Lockheed Martin, RDA Hunter partner to grow STEM workforce

Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Vince Di Pietro AM CSC and RDA Hunter Chairman John Turner. Picture credit: Lockheed Martin Australia

As Williamtown ramps up to welcome Australia’s arriving F-35s, Lockheed Martin Australia yesterday joined Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter in Newcastle, New South Wales, to present a range of new opportunities to academia, STEM and community organisations in the Hunter Region.

Representatives from Lockheed Martin Australia and RDA Hunter hosted a range of stakeholders, to outline the opportunities for which the two organisations will be seeking local business and community support.

Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro AM CSC, said working with Australian partners brings best practice and leading-edge concepts and technology to Australia, and provides leading innovation to field sovereign defence capabilities.

“The activities of the next couple of days in the Hunter region are testimony to the critical contribution of regional Australia to our nation’s defence capability, and Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to both regional Australia and small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Read: KPMG report highlights Lockheed Martin’s contribution to Australian economy

“What’s most exciting about Lockheed Martin Australia’s partnership with RDA Hunter and its STEM Workforce Initiative, is that the Hunter will be home to the most technologically advanced capability Australia has ever invested in – the F35.

“Lockheed Martin Australia is investing in a highly skilled workforce in the Hunter region and is committed to a community relations program that invests in the quality of life of communities where our employees live,” he said.

RDA Hunter chairman John Turner said RDA Hunter is delighted to be partnering with Lockheed Martin Australia.

“Our partnership will result in workforce and industry development strategies that will maximise the significant economic impact of upcoming defence projects in the Hunter,” he said.

Read: Lockheed Martin opens Australia HQ in Canberra

“Lockheed Martin Australia’s requirement for additional STEM skilled staff means its acutely important for the region to maintain, and indeed grow, the pool of people available for these positions.

“We have been working for many years through our STEM Workforce Initiatives to upskill the Hunter’s school students in preparation for STEM careers in defence industries.

“The new jobs created by the incoming defence projects will strengthen the region’s already booming defence sector.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Lockheed Martin Australia to develop new activities that build the workforce they need, while providing Hunter students with pathways to legitimate long-term career opportunities right here in the region.”

“Today’s event has been an invaluable insight into LMA’s workforce development plans and a great opportunity for the company’s executive team to meet the key players in the Hunter’s strong defence eco-system,” continued Mr Turner.

“We’re very much looking forward to coordinating collaboration between Lockheed Martin Australia, the region’s wider defence industry, education and government to build a partnership that delivers economic growth and workforce outcomes in the Hunter.”