The Department of Defense (DoD) Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Workforce Development program are working together over the next four years to address the United States’ defense manufacturing skills gap. As a first step in this skills-gap initiative, TEES and the DoD will create a Texas manufacturing skills gap report and roadmap to provide national, state and industry stakeholders the ability to address the gaps.
“Texas is the perfect place to enact this initiative since our manufacturing economy ranks second largest in the United States,” said Dr. Cindy Lawley, assistant agency director for workforce development and regional divisions at TEES. “Our workforce development program has a statewide network allowing us to move quickly to assess and address the needs of those in the industry.”
TEES completed the first step in the skills-gap initiative in December and January — surveying manufacturing industry representatives, as well as K-16 educators involved in manufacturing education. Beginning Feb. 2, TEES will host several virtual workshops with students, academia, industry, government and community leaders across Texas to better identify skills gaps. The virtual workshops are open to Texas residents with knowledge of the manufacturing industry. Those interested in registering can learn more and see the scheduled workshops online. Virtual workshops will be offered through March 12.
“I am confident that this effort with TEES will enable greater stakeholder cooperation across the industrial base, encourage additional partners to join, and drive sufficient scale and velocity into our industrial workforce development pipelines, all with the end goal of achieving a sufficiently sized and modern manufacturing workforce — a foundational element of reshoring and building back commercial and defense supply chains,” said Adele Ratcliff, director of the DoD Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program office.