U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Manufacturing Update for March 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

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    Hearing -- Aviation Competitiveness
    Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) held a hearing of Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security on March 13.  The hearing focused on challenges facing the U.S. aviation industry, and what steps the U.S. can take to maintain its leadership in the global market and create American jobs.  Sen. Cantwell called for five steps to boost U.S. competitiveness:

    1. Increase investment in STEM education and apprenticeship programs to ensure a robust supply of skilled workers;
    2. Use the WTO to challenge unfair subsidies provided by foreign governments;
    3. Continue export financing through the Export-Import Bank;
    4. Modernize the nation’s air traffic control system by implementing the NextGen satellite-based system;
    5. Invest in R&D for composite materials.

    Representatives of Aerospace Industries Association, Airlines for America, the AFL-CIO, and Boeing testified. 
    More: Cantwell press release | Hearing video 1 | Hearing video 2

    News -- Franken tours E.J. Ajax Metal Forming Solutions
    Sen. Franken recently toured E.J. Ajax Metal Forming Solutions, where he spoke with representatives from local technical colleges, local business, and HIRED, a Twin Cities provider of job skills training for disadvantaged job seekers.
    More: National Skills Coalition

    News -- Sen Coons and Rep Kelly meet with small manufacturers
    Members of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition came to Congress to meet with Sen Coons (D-DE) and Rep Kelly (R-PA) to discuss the Manufacturing Extension Partnership on March 4th and 5th.
    More: ASMC

    News -- DuPont hosts engineering events to inspire young people
    DuPont recently hosted two local events to highlight the impact engineers can have on society and encourage young people to consider the STEM professions.  During DuPont’s sponsorship of national Engineers Week, the company invited middle school students to present a model of a city they had designed during a nationwide competition called Future Cities. 
    More: News Journal

    Interview -- The importance of skills training
    Michael Tamasi, CEO of AccuRounds, recently spoke with Fox Business about what is needed to boost hiring, highlighting the importance of skills training.
    More: Fox Business

    News -- Precision Plus hosts student manufacturing day
    Mike Reader, CEO of Precision Plus in Elkhorn, WI and a member of the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) recently produced a student Manufacturing Day Panel at Elkhorn Area High School. Over 200 students from five area schools listened to local manufacturing companies describe the opportunities and their personal insights on local manufacturing. 2.7 million U.S. manufacturing workers are set to retire in the next 3-5 years, and there is a huge deficit in the number of young people applying for jobs in manufacturing.
    More: PMPA

    Report -- Ontario Made: Rethinking Manufacturing in the 21st Century
    A new paper by the University of Toronto examining Ontario’s manufacturing sector provides useful international comparisons for U.S. policymakers.  The authors recommend a focus on advanced manufacturing through a focus on investments in skills, R&D, equipment, and information technology.
    More: Mowat Centre

    Report -- What jobs are being offshored, and where are they going?
    A new working paper from economists at UC Berkley and MIT used new data to look at the type of jobs that are being offshored, and where those jobs are going.  The paper finds very few companies offshore their core competencies, but that large manufacturers tend to do so at a significantly higher rate than other sectors.  The majority of offshoring tends to go to locations with costs comparable to the U.S., contrary to popular perception.
    More: IRLE | The Economist 

    Report -- Why you should care about the federal budget
    A blog post from Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks at the implications of the President’s Budget for American manufacturers.  The blog post finds that the budget contained positives, such as funding for NNMI, and shortcomings, such as slower growth in R&D funding.
    More: Industry Week

    Report -- Assessing U.S. corporate tax reform in an age of global competition
    A report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation describes the impact of the corporate income tax on the economy and analyzes the major issues involved in creating tax reform that both increases economic growth and reduces the burden of federal debt.
    More: ITIF

  • Manufacturing Update for February 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

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    Executive Order -- Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses
    The President issued an executive order cutting processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.
    More: White House executive order

    Announcement -- The President Announces Two New Manufacturing Hubs
    The President announced two new manufacturing innovation institutes.  A Detroit-area consortium will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, while a Chicago consortium will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies. The President also announced a competition for a new manufacturing innovation institute to build U.S. strength in the manufacturing of advanced composites.
    More: White House press release

    This update is provided by the Office of U.S. Senator Chris Coons on behalf of the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative. For more information, visit coons.senate.gov/manufacturing or email jj_singh@coons.senate.gov.  

    Click here to download this month's full newsletter as a PDF, or read it below.

