Doyle Announces Establishment of National Manufacturing Technology Center
U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) announced a major economic development initiative - the establishment of the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology.
“This is an important day for our region. The Doyle Center will revitalize our economy by providing small local manufacturers with the tools they need to participate in military contracts with big defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon,” Doyle said today. “This announcement marks the beginning of a major initiative to improve the way the Defense Department buys new equipment - as well as the next big step in our efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a center of excellence in high-tech manufacturing.”
As military equipment has become more complex, the Defense Department has run into a number of serious procurement problems. One of the more widespread problems facing the defense industry in recent years has been the challenge that so-called “prime contractors” or “systems integrators” face in securing parts and sub-assemblies for sophisticated military equipment from smaller suppliers. The military has many unique needs, and it is constantly developing weapons and communications systems that push the envelope of cutting-edge technology. Consequently, the defense procurement system is large and complex. Understandably, many small manufacturers are not set up to interact with such a system, and the Department of Defense, conversely, often has a difficult time finding small manufacturers that possess the skills and capabilities it needs.
The Doyle Center will provide small manufacturers with the help they need to market themselves to the DoD, participate in the DoD procurement process, and collaborate with DoD prime contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon. The assistance provided by the Doyle Center will take several forms - including virtual manufacturing enterprises, capabilities marketing, and DoD contract management. The Doyle Center will also address small manufacturers’ shortcomings in information security, supply chain and project management, engineering, and e-commerce. The Doyle Center will be able to increase small manufacturers= productivity, flexibility, and profitability - reducing cycle times and cutting development and production costs. Both the Defense Department and small manufacturers nationwide will benefit from the knowledge gained from the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology. This program will especially benefit southwestern Pennsylvania by linking its traditionally strong manufacturing base with our growing information technology sector to create a high-tech manufacturing collaboration like no other. This marriage will attract both manufacturing and high-tech companies to western Pennsylvania. And that will increase job opportunities for people of all skill levels.
The Center’s first project will be research for the Air Force Research Laboratory. Congressman Doyle secured $1.5 million in funding for the Center to examine a defense system’s supply chain, looking for ways to improve the development and delivery of the needed parts. A number of other projects are in the planning stage, and current plans call for the Center to be self-sustaining in 5 years.
In making this announcement, Representative Doyle was joined by Mr. Kurt Lesker, president of the Kurt J. Lesker Company, Mr. Richard E. Moroski, director of the rotorcraft business unit for Boeing Aerospace, Mr. Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Catalyst Connection, and other Doyle Center board members and representatives of the local business community.
“This is an exciting opportunity to bridge the gap that sometimes develops between advanced, emerging technologies and established manufacturing systems,” Congressman Doyle said. “The Doyle Center will enable manufacturing firms to reduce costs and shorten cycle times - in commercial manufacturing as well as in defense-related projects. It will make our military more capable and more cost-effective. Moreover, this ground-breaking initiative will help create more jobs throughout the region. Working together we can build a brighter future for western Pennsylvania.”