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Department of Defense Awards $3.7M Grant to Alabama Defense Advanced Manufacturing Community

7 Oct 2020 12:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Alabama Defense Advanced Manufacturing Community (ADAMC) consortium has been awarded a $3.7 million Department of Defense (DoD) grant under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP) by the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). The ADAMC consortium is tasked with utilizing this grant to undertake a $6.2 million project to focus on the visibility, workforce training and adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies in the region, with an emphasis on the modernization of aviation, missiles and ground vehicle systems.

This award follows a competitive selection process culminating in Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment’s designation in August 2020 of six Defense Manufacturing Communities (DMC).

The ADAMC comprises 22 counties that will focus on supporting and growing the capabilities of the defense industrial base (DIB) in Alabama. The ADAMC will pull together existing programs throughout the region like Auburn University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems (ICAMS), and The University of Alabama’s Initiative on Manufacturing Development and Education (Alabama IMaDE). Additionally, ADAMC will establish a facility for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Integration Center (AMIIC) in Huntsville. Leveraging a best-practice model demonstrated by the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC), AMIIC is a public-private collaboration between the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC), the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), industry, and academia (K-12 through university), that will work in collaboration with other similar centers to focus on meeting Alabama’s demand for a highly trained workforce, centric to advanced manufacturing and other leading-edge technologies critical to the DIB participants and Alabama’s DoD operations.

A key objective of the ADAMC will be to support visibility, awareness, technology adoption and workforce development and education in advanced manufacturing technologies that are vital both to current needs and future requirements to enhance the readiness and modernization of U.S. Army aviation and missile weapon systems. This DMC encompasses the majority of aerospace and defense manufacturing, defense installations and associated industries in the region.

The implementation strategy to achieve these goals consists of two Enabling Activities, including:

  • NCDMM will establish the initial operation of the AMIIC facility.

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will lead the effort of examining needs, gaps and barriers to effective workforce development and technology adoption.

The implementation will be further supported by three Thrust Areas, each with a lead organization:

  • UAH will manage the effort to develop new and enhance existing education and workplace development programs.

  • Auburn University will conduct pilot technology adoption projects with industry.

  • The University of Alabama will be responsible for initiating a technology development program.

These efforts are designed to strengthen the innovation and manufacturing base in designated DMC Communities, a consortium composed of members of academia, defense industry, nonprofit organizations and State and local government organizations. This presents a revolutionary step forward for the region with regard to positioning the DoD presence within a rich environment of industry, academia and DIB Small-to-Medium Manufacturer (SMM) expertise, benefitting Army Modernization priorities through product, process, human capital and the STEM educational experience.

The combination of achieving DMC status and the subsequent enhancement of advanced manufacturing capabilities will strengthen Alabama’s DIB and further contributions to the DoD, positioning Alabama for continued growth and retention of its defense installations. The State has a strong history in manufacturing and is growing exponentially in advanced manufacturing-related jobs.

To achieve these program goals, the ADAMC will implement an execution model that drives interaction and collaboration amongst partners. The educational process will begin early in K-12, with a focus on STEM needs and manufacturing education, and carry forward through both two-year and four-year academic career paths.

Industry will have the opportunity to engage prospective students and employees at multiple levels, while demonstrating product and process advancement on key technologies. The existing, displaced and military veteran workforce, in collaboration with local and state programs, will be able to undergo retraining, skills enhancement or continuing education/certification to reenter the workforce or obtain position advancement.

 By working collaboratively with government, industry and academia, existing education programs will benefit as new workforce development programs are created to supply a pipeline of qualified and capable individuals.

 ADAMC Consortium members include: 

  • Athens State University

  • Auburn University

  • Calhoun Community College

  • Carpenter Technology

  • Central Alabama Community College

  • City of Tuscaloosa

  • Dynetics, Inc.

  • Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation

  • J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College

  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

  • National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining

  • North Alabama Works

  • Northrop Grumman Corp, Defense Systems

  • Shelton State Community College

  • Stillman College

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville

  • The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa

  • TriVector Services, Inc.

  • Troy University

  • Tuscaloosa County Commission

  • University of West Alabama

  • West Alabama Works 

This award is one of six DoD grants announced across the country totaling $25 million made by the OEA. The awards derive from Fiscal Year 2020 appropriated funding and leverage an additional $12.6 million in non-Federal funding for a total investment of $37.6 million to enhance critical skills, research and development and small business support.

 The OEA works with states and communities to help them respond to changes driven by the DoD throughout the U.S. Some are home to military bases, while others manufacture the products and provide the services necessary for national defense. The Office leverages the capabilities of state and local partners through grants and technical assistance to enhance readiness of installations and ranges as well.

For more information, please contact Brian Tucker in the UAH Office for Operational Excellence at 256.824.2957 or email brian.tucker@uah.edu.

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