Oct 20, 2022

Texas Defense Aerospace Manufacturing Community Earns Coveted CEDA for Innovativeness

Steve Fullhart

The Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC) has recognized Brazos Valley-based organizations partnering to improve the state and region's competitiveness in defense-related industries.

As part of the 2022 TEDC Community Economic Development Awards, the Texas Defense Aerospace Manufacturing Community (TDAMC) was honored with a CEDA for Innovativeness.

Funded through a four-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, TDAMC’s goal is to introduce smart manufacturing skills and technologies into the state’s ecosystem to meet the needs of the nation’s defense. It is led by the SecureAmerica Institute, which is part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

TDAMC aims to partner communities with defense aerospace stakeholders, identify skills gaps related to smart technologies, connect small and medium manufacturers to resources to increase their competitiveness, provide smart manufacturing readiness support and recommendations on technology, and help transition new technologies into domestic manufacturing capabilities.

The Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation, which submitted TDAMC for CEDA consideration, is the project’s regionalization partner lead, assisting with the hub-and-spoke model of collaborating with economic development organizations to reach across the state and to key regions like the Texas Triangle and the Gulf Coast.

The other TDAMC leads are the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, Texas State Technical College, the Texas Association of Manufacturers, Deloitte, The Barnes Global Advisors, Prairie View A&M University and Emsi Burning Glass.

In the early months of the effort, TEES and the BVEDC presented TDAMC as part of TEDC's 2021 Winter Conference in February.

“TDAMC is a mission-first program driven to secure the competitiveness of Texas manufacturing using advanced technology. The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the BVEDC, which is serving as a critical partner in connecting manufacturing with economic development objectives across Texas communities.”
Rob Gorham
Executive Director of TEES Manufacturing Initiatives and SecureAmerica Institute

This is the third consecutive year the Brazos Valley and the BVEDC have been honored with a CEDA.

  • In 2020, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ $120 million expansion in the Brazos Valley Biocorridor, including a gene therapy facility, earned an award.

  • In 2021, a special CEDA for Resiliency and Recovery was awarded to the numerous Brazos Valley organizations responsible for assisting local companies through the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Each day, the BVEDC and its partners work together for the betterment of the Brazos Valley and, as a result, the State of Texas," said BVEDC President/CEO Matt Prochaska. "TDAMC is another great example of our region coming together to achieve for our local and state economies. In this case, the effort is also working toward the important goal of increased security for our nation. We appreciate all of our partners, and of course, TEDC for the continued recognition of the Brazos Valley."

Prochaska served as the chair of the TEDC 2022 CEDA Committee. He recused himself from discussions about and scoring of the BVEDC entry.

Considered the highest honors in economic development in the state, the CEDAs were established in 1995. This year’s awards were presented October 20 as part of TEDC’s 2022 Annual Conference in San Antonio. It was the most attended event in TEDC's history.

Established in 1961, the Texas Economic Development Council is a non-profit professional association focused on creating more economic and employment opportunities in Texas. Information, educational and legislative services are provided to its nearly 900 members from more than 500 public and private economic development organizations, more than 350 cities among them.

The BVEDC has also received TEDC's Economic Excellence Recognition three consecutive years, the most recent coming in February 2022. The honor goes to economic development organizations demonstrating professionalism and commitment to communities.