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Advanced Manufacturing

Forging the Future: Advanced Manufacturing in Hampton Roads

The Hampton Roads region is made for success in the Advanced Manufacturing sector. Built upon the foundations of a strong and dedicated workforce, logistics epicenter, research excellence, and business-friendly cost structure, the region can support a variety of manufacturing industries, including most notably shipbuilding and aerospace. 

1,600+ Annual Graduates
in Production Related Programs

Average Cost of Industrial Space is 21% Less than the National Average


Hampton Roads’ ideal location midway on the East Coast affords significant logistical advantages to the region. Our advanced multimodal network provides many options for transporting goods both locally and internationally.


3rd Largest Port on the East Coast


2 International Airports with over 3.8 Million Annual Passengers


2 Class I Rail Services - Norfolk Southern and CSX


Connected to 47% of the US Within an 11-Hour Drive


Manufacturing companies have a substantial pool of talent to employ their workforce needs. With 12 colleges/universities and 21 trade and technical institutions located in the region, 1,600 + people are graduating annually with production related degrees and certificates. Additionally, Virginia is an “employment at will” and “right-to-work” state significantly reducing the percentage of union memberships and reducing the cost of workers compensation insurance and unemployment insurance tax.


# of Employees

Average Annual Wage

Industrial Engineers



Mechanical Engineers



General and Operations Managers






Welders, Cutters, Solderers, Brazer



Training and Development

The Apprentice School
The Apprentice School, founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation and offers four, five, and eight-year apprenticeships in 19 shipbuilding disciplines and eight advanced programs of study. The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. The school offers apprentices the opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and benefits and learn a trade.
Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College (TCC) is the largest provider of higher education and workforce services in Hampton Roads and second largest in Virginia enrolling nearly 33,000 students with one third comprised of military affiliated students. TCC Apprenticeship Institute partners with Hampton Roads employers in various industries. TCC also hosts programs in machine technology, mechatronics, maritime technologies, and a wide variety of other technical studies.

Hampton Roads Workforce Council

Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) is responsible for development workforce policies and administering workforce development initiatives for much of the region. HRWC provides a variety of service include Virginia Career Works, Hampton Roads Veteren Employment Center, NextGen Pathways along with other customized workforce development services.


Hampton Roads sits at the forefront of strategies to move technologies from labs into commercial products for the global marketplace. With major industry players such as NASA, Jefferson Lab, and the Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center, the region is making a high impact in innovative technology for businesses for tomorrow’s market.

Notable Research Facilities

NASA Langley Research Center
Langley Research Center is a branch of NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, an elite group of only 20 locations nationally. Led by some of the industry’s preeminent minds, the centers overarching mission is to develop and improve technology for aviation and space exploration. Known as America’s first civil aeronautics laboratory, Langley produces innovations that have drastically impacted not only the industry, but the world.

Jefferson Lab
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) is a world-leading nuclear physics research facility utilized by scientists worldwide. Part of the U.S Department of Energy, it is run by the national government and has an annual budget of over $220 million USD. One of its most notable components is the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator which is used to study atoms.

Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center
VMASC is an enterprise research center at Old Dominion University, focusing on advances in modeling and simulation, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Founded in 1997 in conjunction with the Department of Defense, the facility’s original mandate was to assist with war gaming. Over the years, the potential and ability of VMASC has expanded to subject areas such as medical, homeland security, and transportation. This resulted in international recognition for its ground-breaking work.

Foreign Trade Zone

Hampton Roads is located within FTZ- 20, a Foreign Trade Zone, providing the following benefits to manufacturers:

Industry Spotlight: Canon, Inc.

Since 1985, Canon Virginia, Inc. has been manufacturing Canon’s office and consumer products in Newport News. With a workforce of over 2,000 people, 5 facilities, $700 million investment in Canon Virginia, they’ve created millions of Canon copiers, printers, and cartridges . In 2009, they expanded and added a new facility which incorporated high speed automated manufacturing technology to increase printer cartridges’ output.

Key Industries

Bauer Compressors, Inc.

General Dynamics

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Measurement Specialties, Inc.

Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Canon Virginia, Inc.

Howmet Aerospace

Liebherr Mining Equipment Co.