A Pentagon-sponsored industry group has launched a $6.2 million worker development program that is intended to reskill the workforce of the future and to address a skills gap between factory operators and the nation’s labor pool.
Chicago-based Manufacturing x Digital, known by its acronym MxD, said the federal funding would launch its Curriculum and Pathways Integrating Technology and Learning (CAPITAL) skill development program. The CAPITAL program is designed to address an anticipated shortage in the manufacturing workforce of two million people and to provide resources directly aimed at meeting current and emerging workforce needs.
MxD will develop certification-based manufacturing training courses and extend them to manufacturers, including those within the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). Those courses will be designed to train workers for the most critical digital manufacturing roles of today and tomorrow, including AI (artificial intelligence) and cybersecurity for manufacturing.
The organization says that training will help both current workers and future members of the workforce to develop the skills they need to ensure the DIB can effectively deploy advanced manufacturing technologies within U.S. factories, strengthening national security and increasing U.S. manufacturing’s global competitiveness.
MxD partners with the Department of Defense to equip U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity, and workforce expertise needed. MxD is also the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing as designated by DoD. Its new CAPITAL program is sponsored by Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA, and the Defense Logistics Agency, Ft. Belvoir, VA.
“Only companies that invest in their workforce will survive long-term in the new 'normal' of manufacturing with its disrupted supply chains, constant cyber threats, and the need for exponentially improved productivity to overcome the demographic workforce shortages created by an aging workforce and falling birthrates around the world,” Mary Isbister, owner of GenMet Corp and Chair of MxD’s Board of Directors, said in a release. “Programs like MxD Learn’s CAPITAL are essential to ensuring U.S. manufacturers not only survive but thrive.”