RICHMOND, Va. (June 5, 2014) – Siemens announced more than $1 billion of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at community colleges and universities in Virginia. 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 some of the world’s most sophisticated 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.”

“I was pleased to be with Siemens today as they announced that they are investing more than $1 billion in in-kind software grants for Virginia Schools, including community colleges and universities. These grants will help educate and train workers for the manufacturing industry and will also allow students to have access to Siemens software that is used throughout the global manufacturing industry,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “This investment in education and in workforce development is key to my vision to build a 21st century economy where workers, providers, and entrepreneurs want to invest and produce in our growing Commonwealth.”

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

- Thomas Nelson Community College - $954.7 million: Siemens software will support training in manufacturing process analysis and life-cycle 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 - $64.3 million: Siemens' software to be used in the school's new the NRCC MakerSpace Lab

- Old Dominion University - $746 million: 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 - $230.9 million: 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 - $105.6 million: 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 - $130.3 million: 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 - $33 million: In addition to a $94 million in-kind software grant last fall, SVHEC is expanding its use of Siemens PLM software to support digital manufacturing.

As software plays an increasing role in the next era of manufacturing, students and faculty will use the software in assignments and research related to computer-aided-design, engineering simulation, industrial design, digital manufacturing and manufacturing management. The in-kind grants will also help to expand and modernize manufacturing curriculum in design and process technologies.

In addition to the announced grants, Siemens has already invested more than $1 billion providing software to several Virginia academic institutions including CCAM, SVHEC, Virginia State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and the Lee County Career and Technology Center.

As part of this effort, Siemens is also working with the Virginia Manufacturers Association on a credentialing pathway at community colleges for manufacturing technicians as well as to improve the perception of careers in manufacturing. This work is being done through the Dream It. Do It. Virginia (DIDIVA) network, a free career resource tool built by Virginia's advanced technology sector to help individuals learn more about exciting fields of possible future employment.

Siemens Industry Sector supplies products, solutions and services for industrial customers.