Six Area Teens Win Scholarships at 6th Annual ITAC Manufacturing Tech Summer Camp

August 14, 2018 / Current News

By Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce

HOPEWELL and PRINCE GEORGE, Va — A team of six students from Dinwiddie, Hopewell, Prince George and Colonial Heights won the Manufacturing Tech Summer Camp competition on Saturday, July 21. The Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce is a network sponsor for the camp.

Members of the winning team each received a $500 scholarship to be used for post-secondary education at a qualifying institution.

Sixty-five students applied from three school systems as well as the children of employees of the camp sponsors. Twenty-four were accepted to participate in the three-and-a-half-day Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Camp. The camp concluded on Saturday, July 21 with the four teams competing to safely and efficiently manufacture unique clocks using computer-assisted production methods.

The 6th Annual Dream It Do It Manufacturing Camp took place July 18 – 21 at ITAC in Chester. The camp is sponsored by H/PG Chamber’s corporate manufacturing partners including Service Center Metals, AdvanSix, Dynegy, SW Funk and Evonik and school systems in the City of Hopewell and the counties of Dinwiddie and Prince George. Children of chamber members and sponsors are also eligible to attend the camp.

Four days of hands-on learning

The students received three days of coaching to prepare them with business, marketing, manufacturing methods, and safety requirements. This included hands-on training in how to estimate their budgets, place orders for raw materials, market and brand their product, plan their production cycles, manage their time and share their resources. Safety while working in the production areas is a must. The camp included field trips to the Ordnance Welding School at Ft. Lee and the advanced factory operations at Rolls-Royce Crosspointe, which manufactures parts for aerospace engines.

The Manufacturing Technology Camp model was developed by STIHL INC., a global manufacturer of chainsaws and other outdoor power equipment, with its US operations located in Virginia Beach. STIHL presented the program idea to the Dream it. Do it. Virginia network as an opportunity to host students throughout the state for this valuable hands-on learning experience. This is the sixth year the camp has been held at ITAC.

“What’s not immediately apparent to those who do not work in the manufacturing and skilled trades sector is that manufacturing has evolved into a more technology-intensive sector and offers new opportunities and challenges. Another factor that is not evident is the competitive pay and benefits for these jobs,” says Jon Loftis, president of ITAC. “Manufacturing has been identified by GO Virginia as one of the highest-paying careers in the Crater Region. Youth interested in these careers can receive training while in high school, at John Tyler Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Rowanty Technical Center and by entering the growing number of apprenticeships in Virginia.

About Dream It. Do It. Virginia

The Dream It. Do It. Virginia (DIDIVA) outreach and awareness network is a partner of the National Dream It. Do It. network as developed by the Manufacturing Institute (MI) and expanded to Virginia in 2007 by the Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) and Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA). The DIDIVA network’s mission is to encourage people to explore and pursue advanced technology careers in Virginia, like manufacturing, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, aviation, energy, information technology, healthcare and more. DIDIVA offers a free, online career resource tool built by Virginia’s advanced technology sector to help individuals learn more about exciting career opportunities and connect them with possible future employment, as well as a two-time award winning “So What Do You Do?” integrated marketing campaign featured in all its media. For more information, visit