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New Manufacturing Jobs in Growing Industries Announced

coastal wind turbines
Virginia hopes to become an East Coast hub for wind turbine development. (Photo: Pexels/Open Source)

Governor Ralph Northam’s administration has made a series of new jobs announcements in recent weeks which state officials say target growing industries.

These include 180 new jobs for Premium-PPE, a manufacturer that pivoted to protective medical equipment early in the pandemic. The company is also investing $5.6 million in expanding their Virginia Beach plant.

Secretary of Commerce Brian Ball says Virginia wants to grow in widely relevant sectors like PPE production. He expects PPE will remain widely used post-pandemic.

“They’re businesses that are creating goods and services that can be exported outside of Virginia,” he said.

That’s also why the state is preparing to open its first wind workforce training program. Ball sees potential for Virginia to become an East Coast wind energy hub. The state’s central location and favorable port construction - Ball says there are no obstacles like bridges for installation crews to worry about - are ideal. 

“We want to create a workforce that can provide the needed help to the developers of these projects, whether they be in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, you know, elsewhere on the East Coast,” Ball said.

The Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance plans to begin offering classes early next year, and will provide wind turbine operations and maintenance certifications through the New College Institute in Mechanicsville.

Other recent announcements include ten parts-building jobs for Danish manufacturer Rose Holm in Henrico, and a 98-job expansion for railway construction company Plasser American in Chesapeake.

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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