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Revolutionizing Future Naval Capabilities: NBT and BlueForge's Submarine Manufacturing Education


Leo Gonzalez

April 8, 2024 - 11:59 am


Pioneering the Future of Submarine Manufacturing Through Strategic Education Partnership

ELGIN, Ill., April 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- In a significant move to shape the future of manufacturing and bolster America's naval capabilities, Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® (NBT), the philanthropic arm of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, has proudly announced its latest venture — a three-year educational collaboration with BlueForge Alliance. This non-profit entity, known for its integrative work, is at the forefront of championing the U.S. Navy's Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) ambitions. Through an act of shared vision, this alliance has declared national sponsorship for all NBT Summer Manufacturing Camps.

Manufacturing a robust future

These camps serve as fertile grounds for sowing seeds of interest among the younger generation, introducing them to the plethora of career routes available, particularly within the submarine industrial sector. The initiative is more than a mere information session; it's a skill-building workshop set to supply the BFA and SIB with a proficient workforce capable of crafting and upholding the next wave of undersea platforms.

Hands-on Experience: Shaping Young Minds Through Innovation

Fueled by the critical need to develop a robust pipeline of skilled workers, these camps promise to offer young students a taste of what’s to come through hands-on experiences in various disciplines. From honing their welding skills to navigating the intricacies of robotics, automation, mechatronics, and other cutting-edge manufacturing processes, this is where young minds are ignited with passion for the manufacturing field.

Read more about the immersive experiences at NBT Camps

The U.S. Navy's quest to revolutionize its submarine fleet necessitates more than mere technological advancements; it calls for a cadre of over 100,000 skilled workers within the next decade. In an industry teeming with opportunities, the Navy is turning its gaze to organizations like NBT and BlueForge Alliance, seeking guidance in fostering an equipped manufacturing workforce.

Ed Youdell, the President and CEO of FMA/NBT, elaborated on the outreach of the program, “This summer, NBT will extend its knowledge-rich camps to over 5,000 youth in more than 320 locations spread across 30 states nationwide." This comprehensive coverage ensures that the outreach is inclusive and that students from all backgrounds receive an opportunity to dip their toes into the world of shipbuilding and manufacturing.

Specialized Camps for Submarine Manufacturing

NBT and BFA's partnership is further solidified through the introduction of an exclusive and innovative program — the Submarine Manufacturing Camps. Tailored from the successful NBT camp framework, these specialized camps align with the unique requirements of submarine manufacturing. Hosted at selected educational institutions, crafted curriculums will strategically emphasize on stirring up student interest in careers related to submarine manufacturing.

Ed Dernulc, the NBT Foundation Director, emphasized their mission, "NBT relentlessly pursues inspiring, encouraging, and supporting the upcoming generation of skilled manufacturing workers. We are humbled and honored that such prestigious entities as the Navy's Submarine Industrial Base and BlueForge Alliance confide in NBT to further their noble mission of creating a workforce for the future of manufacturing."

Unveiling BlueForge Alliance

BlueForge Alliance stands as a testament to the evolving synergy between non-profit sectors and the U.S. Navy's defense objectives. As a non-profit, neutral integrator, BFA commits itself to backing the initiatives of the SIB, critical to fortifying the country's maritime production capabilities. The essence of BFA's mission is to sustain, strengthen, and galvanize America's industry competence in the construction and maintenance of premier undersea tactical platforms.

The BFA spearheads numerous initiatives, employing a coalition of experts spanning various industry-specific disciplines. This team is dedicated to tackling pivotal challenges related to workforce cultivation, technological innovation, and supplier development, ensuring that the U.S. Navy's undersea combat vessels are second to none.

Discover more about BFA and their endeavors at

Foundations of Manufacturing Excellence

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs sets the standard for inspiring a new vanguard of manufacturers, inventors, and industry disruptors through its camp and scholarship initiatives. As the FMA's foundation, NBT embodies the spirit of manufacturing education that has been crucial since FMA's inception in 1970.

The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, an authoritative educational association within the metal processing, forming, and fabricating sector, stands as the backbone to a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry. The association’s commitment to education and reinforcement of industry standards echoes throughout its support and creation of NBT.

