Silent Falcon UAS Technologies Partners with Randolph-Macon Academy
Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, an unmanned aircraft systems service provider and original equipment manufacturer, will invest $6 million to locate its new East Coast headquarters for research, development, and manufacturing at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport in Warren County, Virginia. The company plans to create 249 jobs.
The unmanned system's lab at Front Royal’s Randolph-Macon Academy will partner with Silent Falcon as part of its pre-professional pathway initiative through the R-MA drone program, which provides students with the tools and real-life experience to leverage the potential of unmanned technology in a range of career fields, providing “first-hand experience” and how to apply it to “real-world community management, business, environmental and economic challenges,” the release states.
"Randolph-Macon Academy's goal was to create a nationally recognized and accredited UAS flight training and drone applications program serving as a direct pipeline to industry career opportunities, as well as a pathway to emerging four-year university UAS programs," Brian Kelly, director of unmanned flight operations at the Randolph-Macon Academy, states in the release.
Kelly notes that R-MA is now “positioned to become the leading high school UAS program in the country” and said he believes Silent Falcon’s investment will do “great things” for the country and the region.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Warren County, the Virginia Department of Aviation and the Center for Innovative Technology to secure the project for Virginia, and Northam approved a $161,482 grant from the Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund to assist Warren County with the project.
Grant Bishop, CEO of Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, commended the VEDP and states in the release: “They couldn't have been more persuasive in helping us choose Warren County for our new facility.”
Statewide transportation and technology leaders as well as various local and state officials commended all sides for their contributions and said they look forward to what the endeavor brings.
“Silent Falcon UAS Technologies’ decision to establish its East Coast operations in Warren County and create a new workforce development partnership speaks volumes to Virginia’s leadership in the fast-growing unmanned systems industry,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “With one of the nation’s largest transportation networks, an unmatched talent pipeline, and competitive operating costs, the Commonwealth is an ideal location for the company to reach its expanding customer base. This project is a major win for the Northern Shenandoah Valley, and we are thrilled to welcome the company to Virginia.”