The Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) Program is specifically designed to help adult learners earn the skills necessary to make an immediate impact in the defense industrial base (DIB). The DIB is the system of companies producing parts for the U.S. military to purchase. Our students’ backgrounds, experiences, and education levels vary widely, but most of them are either seeking a career change or beginning their educational journeys. What they have in common is the desire to serve the U.S. by working in the defense industrial base.
ATDM was created to teach the skills needed for increasing military equipment production. In recent years, other countries—specifically China and North Korea—have increased military technology production while the U.S. has remained stagnant. It is important for threatening countries to see our power in order to reduce threats to our country. Recognizing the need to increase military production, the U.S. government also realized that manufacturing in the U.S. is now a mere 12% of our workforce sector. When WWII started in 1938, approximately 1/3 of the U.S. workforce was in manufacturing. So, not only do we not have a strong arsenal demonstrating our ability to defend ourselves, but we don’t have the workforce trained to build the arsenal, either.
Due to the importance of submarines in military defense, the Navy is currently funding ATDM, so students are trained in the skills needed to repair, upfit, and build submarines. These skills are transferrable to other defense industry companies, as well. Students earn the skills for great-paying, in-demand defense industry jobs in these skilled trades:
- Additive Manufacturing
- CNC Machining
- Non-destructive Testing
- Quality Control Inspection (also known as Metrology)
Speed to skills and focus is the key. There is no “fluff.” Every weld the student strikes, part produced on a CNC machine, inspection programmed on a coordinate measuring machine, and part built on additive equipment has a purpose and relevance to the DIB. The training is rigorous. Six hundred-plus hours are squeezed into the four-month training program. Students complete the program with industry-recognized certifications and job opportunities. ATDM staff members work with students on resumes and interview skills and provide the connections to companies to which the students can apply for jobs.