With the election of Glenn Youngkin, is it time for Virginia to build the next world-class manufacturing hub, one that will rival what we see in China and other parts of Asia? With the Democrats ousted, and with them their obsession with worthless endeavors such as Social Justice and Critical Race Theory, and as we watch supply chains and logistical bottlenecks stifle US growth, we need a governor that will think outside the box and move Virginia into the manufacturing catbird seat. There is no better place to do that than Coastal Virginia.
In the past few decades, a fourth industrial revolution has emerged, known as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 takes the emphasis on digital technology from recent decades, access to real-time data, and the introduction of cyber-physical systems and creates a more comprehensive, interlinked, and holistic approach to manufacturing. It connects physical with digital, and allows businesses to better control and understand every aspect of their operation, and allows them to leverage instant data to boost productivity, improve processes, and drive growth.
Industry 4.0 is the foundation on which to turn Coastal Virginia into a world-class manufacturing hub. Look around, we have the physical and intellectual tools to do this.
First, to build a new world-class manufacturing hub you need power and water. We have a deepwater port, and access to nuclear at North Anna– nukes are cheap and “GREEN.” We have the Port of Virginia which can handle ship traffic (cargo), and has access to trucking and rail. The advantage here is of course location. It doesn’t hurt to have access to space either (see Wallops).
Many don’t realize it, but when you combine Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton, Coastal Virginia becomes a top ten metropolitan area. With that comes access to a well-educated, well-trained workforce. We also have Old Dominion, Norfolk State, and just up the road William & Mary for access to top minds. The key here is people.
You need to target and go after industries and use incentives to lure them here. Software, Semiconductors Pharmaceuticals, Advanced Materials, Batteries, and Auto Manufacturing can bolster the already dominant shipbuilding sector. The key is to keep everything within a 20 to 30-mile radius, to remain agile…speed is key.
Always growing. To be a world-class manufacturing zone, it can’t just be one industry, it must be a layered approach. You’ll need to be thinking about the next phases of development months and even years in advance.
Think outside the box when it comes to regulation, at the state and local levels. The government needs to create an environment where manufacturing can thrive.
Security will also be key, including not just physical security, but Cybersecurity.
Building a regional think tank. Ideas, big ideas need to be vetted, and this includes the Cybersecurity sector.
More to come as the Mirror delves into Coastal Virginia and Industry 4.0.