A rigorous, rapid and innovative training program, Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) is a prototype training platform for quickly developing skilled workers to enter the defense industrial base. This four-month training program includes 600+ hours of instruction and produces skilled talent with industry-recognized credentials for the following trades: additive manufacturing, CNC machining, non-destructive testing, quality control inspection (metrology) and welding.
In less than two years, approximately 152 students, divided into four cohorts, have completed the ATDM program. A fifth cohort began in January 2023 and another is set to start on March 6, 2023. While ATDM is designed to help adult learners either seeking a career change or beginning their educational journeys, the students’ backgrounds, experiences, and education levels have varied widely.
The graduates from this program are already moving on to critical defense industry jobs in trades like additive manufacturing, CNC machining and welding.
ATDM is making significant progress towards its five strategic goals:
- Fill the gaps in submarine industrial base (SIB) trades.
- Decrease the time-to-talent for the SIB to place workers “on the line.”
- Modernize the workforce.
- Diversify the workforce.
- Deliver trained workers to the SIB in scale and velocity.
A prime example of what modern public-private partnerships should look like, ATDM is a consortium among partners such as the U.S. Department of Defense, IALR, Danville Community College, Phillips Corporation and the SPECTRUM Group. ATDM is also one of the strongest examples of what full integration of industry in the training process looks like. Key partners collaborate in the time-to-talent process and ensure the unique workforce requirements of shipbuilders and suppliers are fulfilled quickly to meet the critical demands of our nation’s defenses.
The best part is that the ATDM program is primed for continued success and growth. While the program currently utilizes existing best-in-class lab space and equipment on the campus of IALR, a new regional training facility (designed specifically for ATDM) is in the works. This new, 100,000-square-foot facility will be directly adjacent to the Center for Manufacturing Advancement. The multimillion-dollar investment into dedicated training capability, capacity and infrastructure will enable ATDM to rapidly scale up to its full potential and graduate 800-1,000 graduates every year by 2025.
The ATDM pilot 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. Due to the timely need of military defense to upfit and build submarines, ATDM currently supports industrial base workforce needs of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Strategic Submarines.