June 21, 2022

John W. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.
2 Ridgedale Ave, Suite 305
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927

Dear Dr. Kennedy:

New Jersey intends to obtain designation as a “Defense Manufacturing Community” from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC), Department of Defense through the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program. New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) will serve as the lead applicant and represent a diverse consortium with representatives from academia, defense manufacturers, workforce organizations, defense industry and association-led organizations, non-profit organizations, and State and local government.

This consortium will serve as the vehicle to identify, develop, implement, and monitor strategies that protect and grow New Jersey manufacturing companies most relevant to the Department of Defense supply chain and the priorities of the National Industrial Base. Initial efforts on a top priority: workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention. The Consortium partners will place an emphasis on serving Veterans and military personnel transitioning into civilian careers as well as women and underrepresented minorities. Over time, the Consortium will adjust strategies in response to market needs.

This letter attests to the fact that our organization contributes to the DoD supply chain in New Jersey. The organization faces workforce challenges such as filling open positions and upskilling incumbent workers – including building competencies relevant to supporting a shift to Industry 4.0 environments and to meet cybersecurity compliance standards. Our organization anticipates participating in New Jersey’s Defense Manufacturing Community on several levels. We will:

  • Participate, if invited, as a member of the Consortium proper and/or participate as an employer partner on relevant, time-limited working groups that inform strategies or tactics such as aligning training curriculum with industry valued competencies.
  • Share market intelligence about operational, workforce, materials and technology acceleration, and supply chain challenges most relevant to informing strategies in New Jersey.
  • Identify opportunities to more closely connect the company to the Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
  • Hire qualified candidates from education and training programs affiliated with the Consortium members as well as explore opportunities to increase our organization’s involvement in increasing awareness of manufacturing careers, expanding work-based learning opportunities (e.g., internships) or becoming a Registered Apprenticeship Program sponsor.
  • Provide input on matters related to policy and system change and participate in events such as the State-of-the-State of Manufacturing and National Manufacturing Day.

We value our existing relationship with the NJMEP. NJMEP’s role as a lead applicant means that the voice of the manufacturers will drive the process and that DoD supply chain companies will benefit from comprehensive array of services available through New Jersey’s Defense Manufacturing Community.

Please contact us directly for additional information.


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