    Tags:
    Manufacturing
    Manufacturing Jobs for America
    Manufacturing Update
  • Manufacturing Update for January 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

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    Signed in to law: Inapplicability of Requirement to Review and Justify Certain Contracts
    Sens. Blunt and Coons added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) clarifying conflicting guidance for small manufacturers from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Defense.  Occasionally, conflicting rules from each agency apply to a small manufacturer contracting with the federal government. The provision makes it easier for small manufacturers to comply with these rules by dictating that when both sets of rules apply to a contract, only the SBA rule will be enforced. The President signed NDAA into law on Dec. 26.
    More: Blunt NDAA press release| Coons NDAA press release

    Introduced: Skills Gap Strategy Act

    Sens. Donnelly (D-IN) and Heller (R-NV) introduced the Skills Gap Strategy Act, bipartisan legislation that would help employers identify, train, and hire workers with the skills to fill existing job openings.  The Skills Gap Strategy Act directs the Secretary of Labor to develop a strategy to help close the “skills gap” by increasing on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities.
    More: Donnelly press release | Heller press release

    Introduced: Consortia-Led Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Networks Act
    Sen. Markey introduced a bill to create six or more local innovation hubs to help American inventors, investors, professors, and producers bridge the last hurdles between innovation and manufacturing.  The bill will open up $100 million in matching funds, with rigorous costshare requirements to ensure taxpayers are only partnering on the best ideas, in which the private sector also has significant capital committed.
    More: Markey press release

    Introduced: Innovators Job Creation Act
    Sens. Roberts (R-KS) and Coons (D-DE) introduced bipartisan legislation to enhance incentives for private firms to invest in research and development. The bill helps start-ups and other small companies take advantage of R&D tax credits by allowing the R&D Credit to be claimed against the Alternative Minimum Tax, permitting the Alternative Simplified Credit on Amended Returns, and allowing startups to claim the R&D credit against their employment taxes.
    More: Roberts press release| Coons press release

    This update is provided by the Office of U.S. Senator Chris Coons on behalf of the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative. For more information, visit coons.senate.gov/manufacturing or email jj_singh@coons.senate.gov.  

    Click here to download this month's full newsletter as a PDF, or read it below.

    Tags:
    Manufacturing
    Manufacturing Jobs for America
    Manufacturing Update
  • Manufacturing Update for December 2013

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

    ==================================

    Introduced: New Skills for New Jobs Act
    On Dec. 10, Sen. Stabenow (D-MI) introduced legislation to provide federal matching funds for state programs that help community colleges partner with local businesses provide job training.
    More: Stabenow issue page

    Introduced: Innovate America Act
    On Nov. 21, Sens. Klobuchar (D-MN) and Hoeven (R-ND) introduced the Innovate America Act—bipartisan legislation to spur innovation and competitiveness.  Among other provisions, the legislation funds 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused high schools, puts more computer science teachers in elementary and secondary schools, expands STEM-related undergraduate research opportunities, and helps maintain America’s competitive edge.
    More: Klobuchar press release | Gillibrand press release

    Introduced: American Export Promotion Act of 2013
    On Nov. 20, Sen. Schatz (D-HI) introduced a bill that would invest $8 million in the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).  The purpose of MDCP awards is to establish partnerships between the International Trade Administration and non-profit industry groups (such as trade associations and local Chambers of Commerce) to work together with small manufacturers to increase exports.  It is estimated that $1 of MDCP awards translates in to $258 in exports. 

    Introduced: National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013
    On Nov. 14, Sens. Durbin (D-IL) and Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced legislation to invest in the next generation of American entrepreneurs and innovators by establishing a national network of fabrication laboratories, known as “fab labs.” Fab labs are small, community-based workshops that give members of the public — from students to small businesses — access to educational resources and high-tech equipment that can design, develop, and create new products.
    More: Durbin press release | Gillibrand press release

    Introduced: American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
    On Nov. 14, Sens. Kirk (R-IL) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act to bolster the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in the United States. The bill would require the development of a national manufacturing strategy, boosting the traditional and high-tech manufacturers that employ nearly 12 million Americans.
    More: Kirk press release | Coons press release

    This update is provided by the Office of U.S. Senator Chris Coons on behalf of the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative. For more information, visit coons.senate.gov/manufacturing or email jj_singh@coons.senate.gov.  

    Click here to download this month's full newsletter as a PDF, or read it below.

    Tags:
    Manufacturing
    Manufacturing Jobs for America
    Manufacturing Update
  • Senator Coons urges support for low-income energy assistance

    Senator Coons and 38 of his colleagues have sent a letter to President Obama urging the inclusion of robust funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the administration's next budget proposal, due early next year.

