At first-ever U.S.-Australia defense summit, contractors share need for skilled workers

Friday, December 14, 2018

Despite activity not seen in decades due to increased military spending at the federal level, finding and retaining a skilled workforce remains a huge challenge, executives from Connecticut's big defense contractors said Tuesday morning.

They were speaking at the first-ever U.S.–Australia defense summit, a two-day event hosted at the Mystic Hilton by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and Anne Evans, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Office in Connecticut. This year marks the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Australia.

Courtney referred to Australia as a “key ally and partner” for the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region, a “critical” area for trade and an area where China is increasing its influence. He pointed to the intelligence sharing that goes on between the two nations in the region, which is “about as valuable as any intelligence efforts in the world today,” and the “military collaboration” in Iraq and Syria.

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