This column originally appeared on PWCDED Executive Director Christina Winn’s LinkedIn profile

Last month our team helped celebrate NCS Technologies’ new headquarters, but instead of a typical ribbon-cutting ceremony and a quick photo op, we worked with their team to celebrate the opening with a thought-provoking advanced manufacturing roundtable and a town hall with Senator Mark Warner.


L to R: Chair Ann Wheeler, Christina Winn, Senator Mark Warner, Stacie Henn

By bringing together thought leaders from industry, academia, workforce, and government to discuss the challenges and opportunities linked to growing the manufacturing across our region, this event provided better interactions and engagement for our business owners, and more importantly, with their customers.

Advanced Manufacturing Panel

The Future of Advanced Manufacturing Panel from L to R: An Nguyen / NCS Technologies; Andrew Magyer / Capra Biosciences; Chad Knights / Northern Virginia Community College; Brian Gollenberg / Progeny (General Dynamics); and Delbert Parks / Micron with moderator Dr. David Hart

Special thank you to NCS President An Nguyen for sharing his amazing story and his team for being willing to think outside the box with us. Thank you to Senator Warner, who sowed the seeds for this idea during a visit to our community last year. And finally, a virtual high-five to my team who worked behind the scenes to bring this idea to life.

But let's not kid ourselves. Building thriving ecosystems that ooze growth and resilience isn't a walk in the park—it's more like a marathon. The path is riddled with complexities and requires tons of coordination and cooperation to make real headway. This event is just one step in our master plan.

We need to kick the old-school economic development methods to the curb and explore opportunities to be more than just ribbon cutters or business visitors. As we explore business interests, we must ensure our county has economic diversification and foundations for growth across multiple sectors.

As I celebrate my four-year anniversary as executive director at PWCDED, I am excited to see what else we can do differently to serve our community. We are not satisfied with the status quo, and we are committed to innovate and develop best practices to bring in new businesses and better jobs for our residents.

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