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The Future of Defense Manufacturing Education and Workforce Development

Keith DeVries, the acting Manufacturing Education and Workforce Development (M-EWD) Program lead at the Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program, works to ensure the United States' defense manufacturing sector remains at the forefront of technology innovation. Aligned with OSD ManTech’s mission and partnered with stakeholders, practitioners, and policymakers, the M-EWD program aims to cultivate an educated and skilled advanced manufacturing workforce that can meet the changing demands of defense manufacturing.

DeVries acknowledges that defense manufacturing technology education faces challenges. The industry's rapid evolution demands a workforce with up-to-date skills and knowledge. However, the current pace of training and upskilling workers is insufficient to provide a steady supply of qualified professionals.

“As defense manufacturing leans into next-generation advanced manufacturing capabilities, we can lead workforce training efforts for the broader manufacturing sector to follow,” DeVries said. “As we train, we will be learning many lessons ourselves in optimizing our approach for the next generation(s) of learners.”

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