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October 2015

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Morris South Partners with SoVA CME
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Morris South Partners with SoVA CME

(l-r) David Kenealy, Director of Programming, SoVA CME; Kevin Wigington, President, Morris South; Michael McDaniel, Capital Account Manager, Morris South; and Keith Wilson, Vice President of Sales, Morris South, stand in front of the new Okuma GENOS M560-V VMC that was supplied and installed by Morris South at the precision machining lab at SoVA CME in May.

Morris South, a division of Morris Group, Inc., has formally partnered with The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) and The SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence (SoVA CME), located in South Boston, VA, to support the advancement of manufacturing in Virginia and surrounding states.

SoVA CME was established in response to findings from a 2013 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group for the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (now named the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission) and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (C-CAM). The consulting firm reported a need for advanced technical training to prepare southern and southwest Virginia for advanced manufacturing jobs that exist today and will grow in the future. Danville Community College and Southside Virginia Community College are educational partners in SoVA CME; all three campuses will deliver foundational training in welding, precision machining and industrial maintenance/mechatronics. The initiative is funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

"Area manufacturers are fortunate to have this gem of a resource at their disposal to learn about advanced technology and to train staff in the operation and maintenance of CNC machinery," said Kevin Wigington, President, Morris South. "I believe that SoVA CME has tremendous potential to help regional manufacturers become more competitive on a global basis, perfectly complementing Morris South's mission statement and commitment to our customers."

Morris South's partnership with SoVA CME entails the supply of CNC machinery and a cross-training program for the programming, operation, maintenance and servicing of machine tools. In May, Morris South installed an Okuma GENOS L300-M turning center, an Okuma GENOS M560-V vertical machining center (VMC), an Okuma HJ250E turning center and a Bridgeport GX 1000 VMC in the 8,700 sq. ft. precision machining lab within SoVA CME. Other equipment in the precision machining lab includes a 5-axis CNC waterjet, manual machinist mills and lathes, 3-axis and 5-axis CNC routers, 3D printers, reverse engineering laser scanning technology and a variety of complementary machining stations.

In addition to the precision machining area, SoVA CME houses a multi-station computer lab for CAD/CAE/CAM training equipped with Siemen's NX software and work areas for industrial maintenance/mechatronics training, welding and woodworking.

In addition to serving as a technology advisor and training partner with SoVA CME, Morris South is expected to utilize SoVA CME as a training and demonstration site for its customers. The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art training classroom with amphitheater seating and large projection screen. SoVA CME is housed in a campus of historical buildings that were renovated and modernized in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Virginia's historic preservation guidelines.

"We are honored to have Morris South join with us in the SoVA CME partnership," said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC Executive Director. "Their expertise, experience and support bolster our ability to provide existing and future manufacturers in the region with industry-certified workforce training, advanced technology adoption and high-quality customized production runs. The combined resources of all of our SoVA CME partners - SVHEC, DCC, SVCC, Virginia Technical Institute, Siemens and C-CAM - are positioning southern Virginia as a distinctive, manufacturing-friendly venue for industry. This is exactly what the Virginia Tobacco Commission had in mind when the centers of manufacturing excellence were established in 2014."

"It has been a supreme privilege to work with Morris South on the build-out of the SoVA CME precision machining program," said David Kenealy, SoVA CME Director of Programming. "Totally aligned to the original intent of this economic development and workforce training initiative, Morris South has proactively provided the guidance and the voice of industry. The product line that Morris South distributes represents the same tier-one technology that manufacturers within southern Virginia - those who are expanding upon their manufacturing capabilities as well as those considering relocating to this region - would expect to see as assets within our training program. The SoVA CME could not have a better partner than Morris South as we implement this exciting initiative."

"We have seen sweeping changes within the industry during Morris South's 35-year history and that of our parent company, Morris Group, Inc., which dates back to 1941," concluded Wigington. "We can comfortably pledge to remain adaptive to the needs of SoVA CME, our customers and manufacturing as a whole over the long run."

For more information contact:

Morris South

12428 Sam Neely Road

Charlotte, NC 28278



820 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA 24592


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