News Column

Siemens Invests over $1 Billion in Software Grants for Virginia Schools

June 10, 2014

Siemens detailed more than one billion dollars of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at community colleges and universities in Virginia.

According to a release, students will now have access to the same Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics.

The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers and is designed to support the state's largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, and other companies with local ties such as Rolls-Royce. The grants are part of ongoing workforce development collaboration among community colleges, universities and organizations like CCAM, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SHVEC) - an organization that provides workforce training to the rural population.

"The manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency and speeding time to market," said Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. "Here in Virginia where shipbuilding is core to the state's economy, it's important we equip students with the tools that will help them build the world's most complex ships for the U.S. Navy, such as the Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers."

Seven academic partners throughout the state are receiving in- kind software grants to support curriculum and training programs including:

-Thomas Nelson Community College - $954.7M: Siemens software will support training in manufacturing process analysis and lifecycle management to expand and modernize manufacturing curriculum in design and process technologies for up to 400 credit students and 2,600 noncredit workforce students to address workforce development needs for area employers, to include Newport News Shipbuilding.

-New River Community College - $64.3M: Siemens' software to be used in the school's new the NRCC MakerSpace Lab.

-Old Dominion University - $746M: An academic member of CCAM, the grant will help ODU further expand the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) workforce training programming that provides direct benefits to the regional maritime industry, especially Newport News Shipbuilding and the U.S. Department of Defense. The software will be integrated into existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum and help develop a PLM center of excellence with a focus on marine engineering.

-Virginia Commonwealth University - $230.9M: From robotics to biomechanics, the School of Engineering is partnering with School of Business to develop a program in manufacturing and logistics.

-Virginia State University - $105.6M: The software will support six programs at VSU, an organizing member institution of CCAM: Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electronics Engineering Technology, Logistics Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

-ECPI University - $130.3M: The Engineering Technology department will use this software to support hands on practical application and directly benefit industry through three programs - Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Mechatronics (Advanced Manufacturing).

-Southern Virginia Higher Education Center - $33M: In addition to a $94M in-kind software grant last fall, SVHEC is expanding its use of Siemens PLM software to support digital manufacturing.

"This grant will allow Thomas Nelson to provide our students and community with access to state-of-the-art education and training in these high demand technology industries," said Thomas Nelson President John Dever. "The Siemens software will have a significant economic impact to Hampton Roads and will allow Thomas Nelson to increase the number and quality of curricular offerings to the growing workforce in our region."

"We are tremendously appreciative of this grant from Siemens PLM, which represents state-of-practice software for managing every aspect of product information from its development, design, manufacturing, to its support and maintenance," said Old Dominion University Dean Oktay Baysal. "The software will be integrated into existing as well as new undergraduate and graduate curriculum and will help develop a Product Lifecycle Management center of excellence with a focus on marine engineering."

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