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  • Manufacturing Update for July 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY
    ==================================

    Passed by the House -- Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act
    The House passed H.R. 5120, the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, on suspension on July 22. The bill is a companion to the America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973), sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). Both bills increase the flexibility of the national lab system, allow more flexibility to work with the private sector, and “vertically integrate” the Department of Energy’s energy and science research. H.R. 5120 was introduced by Reps. Hultgran (R-IL-14) and Kilmer (D-WA-6), and is cosponsored by Reps. Fattah (D-PA-2), Johnson (D-TX-30), Lipinski (D-IL-3), Lujan (D-NM-3), Lummis (R-WY), Nunnelee (R-MS-1), Smith (R-TX-21), Swalwell (D-CA-15), and Veasey (D-TX-33). 
    More: Kilmer press release 

    Presidential actions -- Improving workforce training
    A new White House report, compiled by Vice President Biden, details strategies for improving federal workforce training.  The report outlines new actions the Administration will take to strengthen program coordination and accountability, expand investment in apprenticeships and effective on-the-job training, and enable federal agencies to pilot promising new training models. The report includes examples of successful job training programs around the country and a number of steps the administration is taking to build on the progress Congress achieved by passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  These steps include competitive grants, a job-driven checklist, improved information, and expanding on programs that have been proven to work.
    More: Ready to Work report 

    Approved out of Committee -- Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act
    The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), out of Committee by voice vote. RAMI is the House companion to Sen. Brown (D-OH) and Blunt’s (R-MO) National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), also known as the Hubs Bill.  Both bills bring together industry, academia, and government to accelerate manufacturing innovation and bridge the gap between basic research and product development.
    More: Markup 

    Introduced and voted on -- Bring Jobs Home Act
    Sens. Pryor (D-AR), Stabenow (D-MI), and Walsh (D-MT) introduced the Bring Jobs Home Act, which closes a tax loophole that pays for companies for moving jobs overseas.  It also provides a 20% tax credit to help companies with the cost of bringing jobs back to America.  The bill was cosponsored by Sens. Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Coons (D-DE), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Hagan (D-NC), Klobuchar (D-MN), Markey (D-MA), McCaskill (D-MO), Merkley (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Rockefeller (D-WV), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Udall (D-CO), Udall (D-NM), Warner (D-VA), and Whitehouse (D-RI). Sen. Stabenow said: "It's outrageous that, right now, American workers are paying through the tax code to ship their own jobs overseas. We need to close this indefensible loophole and instead start rewarding the companies that are doing the right thing and bringing jobs back to America.” The bill was brought to the floor at the end of July, but the Senate failed to agree to cloture to end debate.
    More: Stabenow release | Walsh release

    Introduced -- COMPETES Act
    Sens. Rockefeller (D-WV) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014.  The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Nelson (D-FL), Pryor (D-AR), and Markey (D-MA). The COMPETES Act extends and enhances federal investments in cutting-edge research and education.  The bill builds on the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and its 2010 reauthorization. The legislation authorizes stable and sustained increases in R&D funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).   The bill also promotes the economic benefits of promising R&D and addresses agency efforts to increase participation in STEM fields, particularly among women and minorities.
    More: Coons release

    Introduced -- Manufacturing Universities
    Sens. Graham (R-SC) and Coons (D-DE) introduced bipartisan legislation to help schools strengthen their engineering programs to meet the growing demands of 21st century manufacturing. The bill would designate 25 universities as ‘Manufacturing Universities.’ Designated schools would receive $5 million per year for four years to meet specific goals, including focusing engineering programs on manufacturing, building new partnerships with manufacturing firms, growing training opportunities, and fostering manufacturing entrepreneurship. “It’s critical that our schools and universities equip students for success in manufacturing and contribute to the research and development that drives advanced manufacturing,” said Senator Coons.
    More: Coons release

    Tags:
    Innovation
    Manufacturing
    Manufacturing Jobs for America
    Manufacturing Update
  • Manufacturing Update for June 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY
    ==================================

    Passed by the Senate -- Five Manufacturing Jobs for America bills in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

    The Senate passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on June 25.  The bill includes five innovative skills-training provisions from the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to help prepare America’s workforce for the manufacturing jobs of the 21st century.  The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for approval. The bills included were:

    Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (S. 1400), sponsored by Sens. Reed (D-RI) and Brown (D-OH)
    WIOA includes key portions of S.1400, which seeks to increase investment in adult education, expand access to technology and digital literacy skills for adult learners, require better coordination and integration of adult education with state workforce development systems and postsecondary education, and strengthen English and civics education for new Americans. More: Reed press release

    America Works Act (S. 453), sponsored by Sens. Hagan (D-NC), Donnelly (D-IN), Heller (R-NV), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Schumer (D-NY)
    WIOA includes provisions from S. 453, which seeks to prioritize federal funding for job training programs that offer portable, national, and industry-recognized credentials. This reform would promote job-training programs that match the skills of workers with the needs of local employers, thereby training individuals for the jobs that are available in their communities right now.
    More: Hagan press release | Donnelly press release

    On-the-Job Training Act (S. 1227), sponsored by Sens. Shaheen (D-NH) and Cochran (R-MS)
    WIOA includes aspects of S. 1227 to significantly expand opportunities for on-the-job-training. WIOA requires state workforce investment boards to disseminate information identifying on-the-job-training opportunities and boosts incentives for employers to participate in on-the-job-training programs.
    More: Shaheen press release

    SECTORS Act (S. 1226), sponsored by Sens. Brown (D-OH), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), and Durbin (D-IL)
    WIOA includes provisions from S.1226 to require state and local Workforce Investment Boards to establish sector-based partnerships between employers, educators, and local workforce administrators to train workers for the most in-demand 21st century jobs.
    More: Brown press release

    Community College to Career Fund (S. 1269), sponsored by Sens. Franken (D-MN), Begich (D-AK), Durbin (D-IL), and Schatz (D-HI)
    WIOA includes aspects of S.1269 to create partnerships between businesses and schools that facilitate effective job training.
    More: Franken press release 

    Executive Action -- Presidential actions to revitalize manufacturing
    The administration announced new federal actions and new commitments from Mayors and other local leaders to invest in manufacturing. New actions announced include:

    ‘Mayors Maker Challenge’
    More than 90 Mayors and local leaders committed to the ‘Mayors Maker Challenge’ to expand access to physical locations and new manufacturing and prototyping equipment in their communities, spur manufacturing entrepreneurship, and inspire young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.

    Streamlining access to $5 billion of advanced equipment in over 700 R&D facilities
    The Administration will help manufacturing entrepreneurs access $5 billion worth of advanced equipment in federal R&D facilities that they may use to develop new technologies and launch new inventions.  For example, entrepreneurs might access NASA’s National Center for Advanced Manufacturing to produce the high-strength, defect-free joints required for cutting-edge aeronautics.

    Expanding investment in the Materials Genome Initiative
    Five federal agencies will invest more than $150 million in ground-breaking research to support the Materials Genome Initiative, upping the Administration’s investment in the manufacturing of advanced materials.  The Materials Genome Initiative is a public-private endeavor that aims to cut in half the time it takes to develop novel materials that can fuel advanced manufacturing and bolster the 21st century American economy.
    More: White House press release

    Passed by Committee -- Manufacturing priorities in CJS Appropriations
    The Senate Appropriations Committee included a number of manufacturing priorities in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which supports key programs for manufacturers and entrepreneurs. Included in the bill were:

    Manufacturing Extension Partnerships
    Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) are the only public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers.  The Appropriations Committee recognized the importance of MEPs by raising funding to $141 million, a $13 million increase.  According to data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, every dollar invested in MEP facilitates $19 in new sales growth and $21 in new client investment.

    National Manufacturing Strategy
    The bill directs the Office of Science & Technology Policy to report to Congress with a comprehensive plan to develop a national manufacturing strategy.  This language compliments the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which is part of Manufacturing Jobs for America and was introduced by Sens. Coons (D-DE) and Kirk (R-IL). 

    Bio-Manufacturing
    The bill includes language recognizing the importance of U.S. bio-manufacturing and directing the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase support for it in its advanced manufacturing portfolio by dedicating at least $15 million to new bio-manufacturing initiatives. 

    Foreign Commercial Service
    The Department of Commerce announced the expansion of the Foreign Commercial Service, including four new offices in Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique and four office expansions in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Libya.  The expansion will create nearly 70 new positions and post 17 additional officers globally to help U.S. manufacturers get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. 

