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William LaPlante: US Manufacturing Ecosystem a Vital Engine of Economic Growth

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William “Bill” LaPlante, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem has been a critical engine of economic growth, competitiveness and innovation for over 200 years and played a key role in advancing the development of technologies that sustain the country’s national security, DOD reported Friday.

“Today, the U.S. is in a technological and economic race to maintain its manufacturing edge, particularly as it concerns critical defense systems, such as satellites, advanced munitions and communications technologies,” LaPlante said during an address.

He stated that U.S. manufacturers add more than $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy.

According to DOD, the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program within LaPlante’s office is overseeing several projects meant to improve supply chain resiliency and industrial manufacturing capability and advance workforce development. IBAS also has invested about $130 million across 16 workforce-related projects since launching the National Imperative for Industrial Skills effort in 2020.

“We will need to use all the tools at our disposal to support a scale up of new, advanced manufacturing technologies across a range of critical sectors in the defense industrial base – including bio-manufacturing, renewable energy, batteries and microelectronics,” said LaPlante.

“We must work to support American workers, by scaling up talent pipelines that will support the advanced manufacturing careers of the future,” he added.

POC - Defense Technology Summit: FY2023 Budget and Priorities

LaPlante will keynote the Potomac Officers Club’s Defense Technology Summit: FY2023 Budget and Priorities on Oct. 25. Visit our POC Events page to register for this summit and to view our full calendar.