City of Buena Vista's March Update & Focus:  The City of Buena Vista recently celebrated a milestone by celebrating 125 years as a chartered city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The city’s charter became effective on February 15, 1892. In February of this year, the Virginia General Assembly adopted a resolution to commend the City of Buena Vista, whose beginnings can be traced to the opening of a simple tannery by Benjamin Moomaw, and originally founded as the town of Green Forest. The City’s quasquicentennial was celebrated February 16, 2017, at a Lexington-Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours event at the Paxton House, and events will continue throughout the year to mark this significant time four our city.

Munters Corporation, a global leader and premium partner in energy efficient air treatment solutions, recently announced an expansion in Buena Vista with an investment of $2.5 million and the creation of 100 new jobs for the area. Virginia competed with multiple states for this project, representing a huge win for the area.  This investment speaks to the success of existing operations in Buena Vista and the available workforce in the local region.

The City of Buena Vista is collaborating with industry partners, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Buena Vista City Schools and Rockbridge County to start an advanced manufacturing laboratory at Parry McCluer High School.  An industry summit took place on March 8, 2017, and as a result, a basic core skills curriculum is being developed with plans for a first course offering starting April 27th.  Industry leaders will continue to meet with area economic development and education professionals to finalize course offerings for advanced training needs, and classes are slated to start at the high school level this fall.

Advanced manufacturing laboratory courses will be developed to help meet the skills needed by local industry, including careers as electrical and instrumentation technicians, HVAC technicians, fabricators, industrial maintenance technicians, welders and other high-demand careers.  As existing industries continue to grow and expand, the City of Buena Vista and its partners are working to help solve their current and future workforce needs.

To learn more about doing business in the City of Buena Vista, contact Brian Brown, and visit their website: http://www.bvcity.org

Project Partners

City of Buena Vista's 2016 New Year’s Resolution: We resolve to develop an even stronger workforce through the development of an advanced manufacturing lab in the City to further support our manufacturing cluster and capabilities.

March Update & Focus: The City of Buena Vista, situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Maury River, is the industrial and manufacturing nucleus of the southern Shenandoah Valley. While new business recruitment is an important component, support and retention of our existing business community is paramount.  Our manufacturing activity centers around natural resources, textiles, and a variety of industrial, commercial and residential goods. Existing manufacturing companies like Advanced Drainage Systems, Auto Recyclers, Everbright Corporation, HDT Technologies, Modine, Munters, Northwest Hardwoods, Premier Fabrication Solutions, and Sayre Enterprises all call Buena Vista home.

Realizing the need for increased workforce training programs to support this cluster, the City of Buena Vista is partnering with Rockbridge County, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Buena Vista City Schools and Rockbridge County Schools to develop a new space that will address this need. The two areas of focus for the early stages of the project are heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and an advanced manufacturing laboratory.

Currently, Rockbridge County High School has a two-year HVAC course designed to give students the basic and technical knowledge through a hands-on training classroom and supervised on-the-job training. To address the need for additional workforce training programs, Buena Vista City Schools have identified space for the advanced manufacturing laboratory. By looking at a solution for additional training on a regional level, students and businesses from the surrounding community will benefit from expanded training options. The advanced manufacturing laboratory will also benefit Dabney S. Lancaster Community College by providing additional space to hold after-hour adult training programs.

After a recent kickoff meeting, great progress with these partners is being made in the City of Buena Vista to advance this effort. Next month, these collaborators will inventory and analyze the existing assets and equipment needs for the manufacturing lab. The City of Buena Vista is looking forward to developing an even stronger workforce and continuing to support the backbone of their economy through the manufacturing industry. For more information contact Brian Brown, Director of Economic Development, and visit http://www.buenavistabusiness.com.