    This month's full newsletter:

  • Manufacturing Update for May 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY
    ==================================

    Passed by Congress -- “Buy America” provisions in WRRDA
    Congress recently passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).  The bill includes provisions introduced by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Merkley (D-OR) that ensure American-made iron and steel are used in federally-funded water infrastructure projects when available and competitively priced. “For our economy to continue adding jobs, we must ensure American taxpayer dollars are used to support manufacturers and workers at home, not overseas,” Brown said. “I thank my colleagues for passing legislation that will strengthen our economy and infrastructure while benefitting Ohio manufacturers." "If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” Merkley said. “Today’s news is a huge victory for the principle that American tax dollars should support American jobs.”
    More: Brown press release

    Secretary Pritzker announces first 12 Manufacturing Communities
    Commerce Secretary Pritzker announced the first 12 communities that will be designated Manufacturing Communities as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Initiative.  The program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies. The 12 communities were selected from 70 that applied based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sector. The Manufacturing Communities will receive coordinated support for their strategies from eleven federal agencies with $1.3 billion available in federal economic development assistance.  The communities will also receive a dedicated federal liaison at each agency to help them navigate available federal resources. “The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
    More: Commerce press release | White House fact sheet

    Introduced -- Defend Trade Secrets Act
    Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act to help combat the loss of an estimated $160 billion to $480 billion each year in the United States to the theft of corporate trade secrets. The bill empowers manufacturers and other companies to protect their trade secrets in federal court by creating a federal private right-of-action. “The intellectual property that drives the U.S. economy has never been more valuable, or more vulnerable,” Senator Coons said.  “American companies are losing jobs because of the theft of trade secrets every day.  This bipartisan bill will empower American companies to protect their jobs by legally confronting those who steal their trade secrets.  It will finally give trade secrets the same legal protections that other forms of critical intellectual property already enjoy.”
    More: Hatch press release | Coons press release

    Hearing -- Judiciary hearing on trade secrets
    Manufacturing leaders testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on the need for urgent action to combat trade secret theft and protect American manufacturing jobs.  The witnesses urged Congress to pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which empowers companies to defend their trade secrets in federal court and recover stolen intellectual property before it is sold to competitors. Pursuing trade theft cases in state courts results in “a whole lot more expense,” said Doug Norman, Vice President and General Patent Counsel for Eli Lilly, as well as “a whole lot more risk, because we may not be able to isolate and seize the stolen materials as quickly.”
    More: Coons press release

    2. OTHER NEWS
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    News -- Landrieu urges BASF to build plant in Louisiana
    Sen. Landrieu (D-LA) wrote to BASF urging the company to locate its new propylene facility in Louisiana, where it would create thousands of high-paying jobs and fuel the revival of manufacturing. “Louisiana is at the center of a global manufacturing renaissance and a natural gas boom, made possible by extraordinary and swift advances in technology to locate, capture and produce natural gas,” Sen. Landrieu said. 
    More: Landrieu press release

    News -- Baldwin testifies before International Trade Commission on behalf of Wisconsin manufacturers
    Sen. Baldwin (D-WI) testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) on behalf of a Wisconsin manufacturer, Felker Brothers of Marshfield.  Sen. Baldwin appeared to highlight the importance of the stainless pipe industry.  The manufacturer is a petitioner in an antidumping investigation on imports of welded stainless pressure pipe from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.  At the ITC hearing, Baldwin focused on the challenges that Felker and the industry have faced from unfairly traded imports.
    More: Baldwin press release

    News -- Brown calls on administration to protect steel manufacturers
    Sen. Brown joined Northeast Ohio workers at a rally to call on the Obama Administration to protect Ohio steel manufacturers and the jobs they support. Outside of the U. S. Steel facility in Lorain, Brown and local steelworkers urged the Commerce Department (DOC) to crack down on countries that unfairly dump their steel in the U.S. market, threatening American jobs and competitiveness. A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), supported by Sen. Brown, finds that a surge in imports is putting half a million U.S. manufacturing jobs at risk.
    More: Brown press release | EPI report

    News -- Schumer, Gillibrand announce manufacturing grants to University of Rochester and SEMATECH Albany
    Sens. Gillibrand (D-NY) and Schumer (D-NY) announced grants for the University of Rochester’s New York Photonics Manufacturing Initiative and SEMATECH Albany from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The grants will strengthen the nation’s optics, photonics and imaging manufacturers, and support SEMATECH’s Semiconductor Supply Chain Roadmapping initiative, respectively.
    More: Gillibrand University of Rochester release | Gillibrand SEMATECH release

