1. LATEST POLICY
President Obama launches competition for new textiles-focused manufacturing innovation institute; new White House Supply Chain Innovation Initiative; and funding to support small manufacturers
On March 18th in Cleveland Ohio, the President announced nearly $500 million in public-private investment to strengthen American manufacturing by investing in cutting-edge technologies through a new, textiles-focused manufacturing institute competition led by the Department of Defense, and by sharpening the capabilities of small manufacturers through Manufacturing Extension Partnership competitions in twelve states. The White House, as detailed in a new report, is also launching a Supply Chain Innovation Initiative focused on building public-private partnerships to strengthen the small U.S. manufacturers that anchor the nation’s supply chains.
More: White House Press Release
Sens. Coons, Graham, Gillibrand, Ayotte and Baldwin introduce bipartisan bill to designate ‘Manufacturing Universities’
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), who leads the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) introduced bipartisan legislation to help schools strengthen their engineering programs and meet the growing demands of 21st century manufacturing. The bill would designate 25 universities as ‘Manufacturing Universities’ and provide incentives to better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers. The incentives would be used to bolster universities’ efforts to focus on manufacturing engineering and curricula specifically related to targeted industries.
More: Coons Release
Merkley, Franken introduce legislation to promote education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced legislation designed to increase student access to courses in STEM education subjects and provide additional resources to recruit, train, and support teachers of these subjects. Merkley and Franken will seek to include the bill in the Senate’s re-write of the No Child Left Behind Act this year. The bill is endorsed by the STEM Education Coalition, an alliance of more than 500 businesses and professional and education organizations.
More: Merkley Release
Klobuchar, Hoeven reintroduce bipartisan legislation to help fuel innovation, boost America’s competitiveness
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would help fuel innovation and boost America’s competitiveness in the global economy. The Innovate America Act would help cut red tape, expand successful education programs, promote U.S. exports in new markets, and help America retain its competitive edge.
More: Klobuchar Release
Shaheen introduces legislation to reauthorize Export-Import Bank
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation to expand and improve the Export-Import Bank to help small businesses sell their products overseas. The Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015 would provide long term certainty for small businesses by extending the Export-Import Bank through 2022, continuing the bank’s ability to provide businesses with tools they need to compete in the global marketplace and create American jobs. The Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015 is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
More: Shaheen Release
2. OTHER NEWS
Announcement of new MEP Director
Carroll A. Thomas has been selected to serve as the next MEP Director after a full and open competition and a rigorous review process. Her selection is pending Department of Commerce approval.
More: NIST Release
Sen. Brown announces nearly $450,000 to spur economic development and manufacturing innovation in Lima
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $449,950 to the Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center in Lima for a Center for High Strain Rate Forming Commercialization. The Center will bring together several manufacturers to spur innovation and commercialization through collaboration and co-investment. In October 2014, Brown wrote to the U.S. Department of Commerce, urging the department to give the Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center’s proposal full and fair consideration.
More: Brown Release
MADE in MD: Cardin visits AstraZeneca’s Biologics Manufacturing Center, site of more than $200 million investment
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin toured the AstraZeneca biologics manufacturing center in Frederick as part of his ongoing “Made in Maryland” jobs tour that highlights the diversity of Maryland products and the Marylanders who make them.
More: Cardin Release
Brookings Center for Technology Innovation releases new paper - Innovation and manufacturing labor: a value-chain perspective
In a new paper, Kate Whitefoot and Walter Valdivia offer a fresh insight into the sector’s labor composition and trends by examining employment in manufacturing from a value chain perspective. While the manufacturing sector shed millions of jobs in the 2002-2010 period—a period that included the Great Recession—employment in upstream services expanded 26 percent for market analysis, 13 percent for research and development, and 23 percent for design and technical services. Average wages for these services increased over 10 percent in that period. Going forward, this pattern is likely to be repeated. Technical occupations, particularly in upstream segments are expected to have the largest increases in employment and wages.