Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Awarded $1.4 Million for Pilot Program To Strengthen Defense Manufacturing Supply Chains
Digital Model Initiative to Promote Use of 3-D Design and Manufacturing Technology
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that a Connecticut consortium, led by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment that will fund the Digital Model Initiative, a two-year pilot program to accelerate the adoption of 3-D design and manufacturing technology throughout Connecticut’s defense supply chains. The $1.4 million federal grant will be matched by a $350,000 grant from DECD.
“Connecticut’s defense manufacturers are known worldwide for the quality of their work and commitment to innovation,” Governor Lamont said. “This grant will help our small and mid-sized companies adopt the cutting-edge technologies needed to meet the evolving needs of our large defense contractors and ensure our supply chains are second to none when it comes to quality and efficiency.”
“Tens of thousands of Connecticut workers design and manufacture parts for programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Columbia-class submarine, and the CH-53K helicopter,” the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation – including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Congressmen John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes, and Jahana Hayes – said in a joint statement. “The small and medium-sized manufacturing companies throughout our state are critical to Connecticut’s continued defense industry leadership. It is imperative that the supply chain workforce receive focused investments to support the rapid development of these next-generation defense programs. We are proud to have advocated for this important grant, and we will continue to fight to ensure Connecticut’s businesses remain on the leading edge of manufacturing technology.”
The Digital Model Initiative will initially focus on helping six Connecticut small and medium-sized suppliers implement 3-D modeling, design and production capabilities. The companies selected will be a part of the supply chains for helicopters, submarines and jet engines.
Lessons learned throughout this process will be used to build a “Digital Playbook” for Connecticut, which will contain the educational and technical principles necessary for wider adoption across the state’s 700 defense supply chain companies. There will also be a workforce development component in the initiative, which addresses curriculum development and credentialing needs related to digital transformation.
The Connecticut Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium (CDMCC) is comprised of DECD, Electric Boat, Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), CONNSTEP, the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, Aerospace Components Manufacturers (ACM), Naval & Maritime Consortium, and the Governor’s Workforce Council.
Colin Cooper, Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, is leading and coordinating the activities of the CDMCC.
“The strength of Digital Model Initiative lies – to a great extent – in the amazing collaboration we are seeing between the public and private sectors in Connecticut,” Cooper said. “The formation of this consortium – which includes leading OEMs, higher education, government, industry trade groups, and others – is an indication of the broad-based support network in place here to help Connecticut’s defense manufacturers grow, innovate, and thrive.”
Last month the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment named Connecticut a “Defense Manufacturing Community” – a designation that allowed the state to apply for the $1.4 million in federal funding.