DoD and North Carolina A&T State University Announce Key Partnership for Machine Tool Training Center to Help Revitalize American Manufacturing

APR. 15, 2022 | Announcements

The Department of Defense (DoD) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) announced on April 1st the creation of a new regional machine tools workforce training and development center at N.C. A&T’s Greensboro, North Carolina campus. The center is a key part of ACENet, an emerging national network of regional machine tools innovation and workforce development hubs.

The new partnership will advance a joint DoD - Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to reestablish American leadership in the machine tool industry through transformative thinking, technology innovation, and workforce development.

“Machine tools are at the very core of advanced manufacturing capabilities, and critical to America’s national security and continued economic vitality,” said Ms. Adele Ratcliff, Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program Director. “I look forward to following the progress of N.C. A&T and applaud the university for supporting the training necessary to bring machine tool prominence back to the U.S.”

N.C. A&T, the nation’s largest Historically Black University (HBU), will collaborate with industry and community college partners near Greensboro to implement a proven machine tool training model. The engineering technology programs at N.C. A&T provide an applied approach for engineering education including hands-on activities, computer numerical controlled machining.

“This partnership with DoD is a great opportunity for many high school and college students in the region to receive hands-on education and strengthen North America’s national competitiveness in manufacturing as industry demand for machine tool operators, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs far outpaces our manufacturing workforce supply in the U.S.,” said Dr. Aixi Zhou, Chair and Professor in the Department of Applied Engineering Technology at N.C. A&T. “At North Carolina A&T, we are leveraging this opportunity with America’s Cutting Edge to better serve our students and community and help DoD meet its supply chain needs. As the country’s largest HBU and leading producer of African American engineers, North Carolina A&T is uniquely positioned to increase diversity in manufacturing, particularly machining.”

For more information on ACENET please email DoD at

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