Catalyst Connection Receives DOD funding to Strengthen the Defense Supply Chain in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia

September 24, 2020 | Categories: Member News

Pittsburgh, PA – The U.S. Department of Defense has formally designated a consortium of southwestern Pennsylvania’s defense industry members, led by Catalyst Connection, as a Defense Manufacturing Community. This comes after the announcement that the Department would award a total of six grants totaling $25 million under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program by the Office of Economic Adjustment.

After participating in a competitive selection process, Catalyst Connection has officially been awarded one of the six grants and will receive $5 million toward the Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (AIM) Defense Industry Consortium. The project aims to strengthen defense manufacturing capabilities through an industrial production ecosystem that melds advanced metals and materials with artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and robotics. A total of 30 manufacturing organizations across Pennsylvania and West Virginia will be involved in the Artificial Intelligence in Metals and Manufacturing Consortium. These groups will continue to build on existing manufacturing collaborations in order to upskill the regional workforce, spur innovation, and familiarize manufacturers with new technologies.

“Our region has tremendous capabilities to support the defense industrial base, from our research assets, our progressive small and medium-sized manufacturers, and a highly skilled and motivated workforce, just to name a few.  This funding will enable us to boost the connections, grow our local defense supply chain, and contribute to national defense priorities.”

The members of the AIM Consortium are from 30 leading organizations at the cutting edge of defense technologies and manufacturing. The group will build upon its partnership network to boost the regional and national defense industries sector to support meaningful outcomes in several ways over the five-year project period. The strategy includes: establishing anchor sites for defense manufacturing collaboration and assistance, conducting a research and innovation alliance, filling gaps and boosting connections in the defense industries supply chain, enhancing and integrating workforce training and education, providing technical assistance and support to small defense industry manufacturers, and building the defense manufacturing ecosystem with convenings and communications.

As an economic development organization dedicated to southwestern Pennsylvania’s small and mid-sized manufacturers, Catalyst Connection has provided resources, support, and strategic partnership for more than 30 years through consulting and training services that accelerate revenue growth and improve productivity.

To learn more about the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, visit  To learn about the regional defense manufacturing designation or the AIM Consortium, please contact Catalyst Connection President & CEO, Petra Mitchell at For more information about Catalyst Connection,

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Media Contact:  Allison Moux
Phone: 412.918.4252


Courtesy of Catalyst Connection