The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. Photo by Dwayne Yancey

Old Dominion University will launch Virginia’s first four-year degree in manufacturing engineering technology (MfgET) at its Norfolk campus, as well as a satellite campus based at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), in Danville, according to a release from the school.

The new program will be housed in Old Dominion’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology’s Engineering and Technology Department.

IALR will host third- and fourth-year undergraduate level classes for the MfgET bachelor’s degree program of ODU on its Danville campus. The classes will be offered with on-site, virtual and hybrid options, leveraging the advanced manufacturing lab space of IALR.

The announcement at the IARL. Courtesy of the IALR.

Students in Southside Virginia can enter the program from multiple paths, including community colleges; the Academy for Engineering and Technology resourced by IALR; career and technical dual-enrollment programs; and incumbent workers.

The bachelor’s and associate degrees are part of the Virginia Maritime Industrial Base Consortium’s “Talent Pipeline Initiative,” which aims to develop job-ready talent for defense and industrial base employers through an enhanced K-12-to-university training pipeline. The degree program has the support of industry partners, who will offer guidance and experiential work opportunities to ensure students graduate well-prepared for the work.

“Combining IALR, ODU, and our community college system to produce undergraduate education across Hampton Roads and Southern Virginia creates a force multiplier that strengthens our Maritime Defense Industrial Base and will help ensure America’s competitive advantage,” said Craig Crenshaw, Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs in a statement.

The training pipeline will increase manufacturing capacity, capability, resiliency and diversity in the maritime defense industrial base.

Patrick & Henry Community College, based in Martinsville, will launch a corresponding associate degree in manufacturing engineering technology that will serve as a pipeline to both the workforce and pathway to ODU’s four-year degree. P&HCC currently offers a general engineering technologies and industrial electronics technologies associate degree, as well as several manufacturing certificates.

The two-year manufacturing engineering technology degree will eventually be available to all colleges within the Virginia Community College System.

The educational partners are developing the curriculum for the 2- and 4-year programs, which will launch in the second year of the grant cycle. Individuals interested in learning more about or enrolling in the associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Manufacturing Engineering Technology should visit http://www.ialr.org/manufacturing-engineering-technology to complete an interest form.