Martinsville, Va. — Local job seekers toured Arconic and Eastman’s manufacturing facilities to get a behind-the-scenes look at the companies, learn about employment opportunities, and to have any job-related questions answered.

GENEDGE, Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Martinsville Workforce Career Center, and Patrick Henry Community College partnered with Arconic and Eastman to host a Manufacturing Day event on Nov. 9 during which a total of 15 job seekers and students were able to participate. This “Premier Jobs Tour” offered exclusive, by “invitation only,” VIP access, at two local companies who are actively recruiting machine operators to join their organizations. Like a movie premier, the tour participants received VIP Passes, goody bags with tokens from each partner and business, and the full red carpet treatment.

Manufacturing Day provides manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors to the community, discuss the economic importance of manufacturing, and showcase the opportunities within a manufacturing career. Last year, the local partners invited the local workforce partners to visit Nilit and Drake Extrusion to see how manufacturing has evolved in the companies whereas job seekers were targeted to participate in this year’s tours.

Job seekers gathered at the Martinsville Workforce Career Center where they boarded the PHCC bus to travel to the first stop on the tour, Eastman in Fieldale, which consists of two plants and is the major manufacturer for the Performance Films division. Eastman regards safety to the highest importance; before anyone could step foot into a production area, a visitor safety presentation was shown and safety vests and glasses were provided. The tour was split into two groups where visitors were taken to various departments such as where the film is dyed. We learned about the numerous applications of the film, for example for snack food bags and car emblems. “I was unfamiliar with the processes used in these manufacturing operations, and found it very interesting to say the least,” commented participant Thea Johnson.

Arconic was the next stop. It also began with a safety presentation and distribution of safety vests, glasses, and hardhats prior to touring. Arconic has over 60 years experience in titanium manufacturing and the Martinsville location specifically delivers titanium mill products and services. Visitors were permitted to view multiple departments including the forging department from the floor and then also from the perspective of the control pulpit to see first-hand the amount of focus and attention required to forge one ingot of titanium.

The day concluded with a free lunch sponsored by GENEDGE during which job seekers were given a crucial opportunity to speak one-on-one with individuals in the human resources department at Arconic and also in Workforce Development at PHCC on next steps in the application and training processes for each facility.

Angela Bourland who participated in the tour found it to be fruitful, “This access was a privilege that very few, if any, companies allow for a potential employee to actually experience their operation in action. Management was available to answer any questions that one may have, lessening the stress of what to expect and anticipate for a potential job. Both companies expressed that they offer training in most all areas of their facility, offering advancement and opportunity to excel!”


Jeanette Stevens-Cunningham
(804) 613-8677


GENEDGE is the Commonwealth’s management consulting enterprise whose mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of the Virginia’s manufacturing and industry. We deliver consulting based expertise and technology transfer to over 200 companies each year. Our team helps clients expand, diversify, improve top & bottom line results, create jobs and sustain employment. We do this by helping our clients strategically innovate, compete and grow.

Our national affiliation with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) network provides access to industry-wide services and proven, results-based solutions. GENEDGE affiliates include the Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Wytheville, VA, the Old Dominion University Technology Applications Center (TAC) in Norfolk, VA, and a premier network of over 50 partners and service providers. For more information please visit

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