    Chris has been a long-time advocate for LIHEAP, which provides critical assistance for low-income families and seniors struggling to pay their energy bills. In 2012, LIHEAP helped more than 25,000 Delaware families during the winter and summer months.  

    LIHEAP is an essential service for many of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association found that more than 90 percent of LIHEAP homes have at least one child, senior, or person with disability. 

    “For these households, LIHEAP funding has been a lifeline during challenging economic times,” the senators wrote.  “Access to affordable home energy is not a luxury – it is a matter of health and safety.”

    LIHEAP also delivers significant economic benefits to recipients and their local communities. By lowering energy bills, the program ensures families do not need to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table. Energy assistance frees up resources that recipients can use to buy groceries, medicines, and other essential goods, which in turn helps local economies grow. One study by economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder found that every dollar invested in LIHEAP generates $1.13 in economic activity. 

  • Senator Coons supports calls for international engagement in Central African Republic

    The Central African Republic (CAR), long a fragile state, has spiraled downward since March, when the president was ousted by a diffuse group of rebels called Seleka.  The humanitarian situation is dire and getting worse.  More than 460,000 Central Africans have been displaced and, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, half of the population of 4.6 million needs humanitarian assistance and about a quarter are seriously food insecure. Without strong, high level international engagement, the CAR risks descending into chronic violence and lawlessness guaranteed to cause even more human suffering. 

    Secretary Kerry’s statement on November 20 condemning the ongoing abuses and announcing that the U.S. Government will provide $40 million to support the African Union Peacekeeping Mission (MISCA) in CAR is a step in the right direction.  Now, the United States must urgently deliver the promised support to MISCA, work with the international community to accelerate humanitarian relief, and engage with community-based and national efforts to advance reconciliation and political transition.  Several respected international rights groups issued a statement to that effect on November 19, outlining recommendations for a comprehensive U.S. Government strategy that merit serious consideration. 

    As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee, Senator Coons is closely following the ongoing situation in the CAR and is committed to working to support peacekeeping, humanitarian, and democracy efforts in the country.

  • Report touts economic value of National Wildlife Refuge System

    Senator Coons joined National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Jim Kurth at a Congressional briefing on November 14, 2013 to share the findings of a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study on the economic benefits of the refuge system.

    (Above) Senator Coons joins National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Jim Kurth at a Congressional briefing on the findings of a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study.

    Every year, millions of bird watchers, hikers, hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts visit the National Wildlife Refuge System, our nation’s extensive network of preserved lands and waters dedicated to conserving wildlife.  President Theodore Roosevelt created the first wildlife refuge in Florida in 1903 and since then, the system has grown to a network of over 560 refuges encompassing more than 150 million acres.  In Delaware alone, every year more than 200,000 people visit Prime Hook and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuges, which represent some of the best examples of pristine tidal saltmarsh and wetlands on the East Coast.

    This week, Senator Coons joined National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Jim Kurth at a Congressional briefing to share the findings of a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study of the economic benefits of the refuge system.  The report entitled, “Banking on Nature” quantifies the revenue generated for local and regional economies by refuges across the country, including Delaware’s very own Bombay Hotoutsok and Prime Hook.  From 2006-2011, over 46 million people visited the National Wildlife Refuge System generating a total of $2.4 billion in economic output. Considering that every $1 of investment in the refuge system yields around $5 for the economy, national wildlife refuges are among our most productive national investments.

    Wildlife refuges fuel the economic growth of surrounding communities by attracting visitors that support local economies when they pay for travel arrangements and buy food, supplies, accommodations, and other products and services. Refuges also give visitors and nearby residents access to the sights of waterfowl migration and gorgeous views of the landscape, which are free for all to enjoy. Additional ecosystem services provided by our coastal refuges include water filtration, flood mitigation, and healthy fish populations, solidifying their place as valuable natural assets.

    In October, Chris led a resolution with Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) recognizing the importance of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  The bi-partisan resolution, S. Res. 296, to designate the week of October 13th, 2013 as National Wildlife Refuge Week was adopted November 14 by unanimous consent.  Chris led similar resolutions designating National Wildlife Refuge Week in 2011 and 2012.

  • What We're Reading: NGOs speak out on suffering in the Central African Republic

    Flag for What We're Reading

    Since a March coup ousted the nation’s president, inter-communal and sectarian violence in  the Central African Republic (CAR) has resulted in widespread  chaos and lawlessness. Despite a rapidly deteriorating situation, the mass violence and suffering of civilians has been met with far too little international outrage or assistance. The recent decisions by the African Union (AU) to expand its stabilization force and the United Nations to strengthen the Peacebuilding Office are welcome moves that could lay the groundwork for expanded protection for civilians and accelerated progress toward greater stability. The U.S. administration should step up with assistance to help ensure that AU forces can carry out their mission effectively and support UN and AU efforts to promote reconciliation and democracy in this troubled country.

