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Community college expands machining program in collaboration with Rolls-Royce

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Chesterfield County-based John Tyler Community College is expanding its precision machining program to an effort to help develop an advanced manufacturing work force in the region.

Students in the program will use manufacturing methods on large-scale, high-tech machines that are similar to those found on a shop floor.

The first machine to arrive at JTCC is a Mazak Machining Center – a high-tech, large-scale precision milling machine acquired as a result of a partnership with aerospace giant Rolls-Royce. 

In May, Rolls-Royce opened a $170 million, 180,000-square-foot jet engine components factory at Crosspointe, the company’s advanced manufacturing campus in Prince George County. The company plans eventually to invest $500 million in the site.

One of the reasons Rolls-Royce picked the site was the opportunity to work with community college’s in training advanced-manufacturing workers.

The precision machining program at JTCC has earned accreditation through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, becoming the only higher-education program in the commonwealth with this designation.

In addition to its partnership with the community college, Rolls-Royce also is working with the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University on the development of two research centers, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems.

“Training the next generation of highly skilled workers is critical to the future of Rolls-Royce and to the success of advanced manufacturing in America,” Thomas O. Loehr, Rolls-Royce executive vice president – Crosspointe, said in a statement. “We are committed to this cause and look forward to a long-term relationship with John Tyler and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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