Canon Virginia Announce First Graduating Class of Apprentices

Newport News, Virginia – During National Apprentice Week, November 13-19, Canon Virginia, Inc. (CVI) is proud to announce the graduation of the first two apprentices from the Canon Tool and Die Apprentice Program, fully accredited by the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. This program allowed Canon to expand technical capabilities for tooling and machining by training employees and developing their technical skills. Graduates will receive a certification from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills and a Journeyman’s card.


In partnership with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Thomas Nelson Community College Workforce Development Center, and New Horizons Regional Education Center the four-year program consists of 8,000 on-the-job training hours and instructor lead courses delivered by The Center for Apprenticeship and Adult Training at New Horizons. The Virginia DOL played an active role in verifying and approving the Canon curriculum.


When Canon Virginia expanded the tool making capabilities nearly ten years ago, a skills gap in the workforce was quickly identified. With the growth and expansion of the tool shop, recruitment of talented tool makers and machinist became a top priority to meet growing business demands. "In an extremely competitive market, establishing a sustainable apprenticeship program is the key to our continued growth.  Inspiring young people to learn a skilled trade and give them a path forward is what motivates me every day," says Scott Blankenship, Director of the Tool Manufacturing Division.


Nationally, trade careers are not as attractive to the new generation entering the workforce. By developing an apprenticeship program, Canon is training employees to meet the need and fill the gap in this skilled trade. This program has created new career opportunities benefiting current employees and sparking an interest in a new generation of toolmakers and machinist.


One unique aspect of the program is a mentorship component whereby apprentices are partnered with senior toolmakers and machinist. The one-to-one coaching allows apprentices to shadow and learn valuable skills from their mentors that cannot be taught in a classroom environment.


Last year, the apprentices were tasked with an important assignment to design and machine a yo-yo tool used during the 2015 National Plastics Expo in Orlando, FL. “It was a rewarding experience to apply what we’ve learned in the classroom to an actual project used for a tradeshow. We had a unique opportunity to demonstrate our skills and all that we’ve learned throughout the program,” says Jason Rowe, Toolmaker Apprentice Graduate. During the tradeshow, the popular toy was molded in the Canon booth and handed out to attendees.  



About Canon Virginia Inc.

Located in Newport News, Virginia, Canon Virginia, Inc. serves as Canon’s only manufacturing, engineering, recycling and technical support center in the Americas region. CVI produces new products using advanced manufacturing methodologies while also serving as a factory service center providing expert customer service in the repair and refurbishment of Canon products. Canon Virginia’s manufacturing services extend to injection mold making and contract manufacturing services. For more information, call 1-866-99-CANON or visit


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