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A widening skills gap in advanced manufacturing cannot be closed without expanding the demographic base of the workforce needed to operate next-generation factory systems. Accounting firm Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institutes estimate that 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could be left unfilled at a cost of $1 trillion by 2030 unless the U.S. steps up to this pivotal supply-side challenge.

Expanding and diversifying the advanced manufacturing workforce go hand in hand. Women account for 47% of the total U.S. workforce but only 30% of employment in manufacturing industries, while 42.2% of the US population identifies as “non-white,” but accounts for only 34.4% of the skilled technical workforce.

Adjustment to these demographic realities is a national imperative that will not only build capacity but also enhance innovation, resilience, and performance. This Special Call will support the efforts of the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs) to lead the way in engaging women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities across the full continuum of advanced manufacturing education and workforce development in meeting the needs of advanced U.S. manufacturing. You can read the full Request for Proposals here.

Proposals: It is imperative that proposals define tasks and deliverables that are tangible, measurable, and demonstrable. The specifications of each task and deliverable must be clearly defined. The project should detail tasks, deliverables, and the project schedule, and should include quarterly and final reports, and the Cost Proposal should be created using the provided template. Ensure all instructional design service costs, travel, and other direct costs are included in the Cost Proposal.

Submission: The proposer shall submit one (1) electronic copy of its Detailed Research Plan (DRP) with Cost Proposal to proposal@nextflex.us.

Important Dates

  • Final Proposal with Final Budget Due: March 6, 2023
  • Project Work Begins: April 1, 2023

Questions may be addressed to Taylor McLeod at proposal@nextflex.us.

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