Contractor Blair Construction has worked with architect Dewberry and other partners to complete most of the steel structure of the future Center for Manufacturing Advancement (CMA). Pictured, ADD Equipment Inc. workers install metal roof decking while below, CRB Electrical & Mechanical workers install underground electrical conduits. The 51,250-square-foot building, a $25.5 million project undertaken in cooperation with the Commonwealth, will be a new addition to the campus of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Va. Projected to open in 2022, the Center will feature two floors, offices, meeting spaces, rapid-launch facilities, an ISO-certified inspection lab and process improvement labs. The CMA will allow advanced manufacturing companies to collaborate and enhance processes, improve quality, integrate emerging technology and discover next-generation capabilities. It will specifically target manufacturing companies establishing or expanding their presence in Southern Virginia.
Virginia received a $5 million Department of Defense grant to train workers for Virginia’s defense manufacturing industries in Danville and Hampton Roads. The grant will go to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, which includes IALR and Old Dominion University’s Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem.
“Virginia is a recognized leader in defense manufacturing. This groundbreaking partnership will help diversify and modernize the nation’s best maritime workforce to build and sustain the world’s best Navy, while providing young people a pathway toward fulfilling jobs in a high-tech, well-paid industry,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Using the funds, the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community will create a K-12 to university training pipeline, helping students in the Danville and Norfolk areas gain the skills needed for defense manufacturing industries. The training pipeline will increase manufacturing capacity, capability, resiliency, and diversity in the maritime defense industrial base.
“We are eager to extend our advanced manufacturing training and engineering programs to advance Virginia’s maritime workforce to industry 4.0 standards and beyond,” said IALR Executive Director Mark Gignac. “We aim to deliver the strongest, most diverse and most adaptable manufacturing workforce.”
As a part of the project, the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) program, administered by IALR, will be expanded to the Hampton Roads region. The grant will be invested over federal fiscal years 2022-2023. The funding is from the (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program.
U.S. Senator Warner serves as keynote speaker for inaugural event
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Industrial Policy, through its Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program, welcomed key stakeholders to the first Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) Summit at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, Va., on August 25. IALR is leading a three-year pilot project to develop, exercise and evaluate ATDM as a potential training platform for a network of regional training centers across the United States.
The ATDM Summit’s theme was “Workforce Challenges in Defense Manufacturing: ATDM – Meeting the Demand for Scale and Velocity.” The event introduced ATDM and discussed how this new program contributes to closing skills and manpower gaps that are impacting the ability of the defense industrial base to support America’s Navy. U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) delivered the keynote speech.
“For years, I’ve been talking about the importance of addressing our nation’s chronic underinvestment in workers. Today, it’s more clear than ever that to maintain the capability of our military, and chart a strategic path forward, we will need to invest in the people who are going to make that possible. That’s our men and women in uniform as well as the civilians and industrial base who support them,” said U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “We need innovative approaches to workforce development – like IALR, like the ATDM program – to help make that happen.”
Other ATDM Summit presenters included Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy; Rear Admiral Scott Pappano, Program Executive Office, Columbia class submarine program; Adele Ratcliff, Director of Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program; and Troy Simpson, Director of Advanced Manufacturing for IALR.
“As we continue to ensure our national security objectives are met, and that our warfighters have the platforms and systems they need to maintain free access across the maritime domain, I cannot overemphasize the significance of our defense industrial base workforce,” said Rear Admiral Pappano. “We have to demand the same levels of scale and urgency across our shipbuilding and ship sustainment trades as we do our Naval capability, capacity, and readiness…that is exactly what this program is designed to achieve.”
“The advances here in Danville have resonance far beyond shipbuilding and will enable the future of American production by cultivating the people who will build our country back better,” said Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. “The ATDM model, led by Team Danville, will help the DoD scale American capacity to manufacture the exceptional parts, machines, and resilient supply chain materials our warfighters need.”
“The need for the level of training offered by ATDM has been clearly defined, especially in light of the country’s defense industrial base workforce needs,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. “We appreciate the support of Sen. Mark Warner and our other stakeholders which, in addition to support from the U.S. government, will be critical to scale the ATDM program model as we move forward. Much appreciation also goes to our partners, Danville Community College, Phillips Corporation, The SPECTRUM Group, and to funding provided by the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program.”
“The ATDM Summit showcases the power of a strong, rebounding community with great leadership,” said Dr. Brian Jackson, Vice President of Workforce Services for Danville Community College, the instructional provider for ATDM. “There are outstanding opportunities in Danville, and it was great to see leadership from around the country focusing on our community and our success.”
“Phillips Corporation is proud to participate with Team Danville in its quest to scale ATDM from its present Pilot stage to a national training program,” said Rick Morgan, Director of Phillips Corporation, the technology partner for ATDM. “We are convinced that ATDM will be a vital resource in addressing the widening gap of advanced manufacturing workers required to support the extensive supply chain needs of our nation’s Defense Industrial Base. The Summit demonstrated that we have achieved a strong alignment of local and national political and industry leaders in support of Team Danville’s ATDM initiatives.”
