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Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Competency Model

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The study described in this paper was conducted jointly by the Institute for Defense Analyses and SME, because of SME’s work in the advancement of manufacturing knowledge and workforce skills. This effort was conducted in conjunction with the workforce committee under the National Defense Industrial Association’s manufacturing division. It was considered to be one of the workforce committee’s projects.

This study identified common manufacturing core competencies for the aerospace and defense (A&D) sector. The resulting aerospace and defense manufacturing competency model (ADMCM) describes the manufacturing community’s interface with science and technology, research, design, development, production and sustainment in a future state consistent with the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) framework. The model reinforces an environment where producibility and manufacturability, design, risk management and quality systems are fully integrated. The ADMCM is intended to be broadly available to education providers and can be used to implement certification programs because its competency elements were designed to be objectively measured and assessed.

In collaboration with the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Defense Industrial Association, the Employment and Training Administration has worked with industry leaders to develop a comprehensive competency model (see below) for the aerospace industry. The model is designed to evolve along with changing skill requirements. AIA and NDIA have committed to working with their industry partners to keep the model current.

AD Pyramid Model




A&D Competency Model



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