Surge Defense To Graduate Its First Cohort in December

Posted on November 30, 2023

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Syracuse Surge Defense Visits Lockheed Martin

The Surge Defense program will graduate its first class in December, opening a new talent pool to an industry that needs skilled employees. This Syracuse Surge Workforce program directly addresses the hiring challenges faced by the community’s defense manufacturers and the high barriers to employment in defense manufacturing, such as undergoing a federal background check and inadequate public transportation access to facilities.

To unlock the needed new talent, Lockheed Martin worked with SUNY EOC to design a training curriculum that aligned with the company needs. This included Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 and JSTD100 certification upon program graduation, and classroom sessions with current and retired Lockheed Martin employees. The paid program also offered candidates a conditional job offer. In doing this, Lockheed Martin will fill open positions with people well prepared for their new role, and graduates gain the appropriate skill set for a new career.

Beyond curriculum, Lockheed Martin modified their internal practices to better meet the moment. The company adjusted job requirements after a skill analysis of their positions and expanded its recruiting pools. By acknowledging the present problems and putting in the work to find a solution, Lockheed Martin was able to expand its talent pipeline.

“Creating an inclusive environment where employees can thrive is at the core of our mission,” said Chandra Marshall, vice president of Radar & Sensor Systems and the general manager of the Syracuse facility. “Partnerships like this one with the Surge Defense program serve to build and nurture talent here at home so we have a reliable workforce for years to come.”

Lockheed Martin recognized that the talent market will not correct itself. Its commitment to making the defense manufacturing industry more open helps it fill open positions it needs to grow. It also makes these careers more accessible to all members of the Syracuse community.

The Surge Defense program culminates with a graduation ceremony Dec. 15 at Onondaga Community College. Surge Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) and Electrical Mechanical Technician (ELM) graduates will join the Surge Defense class for the graduation, networking and open interviews following the event.

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

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