Drone Company Brings New Jobs to Covington

Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday, Oct. 8th that Aeronyde Corporation will invest 350,000 dollars to establish a new drone operations command and control center in Covington, creating 25 new jobs in the area where workers will be using drones to help collect information for different organizations including those in public safety and the government. Aeronyde uses the drone technology to record data on things like infrastructure, agriculture and public safety.

The company, based in Florida, will be the third tenant to move into the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone and will transform old classrooms into office space, store drones in the courtyard, and test technology in the building’s old cafeteria.

The project actually started in Fall 2017 after receiving $100,000 in federal funding to convert a former primary school into a drone research center. The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission was matched with $100,000 in local money.

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, which has its main campus in Clifton Forge, created an 18-hour career studies certificate in drone technology earlier this year to complement the Drone Zone initiative. The certificate prepares students for entry-level positions in drone operations and maintenance.

Northam said, 

“Aeronyde Corporation’s new facility in the City of Covington is a welcome addition to the Roanoke region’s growing unmanned systems industry, which continues to create high-quality, 21st-century job opportunities for Virginia citizens..Our Commonwealth has the second-highest concentration of technology workers in the country and close proximity to major defense contractors in Washington, D.C. We are thrilled that Aeronyde has chosen Virginia as its launchpad for future innovation and have great confidence that the company will thrive in our Commonwealth.” 

The area’s landscape and emphasis on drone technology attracted the company. The governor noted that Virginia successfully competed with California and Florida for the project, which is being supported by the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The program provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs to reduce human resources costs.

Aeronyde’s CEO Edgar Muñoz said 

“There is so much room for expansion, the area is so beautiful so we are ready to start rocking and rolling.” 


I’d like to thank WDBJ7, WSET.com and the Roanoke Times for some of the information I used in this story.

For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour

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Abby Dufour

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