    An October 31 press release by a number of respected international NGOs starkly describes the situation in the CAR and issues a strong call for greater international focus on the country. 

    As advocates and organizations dedicated to the prevention of violent conflict and mass atrocities, we are deeply disturbed by the violence that is plaguing CAR. The most recent wave is tipping the situation beyond control and is taking a trajectory towards large-scale interreligious and intercommunal violence.

    We urge the international community to act swiftly to prevent atrocities and ensure civilian protection. The international community must rapidly expand its presence in the country, extend protection beyond a few selected sites, and allocate the resources necessary to address the complex and protracted nature of humanitarian needs.

    As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee, Senator Coons is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation in the CAR, and is committed to working within the committee and with the administration and non-governmental partners to support peacekeeping, humanitarian, and democracy efforts in the country.   

    Click here to read the joint press release

  • Delaware company demonstrates value of federally funded scientific research

    Delaware’s ET International, Inc. was among 100 companies profiled in a new report released today by the Science Coalition – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, including the University of Delaware. The report, titled, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded University Research, Fueling Innovation and Economic Growth” highlights companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research. The companies in the report were self-selected by the member universities of the Science Coalition and are illustrative of how federal research can spur the creation of companies that bring innovations to market, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.

    ET International, Inc. (ETI) was founded in 2000 by Dr.Guang Rong Gao, a distinguished professor in computer and electrical engineering at the University of Delaware. The company originated in the university’s scientific labs and is now a leading provider of system software for advanced many-core computing systems ranging from supercomputers for highly scientific research to high-performance portable devices for smart phones. In a statement to the Science Coalition, the company noted that “Federally supported research completed at the University of Delaware and ETI” by Dr. Gao “allowed his deep-rooted belief in fundamental dataflow principles technologies to be successfully explored, designed and implemented…”

    Indeed, ETI’s first phase of growth generated over $22 million in investments from the industry’s most renowned High Performance Computing organizations including The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, IBM, Intel, Cray, and Samsung. ETI’s software solutions increase performance, computing power, and efficiency to allow users to fully realize the power of many-core architectures. Built on a decade of highly complex research, ETI currently provides software, applications and custom engineering services for the energy, defense, semiconductor, digital media, and financial markets.

    During a time when federal funding for R&D has been on the decline, with funding levels in 2013 at historic lows, ETI and the other companies highlighted in the report show the high return on investment yielded by federal funding of basic scientific research. Senator Coons is committed to ensuring that our nation continues to support innovative research and companies like ETI that create jobs and keep America on the cutting edge of technological innovation. 

  • Senator Coons Designates American Technological Innovation Day

    A bipartisan resolution sponsored by Senator Coons declaring October 29, 2013 to be “National Technological Innovation Day” was adopted by the Senate Monday. The declaration recognizes the important role of technological innovation in job creation and the U.S. economy, and was timed to celebrate the anniversary of ARPANET, the Internet’s precursor, created on October 29, 1969. The resolution was led by Senator Coons and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, including Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga).

    “America has produced some of the world’s most transformative technological innovations that have helped our economy prosper while advancing societies across the globe,” Senator Coons said. “I hope that National Technological Innovation Day will encourage Americans across the country to pause to appreciate the great work of those who came before, and rise to the challenge of becoming the next generation of inspirational American thinkers and inventors.”

    A significant portion of our economy’s growth can be traced to new innovations. Since our nation’s founding, American innovators have produced the light bulb, the polio vaccine, the transistor (the main component of a computer chip), communications satellites, Global Positioning System, and the Internet, to name just a few. National Technological Innovation Day recognizes the role of America’s innovative spirit in individuals who have started successful companies and pushed the frontiers of science in the lab. More than one-third of Nobel prizes awarded, 347 in total, have gone to American citizens, reflecting the domestic culture of achievement we have created.

    The resolution designating National Technological Innovation Day calls on individuals to observe the day by participating in activities that celebrate the history of innovation in the US, such as educational events and exploration of how modern devices work. It also encourages American youth to continue to enhance the future by pursuing invention and entrepreneurship.

    Tags:
    Economy
    Education
    Entrepreneurs
    Innovation
    Science
    STEM
    Technology
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