(L-R) Jason Wells, Dr. Tammy Hurt, GO TEC Program Manager, Mark Gignac and
Jacob Taylor, GO TEC Training Coordinator, unveil the new GO TEC Training Lab at IALR.

The GO TEC Training Lab has opened at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research’s (IALR) main facility. A virtual ribbon cutting (bit.ly/GOTEClab) was held on October 13 and included a tour of the new state-of-the-art training lab. The Honorable R. Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, pre-recorded remarks which were shared with attendees. “Today marks the culmination of several years of hard work and partnership to build talent pipelines, engage with students and foster development in sectors with untapped potential,” Sec. Ball said.

The Lab, which was recently renovated to support the training and technical support goals of the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) program, will provide a unique training opportunity in the skillsets related to five focus areas: precision machining; welding; IT/cybersecurity; robotics, automation and mechatronics; and advanced materials.

“IALR is pleased to house the GO TEC Training Lab to offer specialized training in these pathways that is unlike anything that currently exists,” said Mark Gignac, GO TEC Advisory Board Chair and IALR Executive Director. “It fits perfectly with our mission to transform the region’s economy through attracting, retaining and growing industry by providing a highly skilled workforce that is ready to meet the needs of regional employers.”

The Lab will support the GO TEC Career Connections middle school teachers in the form of Teacher Training Academies. The GO TEC staff will provide training and support to all teachers on the same equipment that they use in their own classrooms to teach students the custom curriculum. Additionally, scheduled on-site and remote training via virtual livestreaming will be available as well as remote troubleshooting and tech support when needed. In the future, the Lab may be used for other broader purposes as a resource to the community, industry and educational partners. Get updates at facebook.com/gotecva or gotecva.org.

“This lab offers the ability to alter learning from an exercise of recall into one of action, forcing a whole new level of comprehension and competency to our future generations,” said Jason Wells, GO TEC Advisory Board Vice Chair and Kyocera SGS Tech Hub President.

The Lab, including renovations, accommodations and equipment, was made possible by support from GO Virginia, the Danville Regional Foundation and IALR.

GO TEC Career Connections Teacher Evan Jones (center) helps demonstrate the welding simulator and other technology during the event livestreamed by IALR IT Manager Tim Kruggel and his team.