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September 12, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Former ORNL Chief Manufacturing Officer leading Georgia Tech’s “Build Back Better” winning project

A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher and administrator who recently returned to campus after working on leave as the Chief Manufacturing Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is now serving as Executive Director of one of the organizations that received funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration under the “Build Back Better Regional Challenge.”

As one of the 21 winners from across the country, the Georgia AI Manufacturing (GA-AIM) Technology Corridor received $65 million to expand on an existing initiative. Tom Kurfess, who serves as Executive Director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI). will also serve as GA-AIM’s Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer.

The federal funding will help transform the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF) into the Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Pilot Facility. GA-AIM is designed to revolutionize the state’s industrial economy by developing and deploying talent and innovation in AI for all manufacturing sectors. Transforming AMPF is just one piece. Also included is a series of programs in lockstep with Georgia Tech’s strategic focus area of expanding access and empowering people of all backgrounds and stages of life.

“We need to address one of the country’s greatest needs: creating a workforce with more capability, specifically related to technology and manufacturing,” Kurfess said in this article. “Just as we teach our students a series of skills that will allow them to be successful in future jobs in the decades to come, it’s Georgia Tech’s responsibility to upskill workers around the state who are in the middle of their careers and facing technology disrupters.”

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