For further information and press inquiries, contact Cindy Day at [email protected], and learn more about the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International, the driving force behind this innovative partnership.

Long-Term Impacts of the Educational Collaboration

The ramifications of this educational partnership between NBT, BFA, and the SIB are profound and far-reaching. By incorporating hands-on, practical learning experiences, NBT camps are poised to nurture a proclivity for manufacturing from a young age. By partnering with an organization at the forefront of submarine development, students are not only exposed to unique career paths but are also positioned to become the bedrock of technical expertise required by the U.S. Navy.

This carefully designed ecosystem of learning will undoubtedly have ripple effects that extend beyond just the individual participants. As camp attendees begin to populate the workforce, equipped with their newfound knowledge and skills, the submarine manufacturing industry will witness a transformation powered by a workforce that is both skilled and passionate.

Furthermore, by emphasizing specialized manufacturing, such as submarine construction, the camps will contribute to maintaining the strategic edge of the U.S. in global maritime dominance. The fostering of a new generation of workers intimate with advanced technologies and manufacturing techniques is not only an investment in national security but also an investment in the youth’s future.

Investing in America’s Manufacturing Future

The investment in manufacturing camps and the subsequent influx of skilled labor will likely have a positive impact on the American economy. As these future industry leaders enter the workforce, they will contribute to the innovation and efficiency of manufacturing processes, potentially spearheading breakthroughs in submarine technology and beyond.

Just as the partnerships wield their influence on the workforce, the fabric of local communities is expected to be strengthened as well. When young people are equipped with valuable skills and optimistic career prospects, the benefits manifest in the form of greater socio-economic resilience and a heightened sense of community pride.

The BFA and NBT collaboration with the U.S. Navy underscores a deep-rooted belief that the future of manufacturing — and indeed the nation’s defense — rests firmly in the hands of tomorrow’s workforce. It illuminates the synergistic potential between private foundations, non-profit organizations, and government institutions, setting a precedent for future partnerships aimed at community and national development.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for the Youth

As NBT and BlueForge Alliance inaugurate a series of manufacturing camps, the call to action for young, prospective industry professionals has never been more pronounced. This initiative is more than an educational endeavor; it is a clarion call for the youth to stand at the frontier of a technological renaissance within the submarine manufacturing industry.

In embracing the hands-on experience offered by these camps, students will uncover paths to success and personal fulfillment that lie in the well-oiled machinery of American manufacturing. These camps are not merely creating the workforce of tomorrow; they are shaping the leaders who will champion the manufacturing world for years to come.

As the sun sets on the fourth industrial revolution and the horizon of submarine innovation beckons, partnerships such as the one between NBT, BlueForge Alliance, and the U.S. Navy set sail towards a future bolstered by skill, ingenuity, and unwavering resolve. It is here that the legacy of American manufacturing will find its next chapter, written by the very hands it seeks to skillfully train today.

With the waves of change and innovation upon us, may we look to these educational shores as the launching grounds for a fleet of skilled manufacturers ready to face the challenges of tomorrow. Let us then, set forth on this journey, supporting, celebrating, and steering the youth towards a bright and prosperous future within the realm of submarine manufacturing.

Indeed, the partnership illuminated today is more than just a beacon of hope; it is a testament to the collaborative spirit that propels nations forward. As each day passes, we edge closer to seeing the full potential of this alliance's fruition, where a thriving manufacturing sector will stand poised to power the next generation of naval sovereignty and beyond.

Through the confluence of education, technology, and national defense, these camps mark the beginning of a promising new era—one characterized by opportunities for growth, advancement, and national pride anchored in a strong, skilled workforce that promises to keep America's submarine fleet at the cutting edge of undersea warfare.

As the story of this educational partnership unfolds, the enthusiasm shared by all parties involved gives rise to an optimistic outlook on the future of manufacturing. By laying down the groundwork today, we pave a path for technological triumph and economic prosperity to resonate through the generations to come.

In conclusion, this collaboration between NBT, BlueForge Alliance, and the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Industrial Base emerges as a formidable force for change, redefining the landscape of manufacturing education and ultimately strengthening America's position in the global theater of naval supremacy.