Industry Resilience Strategies

A changing defense landscape may result in manufacturers and contractors facing difficult decisions regarding their defense programs. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has identified five industry resilience strategies to help bolster defense programs through the development of action-oriented solutions.


entrepreneurship and small business development

Entrepreneurship initiatives can lead to the development of new businesses and help drive economic growth. Incorporating local entrepreneurship initiatives and business acceleration programs can be an effective strategy for communities to embrace as part of their approach to defense transitions.


export promotion

Identifying new markets is crucial for defense firms who are building their resilience programs. In the current landscape, firms need to go beyond their local marketplace and think globally. Developing a strong export promotion programs will allow for firms to branch out and gain a better understanding of how to obtain the new business necessary to continue successful operations and capture new markets.


industry cluster development

As OEA describes, industry clusters refer to “regional concentration(s) of related industries in a particular location…They consist of companies, suppliers, and service providers, as well as government agencies and other institutions that provide specialized training and education, information, research, and technical support.”

Clusters have been used widely in the US and overseas for the last decade and have proven to be an effective economic development strategy. If firms have not implemented the use of clusters, this strategy may be a helpful approach to implement in your community.


manufacturing and supply chain mapping

The IDN partners have access to the Supply Chain Mapping Tool, an online platform created by the Voorhees Center, which provide users with real-time data for an informed perspective of the federal military’s manufacturing and supply chain in this part of the country, and help quantify the effect of Department of Defense changes, expansions and cutbacks in these regions. Access to supply chain maps can open the door to many possibilities for growth and opportunities for firms and communities to be competitive in Illinois.


enhancing workforce development

The demand is high for workers who have the skills and competencies needed to fill immediate and future roles in manufacturing. Developing a strong workforce development program and building a talent pipeline is vital for economic growth in your community. It is important to identify what is needed in your region and work with stakeholders to build programs that will address these challenges and increase workforce quality.