Security Clearance Backlogs Threaten Defense Manufacturing Growth

Nov 04, 2018

I’ve written before about the most precious resource necessary to sustain America’s current high-tech manufacturing boom: a qualified workforce ready to do these new jobs. Bulking up the pipeline of tech-savvy, experienced apprentices and tradespeople will be a key factor, but increasingly, bureaucratic backlogs on critical security clearances have choked that pipeline to a trickle.

The number of people awaiting security clearance for defense-industry work has more than tripled over the past four years to almost half a million, according to the National Background Investigations Bureau. President Trump’s investment in defense equipment and other warfighting technology has created a surge in demand for workers with engineering and technical skills as well as security clearance to work on these sensitive projects.

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