National Workforce Development and Manufacturing Skills Competition Returns to Louisiana, Sponsored by LSU

November 17, 2020

BATON ROUGE, LA – The best and brightest up-and-coming manufacturing trade professionals will convene at Laitram Machine Shop in Harahan, La., on Thursday, Nov. 19, for a one-day regional competition to demonstrate problem-solving abilities and technological aptitudes required in the manufacturing trades of the next-generation of welders, machinists, engineers, programmers, mechanics, and fabricators.

The competition is from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and will feature competitors from the State Project MFG competition held in Lafayette, La., and other markets in the Southeast in 2019-2020.  The full event will be livestreamed and is available for viewing on or on Facebook at

Sponsored and administered locally by the LSU College of Engineering’s Advanced Manufacturing and Machining Facility, competitors in the Harahan event earned the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete in this regional Project MFG event after advancing from the state competition earlier this year.  

This limited-access, socially-distanced, live-action event meets CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines and is designed to generate interest and engagement among the skilled trades  while also uniting local communities, educators, and industry leaders who train, hire, and nurture them.

Backed by funding from the Department of Defense’s Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program (IBAS), Project MFG is an integrated workforce development and recruitment effort using local, regional, national, topical, and virtual challenges to recruit and catalyze individuals and communities toward collective action to expand the U.S. industrial base workforce. Designed to mitigate the crisis facing the U.S. manufacturing industry, a critical shortage of skilled workers, the goals of Project MFG are to: 1) promote the prestige of manufacturing and related skills; 2) accelerate the manufacturing trade workforce training/education pipeline; and 3) elevate the broader manufacturing industrial base to world-leading status. 

The Project MFG Challenge Series was successfully prototyped in the spring of 2019 in Auburn, Ala.; Meridian, Miss.; and Lafayette, La. The Challenge Series then extended to five other markets through January 2020, including Troy, Ny.; Danville, Va.; Rocklin, Calif.; Auburn, Ala., and Smyrna, Tenn. 

In the coming year, the Project MFG Challenge is being extended to other localities and will roll up to regional and national competitions. The Project MFG design team, in partnership with the Department of Defense is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation to ensure all competitions align to the safety requirements of state and local governments and the standards employed by each sponsoring educational institution and industry partner. 

“Project MFG is bridging the gap in the country's industrial base gaps,” said Ray Dick, Project MFG program director. “As we've seen with COVID, when supply chains are disrupted, the U.S. needs the ability to make the goods we need, when we need them, and where we need them.”

As a grassroots initiative, Project MFG is designed to do more than deliver competitors to the challenge competitions. It drives results for local communities and economies through a collaborative partnership with local community leaders, educators, influencers, and manufacturing partners with the ultimate goal to match new, highly qualified skilled workers with manufacturing industry employers. Starting in late 2020 and continuing through 2021, Project MFG will launch initiatives in select cities.

About Project MFG

Project MFG is a program of the Global Learning Accelerator Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit funded by the Department of Defense and operated and managed by RD Solutions LLC. The spirit and intent of the Global Learning Accelerator mission is helping people find the nexus between their passions and what the world needs.

For more information about Project MFG, please visit our website:


Contact: Joshua Duplechain

Director of Communications

225-578-5706 (o)