Hanover’s Perspective

Hanover Business Opens Doors on Manufacturing Day

What does the Virginia Historical Society, Department of Homeland Security, John Deere, and American Eagle Outfitters have in common? They all use components fabricated by SON Metal Fab (SON), a family-owned and operated sheet metal fabricator and machine shop located in Hanover County.

The company will once again open their doors to the public on October 4, 2018 to host Manufacturing Day (MFG Day). MFG Day is an annual North American event promoting the manufacturing industry and careers. Past year attendees included students from the Hanover Center for Trades and Technology, a public vocational and technical school for high school students. The school is one of the many outlets for workforce training and technical support within the County.

Featured in the Hanover County Economic Development’s “Why Hanover” series, Kevin Harrison of SON said, “We participate in the annual event to raise awareness with the kids so that they see there is a future with this industry.” Operating at full capacity, SON’s ability to grow hinges on securing skilled welders and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine operators. The chronic shortage of skilled labor is being felt nationwide, therefore, educating the next generation about opportunities and benefits of careers in skilled trades is critical.

Among other things, SON fabricates metal parts used in field operations tables for Homeland Security as well as clothing display tables for American Eagle Outfitters. They also work extensively with one of the largest signage companies in the world, Architectural Graphics, Inc. located in Virginia Beach. SON Metal Fab began in 1990 with two skilled craftsmen and 2,500 square feet. They now operate in the Hanover Industrial Air Park with 32,000 square feet and 30 employees.

Manufacturing is one of the leading industries in Hanover County accounting for 3,631 jobs in 2017, an 12% increase from six years ago.

Manufacturing Day was created by Founding Partner Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). Over the past years, many organizations have supported the event including the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Manufacturing Institute (MI), and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The event is now produced annually by the NAM with key contributions and support from the MEP and the MI.

For more information about participating in Manufacturing Day as a Hanover business, please contact our office at 804-365-6464 or econdev@hanovervirginia.com.