Dyer and Hughes: There’s a demand for manufacturing workers

Dyer and Hughes: There’s a demand for manufacturing workers

By John Dyer and Dan Hughes

Dyer is coordinator of the Roanoke Manufacturing Executives Roundtable. He was Vice President of Manufacturing at Optical Cable Corp. for several years and is now Quality Manager at Global Metal Finishing. Hughes is Director of Operations at Wabtec-Graham White. He serves on the Roanoke City ROTEC Advisory Board and is president of the ROTEC Foundation. Both serve on the Virginia Western Community College Mechatronics Program Steering Committee.

A call comes in to a local manufacturer. The customer needs their product but with special requirements. Team members from machine operator to engineer work together to determine how to best satisfy the customer. In this age of customization and special requirements, people look to American manufacturers for innovative solutions. With more than 17,000 employees, we in the Roanoke region are successfully meeting today’s manufacturing challenges.

One would be quite surprised to learn of all the products manufactured in the Roanoke region that ship all over the world. Night vision goggles used by our military and police forces. Fiber optic cable following oil wells thousands of feet underground, and feeding cell towers our calls and data. Control systems for wind turbines. Railroad cars and braking systems. Keyless entry systems. Fine jewelry. Custom circuit boards. Medical devices, Automotive transmission components, tires and truck chassis. The list goes on and on. And, of course, a high volume custom craft beer!

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