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DoD Funds Projects to Address Defense Industry Manufacturing Gaps

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The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued awards worth almost $27 million for nine projects that will prototype manufacturing technologies in support of the defense industrial base.

The investment supports the National Imperative for Industrial Skills initiative that aims to address the engineering skills gap in the defense industry, DoD said Monday.

The department selected projects froma five-year request for proposals launched earlier this year.

“I am confident that this effort will enable greater stakeholder cooperation across the U.S. industrial base and encourage more partners to come forward to join the effort to drive sufficient scale and velocity into our industrial workforce development pipelines, all with the end goal of elevating U.S. manufacturing to world-leading status," said Adele Ratcliff, the director of DoD's Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program office that runs the initiative.

DoD plans to issue more awards in fiscal 2021, in addition to the existing ones that awarded to parties in Alabama, Connecticut, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Texas.

The department expects the initiative to support the country's production and procurement of missiles, naval ships, aircraft and other defense systems.