CPULD celebrated joining the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce network in December with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony held in conjunction with the chamber. The chamber serves over 700 members in the New River Valley by advocating for them at local government meetings and serving as a marketing and networking cooperative. Its mission is to “promote and develop a positive environment for the operation and growth of business in Montgomery Country and the New River Valley.”

Activities during the celebration were centered around showing attendees how CPULD can help their companies since it received Amazon’s Packaging Support and Supplier (APASS) certification earlier in the year. The APASS program was developed to support vendors in certifying their products for distribution through Amazon’s shipping networks. CPULD is now able to offer package testing and design services for any product to be shipped through Amazon. Manufacturers interested in reducing their e-commerce costs, minimizing Amazon prep chargebacks, and improving overall customer e-commerce experiences can now bring their packages to CPULD for certification.

The Montgomery Country Chamber of Commerce helped CPULD invite local companies, particularly those in the packaging and material handling industries, to the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was advertised as a celebration at which they could network with other local businesses and learn what was needed to design or redesign their packaging in order to meet Amazon requirements, as well as how to create packaging designs that are successful, sustainable, and cost-effective in order to help increase their company’s competitiveness. Attendees could see demonstrations of what their packaging would have to survive in order to be certified as shippable through Amazon’s distribution supply chains, and they got to meet CPULD’s talented technicians and students.

Associate Professor Laszlo Horvath, director of CPULD, opened the program by speaking about CPULD’s testing labs. The many local companies in attendance learned what Amazon requires, such as vibration and drop tests, and how CPULD can design better packaging for them. Horvath spoke about some of the new research being conducted and reminded the attendees that they could hear from the student researchers directly by visiting their stations set up around the lab.

Sharon Scott, executive director of the chamber, spoke about how CPULD’s labs positively impact the local community and Virginia as a whole. CPULD is the only APASS certified lab in the state. Scott pointed out that CPULD is providing needed services; otherwise, local companies would have to go out of state to get their packages certified for Amazon. In these days of COVID-19, CPULD labs have been designated “essential” and are still open and certifying packaging for Amazon.

Speeches concluded with Paul Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment, outlining how CPULD helps fulfill the research and community outreach goals of the college and university as a whole. Winistorfer then cut the ceremonial ribbon declaring the CPULD an official member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, open and ready to help all local companies!


Pictures of students giving presentations about their jobs and research in the distribution package testing lab to the industry member attendees of the open house held to celebrat CPULD joining the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.