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CWNU Leading the Supply of National Defense Industry Talent
  • By Kim Min-seong, reporter
  • 승인 2024.03.31 14:48
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▲ The '2024 Professional Manpower Training Process of The Defense Industry' Class Scene (Source: CWNU Waagle)

On March 15th, CWNU launched the education program for selected participants of the '2024 Professional Manpower Training Process of The Defense Industry.' This educational program is organized by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and sponsored by CWNU. The comprehensive six- month course aims to nurture talents with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience through four months of theoretical learning and two months of practical training at local defense industry companies. The goal is to train and supply specialized personnel tailored to the demand of the local defense industry, thus alleviating youth unemployment in the region and addressing the shortage of skilled professionals in defense companies. To learn more about the program, we conducted an interview with Park Jong- kyu, the President of Industry- University Cooperation Foundation.

Q. Please introduce yourself.

Park: Hello. I’m Park Jong- kyu, the Head Officer of the Professional Manpower Training Process of the Defense Industry. I am a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and serve as the President of the Industry- University Cooperation Foundation. Currently, I oversee the Industry- University Cooperation Foundation affairs as the Head Office of the Industry- University Cooperation Foundation.

Q. What was the rationale behind implementing the Defense Industry Specialized Personnel Training Course at CWNU?

Park: The defense industry not only contributes to national security but also plays a crucial role in the economic development of the country. Changwon especially maintains its status as a leading city in the defense industry. Through this program, we aim to nurture outstanding youth in the Changwon area into specialized personnel for the defense industry, supply them to local and domestic defense companies, and thereby contribute to alleviating unemployment and enhancing the future competitiveness of defense companies.

Q. What kinds of students participate in the program?

Park: The participants consist of individuals under the age of 34 who have graduated not only from local universities but also from other provinces and have not yet found employment. The majority of them are graduates of CWNU.

Q. What subjects are taught in the course?

Park: The program consists of common education, advanced education, and practical training. Common education includes a total of 16 courses covering topics such as the Evolution of the Defense Industry, Defense Industry Development Policy of Gyeongnam (Changwon), Defense Project Execution System, Defense Planning and Standardization, and Integrated Product Support (IPS). Advanced education is divided into two tracks: 'Mechatronics' and 'Defense Technology Management.' Defense Technology Management covers defense cost analysis/management, weapon system cost analysis, defense quality management system, and advanced courses on IPS. Mechatronics covers topics like microcontrollers and embedded software development. Practical training involves working in local defense companies for eight weeks to enhance practical skills.

Q: What is considered the most important issue in the course?

Park: The most important issue is to resolve mismatches in recruitment and job seeking through collaboration with local companies and to establish an ecosystem for sustainable defense clusters and regional industrial circulation.

Q: What goals are pursued in this program?

Park: We aim to cultivate professionals who will lead the defense industry of Korea and the local region by connecting employment opportunities with the enhancement of practical skills.

Q: Can you provide information on the graduates of the program?

Park: Graduates of the program have secured employment either in the companies where they underwent practical training or in other defense industry firms. The Industry- University Cooperation Foundation continues to maintain regular communication with both graduates and companies for post-program management.

Gyeongsangnam- do Province is home to the largest defense industry complex in Korea. Changwon City, in particular, is the matrix of the Korean defense industry, with over 2,500 companies producing defense systems and components such as tanks and aircraft for export. Additionally, there are a total of 17 defense companies, designated by the nation in Changwon, accounting for 20% of them. Due to issues like the Ukraine crisis, the export growth rate in defense- related sectors exceeded 70% in the past five years (2018- 2022), leading to a global surge in interest in K- defense. CWNU not only takes the lead in addressing youth employment issues through education but also plays a significant role as the nucleus in the industrial development of Gyeongsangnam- do Province and education in core national industries.

By Kim Min-seong, reporter  kms9494274@gmail.com

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