Research center draws more attention from Obama administration

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The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) in Prince George County continues to be an industry model for the Obama administration.

The president touted the collaborative research program in May 2012, during a tour of the recently opened Rolls-Royce jet components plant south of Petersburg.

Plans for the Rolls-Royce plant, which opened in 2011, were the catalyst for CCAM, which has four university members and 17 members from industry and government.

University and industry researchers collaborate on advanced manufacturing techniques and technology.

On Friday, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew visited CCAM’s 60,000-square-foot facility, which opened last year not far from the Rolls-Royce plant.

Lew’s visit was part of a series of appearances by the president and members of his administration to highlight themes from Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this week.

“CCAM is at the forefront of expanding opportunity by bringing researchers, students, and business together to drive innovation and develop advanced manufacturing technologies,” Lew said in a statement issued by the Treasury Department.  “It is also a powerful example of why this Administration’s focus on increasing job training, modernizing our education system, and creating manufacturing institutes is so important.”

Since Obama’s visit in 2012, Rolls-Royce has announced plans to build a second manufacturing facility on its 1,000-acre campus in Prince George. The $136 million, 90,000-square-foot factory is expected to employ 140 workers when it opens later this year.

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