Jason Cates grew up in Buchanan, Georgia, and graduated from Haralson County High School. He completed the Precision Machining Certification program at Southside Virginia Community College.
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) program was launched as a new advanced manufacturing training program for active duty soldiers preparing for the civilian workforce and veterans who have recently transitioned to civilian life.
The program is a collaboration among the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC), the Crater Regional Workforce Investment Board (Crater WIB), the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the Fort Lee Soldier for Life Program and 180 Skills, an online career and technical education curriculum provider.
Since completing the training Jason has been employed as a Machinist with Erodex, Inc. Erodex is based in the United Kingdom with operations in Richmond, Virginia. The company recruited Jason while he was still a student in the program and facilitated company training for him in the United Kingdom.