our success so we sift a lot to find the right fit." Within weeks, Michael was offered a position. He proudly states, "I am excited to say that I now work at the largest Rolls-Royce site in North America. At the end of the day, I am grateful to Rolls-Royce for giving me this opportunity, and I am thankful to ECPI University for helping me to turn a negative life experience into a great achievement." 


For more information about ECPI University and utilizing GI Bill Benefits contact Bob Larned, Executive Director of Military Education, at rlarned@mil.ecpi.edu or 757-213-3601 ext. 56209.  



didiv jets


didiv wind


didiv energy


Manufacturing Technology Summer Camps Dream Big

The Dream It. Do It. Virginia (DIDIVA) Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp series, developed in partnership with STIHL Inc., completed its second summer series with great success.  The experience provides students (and some parents, teachers and counselors) with an opportunity to turn raw materials into finished goods using cutting-edge manufacturing technologies such as computer-controlled machining and robotics. "Skilled labor is critical in our workforce in order to rebuild and reinforce America's manufacturing base," said Christian Koestler, vice president of operations at STIHL Inc. "Students learn by doing and this event is a great way to help prepare the future generation of manufacturing and give them the tools they need to succeed." 


Students work in teams using the summer camp program and advisors to create finished products which can be tailored to compliment the host  company or generic designs such as a clock.  Highlights of this year's summer camp schedule included:  

  • Day One: Students are tasked to build an essential machine for their production system that week.
  • Day Two: Camp participants construct a manufacturing process for the different types of products each team needs to manufacture.
  • Day Three: Teams receive product demand and learn how to balance manufacturing operations to produce the required number of products during the two-hour competition on day four.
  • Day Four: Teams compete in front of family, friends, judges and other guests.
During the 2012 summer, STIHL Inc. hosted over forty rising 9-12 graders at their Virginia Beach facility for the camp and Colortree Group Inc. hosted a camp building robots with middle and high schoolers at their Henrico County facility.  Both the companies and the students had wonderful experiences. "Partnering with the VMA and Dream It. Do It. Virginia gives Colortree Group the opportunity to share the many career options in manufacturing with the next generation and hopefully attract future employees," explains Deana Marshall, Vice President of Employee Development and Services at Colortree Group Inc.

For more information on the Dream It. Do It. Virginia (DIDIVA) Manufacturing Technology Summer Camps powered by STIHL Inc. or if you are interested in hosting a camp at your facility in 2013, please contact Alice Scott at 804-643-7489, ext. 23 or ascott@vamanufacturers.com.



Dream It. Do It. Virginia
featured at the Science Museum of Virginia
Discover the methods of producing and manufacturing everyday objects as you travel through the How People Make Things exhibit, which is currently being hosted at the Science Museum of Virginia until October 7, 2012.  This interactive exhibition was inspired by the factory segments from Mister Roger's Neighborhood television series. Guests of all ages can explore a behind-the-scenes view of how an item is made through a variety of hands-on activities that incorporate real factory tools and machines.

Featuring four manufacturing processes, cutting, molding, deforming and reassembling, How People Make Things demonstrates each process in a fun and safe manner, resulting in a take-home object for participants which they have made during their visit. This exhibit also features the international award winning art from the So What Do You Do? integrated marketing campaign of Dream It. Do It. Virginia (see gallery photo above) to connect attendees with the online resources of www.dreamitdoitvirginia.com for continued discovery after they leave the exhibit.


VMA Advances the Importance of Standard Work Readiness Measures Across Industries  

The VMA secured Viginia's position as one of only 7 states participating in the ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Academy along with workforce development leaders from the Dan River Regional Collaborative, the Piedmont Workforce Investment Board and the Danville-Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce to pilot a program that will help close the work readiness skill gap at the regional level. The Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, powered by the ACT® National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC™), helps individuals pursue certification of their measurable skills of locating information, reading for information and applied mathematics that has been proven to accurately predict work readiness and job performance. It benefits employers by helping them make better hiring decisions, resulting in reduced training time and cost, lower turnover and higher productivity, and it helps communities measure and close measurable skill gaps that will allow them to market the quality of their workforce.


Virginia's Secretary of Education, Laura Fornash, stated in a letter to ACT, "We appreciate the opportunity for these state and regional leaders to participate in the Academy and hope that the experience leads to measurable increases in Virginia's rate of CRC attainment as well as other workforce credentials."

The Dan River Regional Collaborative (comprised of Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, and Halifax Counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville) has agreed to lead a regional demonstration project to show the return on value for attaining Certified Work Ready Community status. The regional approach will serve as a national model for implementing the Certified Work Ready Communities criteria at the community level and integrating the development of a workforce development report card that effectively measures work readiness relevant to employers current and future skills needs.
kderosear@vamanufacturers.com. To learn more about Virginia's Career Readiness Program: visit

Having this ability to quantify the skill level of the workforce will serve as a powerful business retention and economic development tool throughout the region. The partnership with ACT will also make it possible to access real-time workforce skills data. For more information about the Academy, contact Katherine DeRosear, VMA Director of Workforce Development at 804-643-7489, ext. 22 or

Train and Certify

Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit Features VMA and ECPI University Partnership


Governor McDonnell convened business and industry leaders, policymakers and educators to participate in the Governor's K-12 Education Reform Summit: Investing in Students Today, Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow in Richmond, Virginia on August 15-16, 2012.

Pictured above, Brett Vassey (President and CEO, Virginia Manufacturers Association) and Kevin Paveglio (President, ECPI University Virginia Beach Campus) presented the unique partnership between VMA and ECPI during the "
Building a World-Class Workforce through Public and Private Partnerships"
panel presentation. The partnership was recognized as a proven strategy to retain the existing workforce while recruiting qualified individuals who are interested in careers in advanced technology industries such as manufacturing.  
To review the presentation, go to slides 65-83 at http://www.governor.virginia.gov/utility/docs/K-12_Summit_Presentations.pdf


In addition, the summit featured keynote speeches from former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Joel Klein and former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. Other key topics of the Summit included experts and key leaders in the areas of teacher quality, strategies for successful classrooms, school choice and workforce development.


NOTE: ECPI University serves as the premiere provider of the association's industry-endorsed manufacturing technology (MT) training to prepare individuals for employment in critical occupations and to pursue further academic credentials. ECPI adopted VMA's workforce development model, which includes providing onsite customized MT training in addition to courses in advanced technology, engineering and mechatronics offered at each campus. For more information: Katherine DeRosear, VMA Director of Workforce Development, at 804-643-7489, ext. 22 or kderosear@vamanufacturers.com.