TMAC receives $2.6 million award to transition defense industry companies


Credit: UT Arlington

TMAC has received a $2.6 million award from the Office of Economic Adjustment to accelerate the profitable growth of small- and mid-sized defense industry companies across the Lone Star State who are facing a shrinking defense budget.

TMAC, which has a regional office on The University of Texas at Arlington campus, is an affiliate of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. TMAC's eight regional offices partner with educational and research institutions across the state to work with small- and mid-sized manufacturing firms to help them develop or improved products, processes, or people to increase sales or profits and create jobs.

Along with the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute and the Cross Timbers Procurement Center, TMAC provides a University helping hand to business.

The Office of Economic Adjustment is the U.S. Department of Defense's primary source for assisting communities that are adversely impacted by defense program changes or reductions.

The Texas defense industry has seen a sharp decline in business and employment in recent years due to federal budget cuts.

Many larger defense contractors already have the diversification needed to survive and even thrive in this environment where defense expenditures continue to decline.

"But this award is tailor-made for smaller companies that are sometimes captured by that defense dollar," said Ron Lehman, executive director of TMAC. "Our staff of experts will focus on how a company can transition its technologies, products or services to other markets or greater opportunities."

The broad range of defense industry activities in Texas includes:

  • aircraft and component manufacturing.
  • advanced aerospace research, including military applications.
  • flight training.
  • military aircraft development.
  • maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft.

Since 2006, TMAC has worked with more than 3,667 Texas companies gain more than $3.29 billion in sales, achieve $1.25 billion in cost savings, and create or save 29,908jobs.

TMAC delivers hands-on business management, technology and operations solutions to a wide range of businesses, including manufacturing, distribution, logistics, construction, health care and government.

Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research, said the new TMAC award helps an already established business alter its workforce so that it can continue to meet the economic needs of the state.

"UTA catalyzes and supports the economic growth through TMAC, its experts and the University's faculty," Dimos said. "This project translates to opportunity for so many small- to medium-sized facilities who might be struggling with current economic conditions and not have the resources to make a change for the better. It certainly makes the entire state economy stronger."

Texas ranks No. 3 in the nation in terms of defense contracts received, and the sector ranks as the second largest in the state, behind petroleum and gas. Texas has the most robust supply chain within the industry of all its industrial sectors, and that supply chain also leverages Texas' other great strengths in information technology/semiconductor, energy and advanced materials.

The military has an enormous presence in Texas: a quarter-million military and civilian personnel at a dozen installations and more than 15,000 defense contractors, including seven of the 10 largest.

A National Association of Manufacturers study released in June 2012 predicted that defense-related sequestration cuts could cost Texas 109,000 jobs. In the meantime, Texas is already bracing for another round of anticipated Base Realignment and Closure cuts that will impact it even further.

Lehman said that Texas is seeking resources to help it best prepare to offset current and near-future decline in defense expenditures.

TMAC advisers have more than 450 years of combined industry experience. Their knowledge encompasses a vast number of business, technical, innovation and operational areas within an organization. Because of TMAC's hands-on approach, the advisers understand the issues customers face on a daily basis.

"We will implement this project similarly through our network of experts, and for an increased number of affected companies," Lehman said.


About TMAC

TMAC delivers hands-on technical assistance and training to a wide range of businesses, including manufacturing, government and health care. TMAC offers services that improve efficiency, quality and productivity. Focus areas include Lean Enterprise, technology solutions, strategic management, quality systems, environment and safety.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at

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