“ATDM demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships. It is a high-impact program at many levels,” said Charlie Dale, Partner, The SPECTRUM Group. “While addressing critical skill shortages in the defense industry, it provides extraordinary opportunities for a diverse group of women and men to begin careers in advanced manufacturing. Every ATDM student is a true pathfinder in the rebirth of manufacturing in America. SPECTRUM is very proud to be a member of Team Danville and passionate about ATDM’s mission to advance and grow America’s skilled workforce.”
In March 2020, the DoD launched the National Imperative for Industrial Skills (NIIS) Initiative to catalyze coordinated, multi-level public and private efforts across the nation’s industrial skills workforce development ecosystem. NIIS aims to close defense-critical workforce gaps, expand national production capacities, and improve U.S. industrial resiliency. ATDM is the flagship program in NIIS for training skilled workers for America’s defense industrial base in critical trades such as welding, CNC machining, metrology and additive manufacturing.
Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing is a prototype training platform for rapidly training skilled workers in key trades for employment in the defense industry. ATDM was developed as a public-private consortium between the DoD, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), Danville Community College (DCC), Phillips Corporation, and The SPECTRUM Group in consultation with the defense industry. IALR is leading a multi-year pilot project to test and evaluate ATDM as a training platform for regional training centers supporting the defense industrial base. The pilot project is funded through the National Imperative for Industrial Skills initiative which was launched in 2020 by the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program Office (IBAS) in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. All training is conducted in Danville, Va. For more information, visit www.atdm.org.
See the following Flickr album link for images from the ATDM training facilities open house, the ATDM social and the ATDM Summit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWv2ova
Visit https://youtu.be/egldO2Feeck for the ATDM overview video that was shared at the ATDM Summit.
Students, defense manufacturers, educators and supporters attend the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) open house on Aug. 24 at Danville Community College, the instructional provider for ATDM. Stakeholders also participate in an evening social and the inaugural ATDM Summit the following day at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the ATDM project leader. Sen. Mark Warner served as the keynote speaker at the summit, which focused on “Workforce Challenges in Defense Manufacturing: ATDM – Meeting the Demand for Scale and Velocity.”
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) welcomed nine interns for the 2021 summer session. Benefits of this internship include gaining on-the-job training and real-world leadership development experience valuable to future careers.
Each intern worked on projects pertaining to the focus of their assigned department. Megan Pollok, Graydon Smith and Samuel Hedrick assisted Dr. Lowman and the Research team. Pollok worked on a lettuce growing project she said would help determine “if beneficial plant bacteria can help improve heat tolerance in cool weather horticultural crops.” Hedrick worked with the SMART table, a precision imaging platform for plant research. He programmed a camera to take and file images, created a Graphical User Interface to set parameters, like the number of plants on the table and intervals at which the table should run, and used image analysis tools to gather data from the photos. Smith helped test the disease-fighting capabilities of IALR’s library of more than 2,000 beneficial bacterial plant endophytes. He inoculated test subject wheat seedlings and seeds with strains of the Fusarium fungus, a common plant disease.
Cassandra Wade aided Human Resources by creating a performance-based bonus system for IALR employees, modernizing new hire orientation presentations, and creating a visual chart that shows lines of command in IALR staff throughout various divisions. Katherine Clatterbuck organized a Women in STEM panel, in which a board of women in STEM fields converse with students about their future career interests. Benjamin Boles helped the IT department arrange equipment for webinars, update computers with new software and aid IALR staff with technological inquiries.
Kaitlyn Davis and Jahna Waters produced communications like this newsletter story, developed social media content, captured photos of events, and more. Emily Ebalo worked in the Economic Development department where she conducted research on the region’s assets and resources; supported housing studies; assisted with site, industry and leader photo and drone shoots; and helped coordinate economic development announcements in the region.
All interns were hard at work during this program, which culminated with a presentation showcasing their projects. To view more photos, visit bit.ly/IALRinterns21
The new Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program successfully launched its first cohort, drawing 34 adults from across the U.S. Students receive four months of intense, hands-on training in one of the following areas: CNC machining, welding and metrology.
“I enjoy hands-on learning, and having a background in machining made me want to continue,” said Samuel Hyler, an ATDM CNC machining student. “The program touches on things that a regular credit program wouldn’t. I am excited…to learn as much as I can.”
ATDM, designed to serve as a national training model, has enrolled various students from veterans to newly hired and incumbent workers in the first classes. They hail from seven states around the U.S., including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Indiana, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.
ATDM is a pilot project funded through the CORNERSTONE OTA National Imperative for Industrial Skills initiative of the U.S. Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program Office. It addresses critical skill gaps for the defense industrial base with an initial focus on naval shipbuilding.
“ATDM equips U.S. defense manufacturers with the high-quality talent they need while flexing the robust training programs our region celebrates,” said Mark Gignac of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), leader of the program. “Troy Simpson, his team and partners DCC, Phillips Corporation and the Spectrum Group have built a phenomenal prototype training model ready for replication.”
Thanks to funding, initial cohorts benefit from no-cost tuition as well as scholarships for housing. Danville Community College (DCC) provides the advanced curriculum and high-tech training space. Hampton Wilkins of Wilkins & Co. Realtors helped secure housing, and Donnie Hall of Furniture Depot helped furnish the apartments. The next cohort in November adds additive manufacturing. Visit atdm.org for details.