Cutting-edge innovation in domestic manufacturing, historically a critical pillar of the U.S. economy and national security, has been dramatically impacted by foreign competition in recent decades.
To counteract this and to strengthen the capabilities and competitive positions of small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) critical to the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain, DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment has provided funding to DVIRC for the past two years to help SMMs accelerate the adoption and deployment of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs) in their companies.
As part of this project—known as the Manufacturing USA Access Project, or MAP—DVIRC has been working to bring Manufacturing USA Institute education and training programming into the Philadelphia region to develop the talent required to take full advantage of AMT investments and to support existing education and training programs through the following:
The MAP Capstone Case Study Pilot
One of the main goals of this Pilot was to build the talent pipeline in the Greater Philadelphia region by giving students opportunities to learn about and solve real-world AMT problems in collaboration with SMMs. In this capstone case study project, students from regional universities worked with Manufacturing USA Institutes and their SMM members on key AMT issues, opportunities, and challenges. Through this opportunity, students received unprecedented exposure to AMT and applications, and SMMs gained access to the emerging high quality talent pool with specific knowledge of AMTs and needed interdisciplinary work experience.
As we enter into our third year of the MAP project with DOD-OEA, we strive to develop the following programs:
Develop an apprenticeship program to develop a talent pipeline model with SMMs and third-party AMT integrators. Individuals who participate in these apprenticeships will then serve as “in-sourced” talent for SMMs to help them implement AMTs.
Develop internships, co-op opportunities, and capstone projects for university graduate and undergraduate students
Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship Models with Product Developers and SMMs
Create “value exchange” opportunities that benefit both parties, including but not limited to joint design and engineering projects, short-run production projects, and project-specific AMT-related projects.