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September 6, 2017

MARTINSVILLE (September 6, 2017) — Ground was broken today for a unique training center that will serve companies locating in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre.

The Commonwealth Centre for Advanced Training (CCAT) will enable companies to recruit, hire and train employees in close proximity to their new operations at Commonwealth Crossing in southern Henry County.

The CCAT facility will include about 25,000 square feet of office and training space. This will include a high bay area where a company can place its own equipment for training. Once the training is completed, the company will remove the equipment to make way for the next business to move its machinery in, and so on.

The one-level building also will have office/training facilities where employers can conduct interviews and other aspects of the hiring process; rest rooms and showers adjacent to the high bay; breakout rooms; and office/conference space for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) to use when recruiting and working with Commonwealth Crossing companies.

The new training center is a partnership of the EDC, which will own the building; Patrick Henry Community College, which will conduct workforce training there; Henry County, which owns Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre through its Industrial Development Authority; and The Harvest Foundation, which provided a $5 million grant for the project.

“This training center is consistent with the EDC’s strategic plan which is built on the creation of new, higher paying jobs and capital investment for community,” said Christopher Beeler, chairman of the EDC board. “The EDC is proud to be involved with all our partners to create this unique opportunity for companies choosing to locate in Commonwealth Crossing.”

EDC President/CEO Mark Heath said he believes CCAT’s location at Commonwealth Crossing will give the industrial park an edge over its competition when recruiting companies.

“We looked at our competitors throughout the Southeast and only found one building that was anything like this, and that only had classroom space,” Heath said. Also, having broken ground on the training center shows prospective companies that the facility is a reality, he said.

Henry County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Adams agreed: “A trained work force is essential for a community’s growth and prosperity. We think CCAT will separate us from some communities with which we compete for projects.”

PHCC President Dr. Angeline Godwin has seen this type of training center be so successful in Kentucky that one area built a second training facility. “It’s a best-practice model across the country … unique,” especially to Commonwealth Crossing competitors, she said.

“We are delighted the community will have this unique and extraordinary asset,” Godwin said. “We know workforce is a key trigger in economic development recruitment” and CCAT will give companies flexibility to customize their training needs and begin that training at the same time their facilities are being cons