Employing skilled manufacturing personnel is integral for shoring up U.S. economic and national security. With funding from the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) program office, the SecureAmerica Institute launched the Texas Workforce Development Ecosystem (TWDE) in 2020 to address the alarming skills gap in this critical industry.
TWDE leverages industry, education and government stakeholders to develop and provide training opportunities to build a skilled manufacturing workforce for the industrial base within Texas. Through this strategic program, TWDE directly supports sustainability of the DOD’s manufacturing capabilities for defense platforms by maintaining a talent pipeline to fill jobs in emerging technology fields.
“I could not be more excited about the work TEES has done in such a short period of time to engage and energize stakeholders across Texas. This project is a big step in the right direction to reinvigorate defense workforce supply chains.”
— Adele Ratcliff
Director of Defense for Industrial Policy
This program brings together a workforce-focused ecosystem designed to effectively identify and address gaps, initiate training and other development initiatives, and grow manufacturing throughout Texas by:
- Accelerating workers into and through training and skills development pipelines at a sustainable scale and velocity;
- Enhancing capabilities by leveraging existing education and training programs to cultivate local STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — ecosystems across the state of Texas;
- Promoting the prestige and opportunity of manufacturing and related careers to inspire the next generation of skilled industrial professionals; and
- Developing a “Manufacturing Skills Playbook” to increase scalability across the nation, elevating U.S. manufacturing capabilities and resiliency.
As part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), TWDE positions current workers — and future generations — to develop and advance their skills with access to existing professional and continuing education courses.
TWDE also encourages the development of STEM and industrial-base workforce skills through friendly competitions for a wide-range of participants.