Blue Ridge Community College opened its doors Wednesday to show off its Advanced Technology Center. It's part of National Manufacturing Day, which is big-time business in the Shenandoah Valley.
The instructors took visitors - and even some employers - through the facilities for an in-depth and interactive tour. Guides showed off state-of-the-art classrooms, cutting-edge equipment, and labs.
They say everything is designed to train students for evolving demands in the workforce. In fact, the president of BRCC, John Downey, says the educators meet with employers in the area to select technology and design courses tailored to the needs of local jobs.
"Unfortunately, a lot of young people in particular but even people who are retraining and coming back to school, aren't aware that these jobs are in demand right now," Downey said.
Downey also said that food processing and plastics are important industries in the valley.