Reps. Crow, Balderson Launch the Defense Workforce, Innovation, and Industry Caucus
WASHINGTON - Today, Reps. Jason Crow (CO-06) and Troy Balderson (OH-12) announced the creation of the Defense Workforce, Innovation, and Industry Caucus (DWIIC). As part of the caucus launch, Reps. Crow and Balderson hosted National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) President and CEO General Hawk Carlisle, USAF (Ret) for a briefing on the findings of NDIA’s second annual Vital Signs 2021 report on the health of the defense industrial base and workforce.
The Defense Workforce, Innovation, and Industry Caucus will serve to inform Members on issues affecting the workforce and industry partners that comprise the Department of Defense and intelligence community industrial base. The DWIIC will focus on calling attention to the U.S. national security supply chain, the workforce that develops innovative technologies, and the businesses that employ over a million Americans.
“Colorado has the nation’s second largest aerospace economy. We are fortunate that so many aviation, space, and defense businesses call Colorado home. Not only do they employ tens of thousands of Coloradans, but they play a vital role in our national security,” said Congressman Jason Crow. “The changing nature of threats to our security means that it's more important than ever to stay at the forefront of innovation. I look forward to working with Rep. Balderson and our colleagues in the Caucus to ensure Congress continues to support the workforce and innovation that our national security depends on.”
“I’m proud to support small businesses across the United States that plan an important role in ensuring our men and women in uniform can successfully carry out their missions and return home to their loved ones. I’ve had the opportunity to visit and work with many of these small businesses located in Central Ohio, and I’m excited to co-lead this caucus and to continue learning about the issues impacting the defense industrial base,” said Congressman Troy Balderson.
“Vital Signs 2021, NDIA’s second annual edition of our study on the health and readiness of the defense industrial base, shows an industry at the precipice of the coronavirus still lagging in some areas though improving in others. I hope this gathering today of policymakers on Capitol Hill will impart an idea of what awaits the defense industrial base on the other side of the pandemic and act quickly to strengthen that base. National security depends on it, and the warfighters deserve no less,” said General Hawk Carlisle, USAF (Ret).
Liteye Systems and United Launch Alliance, defense companies headquartered in the 6th District that employ thousands of Coloradans, also offered their support for the caucus.
“Liteye Systems applauds the leadership of Rep. Crow and Rep. Balderson for establishing this important caucus to give voice to the Defense Industrial Base,” said Kenneth Geyer, CEO and Co-Founder, Liteye Systems, Inc. “The United States is in a fight to maintain its technological superiority over near peers such as China and Russia; innovative small businesses are essential to winning this fight. Liteye Systems is honored to support DWIIC’s mission to enhance the DoD industrial base, its employees and supply chains which are critical to our national security and success,” said Kenneth Geyer, Co-Founder & CEO, Liteye Systems, Inc.
“This nations’ workforce is one of its greatest resources and the ongoing pandemic has made it abundantly clear that strengthening the national security industrial base – especially the workforce that powers it – remains one of our nation’s greatest priorities,” said United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno. “I applaud the efforts of Congressman Crow and Congressman Balderson for working to ensure our nation remains committed to furthering innovation and national security.”