Thomas Nelson Names Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. for the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

April 20, 2018
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Thomas Nelson Community College selected Continental Inc. Automotive Systems, Inc. Newport News to receive the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Leadership in Philanthropy in acknowledgment of the company’s exceptional contributions to Thomas Nelson. The award was presented Tuesday, April 17 during a luncheon ceremony in Richmond.

Those pictured (l-r) with Virginia’s Community Colleges Chancellor Glenn DuBois are Thomas Nelson Educational Foundation President William Grace; Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Newport News Plant Manager Alberto Marinai and its Human Resources Manager Mike Lindsey; Thomas Nelson College Board members, Deborah Reese and John McMillan, Jr.; and Thomas Nelson President John Dever.

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education hosts the Chancellor's Award for Leadership in Philanthropy to honor the leading philanthropists from each of Virginia's 23 community colleges and the system's statewide foundation.This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders acknowledged has contributed a combined total of over $6 million to VCCS. Attendeesat the 13thannual eventheard from keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president and president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, who called the community college system “one of Virginia’s greatest inventions.”

Part of the engine systems unit of Continental Automotive Systems Inc.'s powertrain division, Continental’s Newport News plant produces fuel injectors and other fuel system components as a supplier to car manufacturers.  Boasting roughly 750 employees, Continental is on track to grow to 1,000 workers by 2019 having committed to invest $150 million in its facility over multiple years to help in expanding its product portfolio. 

The company provides roughly 3,800 square feet of space, equipment and other expertise at its Newport News facility that enables Thomas Nelson to deliver a machining program that launched in fall 2017. This training partnership will generate much-needed skilled workers to meet Continental’s workforce needs and the needs of the Virginia Peninsula’s advanced manufacturing industry.

While the initial cash value of Continental’s investment in Thomas Nelson’s machining program in terms of space, renovations, equipment, utilities, maintenance and more is estimated to surpass $400,000 over the next five to 10 years, the partnership’s economic impact will be priceless in today’s competitive economy given the skilled workforce it will yield. 

Thomas Nelson President John Dever deeply values the College’s winning connection with Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. “The word of manufacturing is drastically changing and the need of manufacturing companies for skilled workers is a greater challenge than ever before. Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. responded to this challenge by partnering with Thomas Nelson Community College to help train future machinists …,” he stated.

“Mounting an equipment-intensive program like machining would likely be out of the question without a strong partner willing to make a major investment. Continental’s investment is not only for its own benefit, but also for the benefit of the region’s entire manufacturing industry,” added Dr. Dever.