Building Manufacturing Awareness in Community Colleges


The Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) is a non-profit organization based out of Abingdon, Virginia, which advocates for current and future manufacturers within the region. One of its strategic initiatives is to partner with regional schools to host a series of discussions titled, “Manufacture Your Career.” For this event the organization typically invites seasoned representatives who have built their careers around local manufacturing.

Strongwell’s John Thompson (Virginia Operations Cost Accountant) and Tekai Shu (Social Media and Business Development Manager) were invited to participate in a “Manufacture Your Career” discussion hosted by Virginia Highlands Community College. The panel was attended by students working on their industrial certifications, as well as accounting professors, business professors, and career counselors. The speaking panel consisted of representatives from Strongwell, Universal Fibers and General Dynamics.  Topic discussions ranged from employee benefits, the expected trajectory of American manufacturing, the role of American manufacturing in the global marketplace and work cultures.