    News -- Harkin announces economic development funding for Iowa
    Sen. Harkin (D-IA) announced that three Iowa regions were awarded grants through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to help establish comprehensive economic development strategies in their region. 
    More: Harkin press release

    News -- Shaheen opens Southern New Hampshire Regional Economic Development Center
    Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) joined members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation in opening the Southern New Hampshire Regional Economic Development Center, which will help support small manufacturers with counseling, pre-loan packaging, assistance in finding a location, alternative financing, and employee training.  Sen. Shaheen supported REDC’s grant application to the Economic Development Administration, and in April of 2012 announced REDC’s selection for a $432,000 grant which made the new center possible.
    More: Shaheen press release

    News -- Cardin tours Maryland manufacturers
    Sen. Cardin (D-MD) launched a Made in Maryland Job Tour, touring a number of Maryland manufacturers.  Among the manufacturers he toured was HunterDouglas, where 860 employees manufacture high end, custom window fashions. 
    More: Cardin press release

    News -- Coons tours local manufacturer
    Sen. Coons (D-DE) visited WhiteOptics, a manufacturer of raw materials for LED lighting.  While there, the Senator took the opportunity to address questions on how protecting trade secrets can help encourage innovation.
    More: Coons blog post

    News -- President Obama meets with manufacturing leaders
    The President met with manufacturing leaders to announce a forum to attract more American and foreign companies to create jobs in the U.S. “We have made enormous strides over the last several years not just recovering from a Great Recession, but taking advantage of and now marketing the advantages of doing business in the United States — whether it’s low energy costs, an incredibly productive workforce,” the President said. 
    More: Detroit News

    News -- NIST announces award to MTConnect to promote advanced manufacturing
    NIST recently announced an award for MTConnect, “an open, royalty-free standard intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing devices and software applications.” "This is the promised land," says Doug Woods, president of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and a champion of MTConnect. 
    More: IndustryWeek | NIST announcement

    News -- Production of new Ford Transit Van launched at new Kansas City plant
    Ford recently launched production of the new Ford Transit Van at its Kansas City Assembly Plant.  With 2,000 new jobs at the plant supported by a $1.1 billion investment, Ford is now more than 75 percent toward its goal of creating 12,000 jobs in the United States by 2015.  In addition to the Transit Van, the Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150, and employs 4,878 workers on three crews.
    More: Ford

    Report -- “The all-of-the-above energy strategy as a path to sustainable economic growth”
    The White House recently issued a report detailing how an all-of-the-above energy strategy can help fuel economic growth.  Energy prices are of particular importance to manufacturers, and have helped  fuel the U.S. manufacturing renaissance in recent years.
    More: White House

    News -- Commerce Department honors manufacturers for export success
    Commerce Secretary Pritzker honored 65 U.S. exporters at the 2014 President’s “E” Awards.  The 52nd anniversary of the awards, the “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for significant contributions to increasing American exports.
    More: Commerce Department

  • Witness testimony at hearing on kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

    Here are links to the written testimony submitted by the witnesses at Thursday's Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs hearing on the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. The links below open indidual PDF files.

    The Honorable Robert P. Jackson
    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For African Affairs, Department of State

    The Honorable Earl Gast
    Assistant Administrator For African Affairs, U.S. Agency for International Development

    Ms. Alice Friend
    Principal Director For African Affairs, Department of Defense

    Ms. Lantana Abdullah
    Project Manager, Search for Common Ground, Jos, Nigeria

  • Manufacturing Update for April 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

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    Finance Committee passes vital tax provisions
    The Senate Finance Committee cleared a “tax extenders” package out of Committee on a bipartisan voice vote, advancing it towards the Senate floor.  The package includes many tax provisions important to manufacturers, including the R&D tax credit and bonus depreciation.
    More: Chairman’s Statement | Modified Chairman’s mark

    Finance Committee adopts Coons/Enzi tax credit for startup manufacturers
    The Senate Finance Committee included the Startup Innovation Credit Act (S. 193) in tax extenders by a bipartisan voice vote.  The bill allows startup manufacturers to claim the R&D tax.  Startups businesses generally have the highest potential for growth and generate the most jobs.  S. 193 was introduced by Sens. Coons (D-DE) and Enzi (R-WY), and co-sponsored by Sens. Schumer (D-NY), Rubio (R-FL), Blunt (R-MO), Moran (R-KS), Stabenow (D-MI), and Kaine (D-VA). The provision was introduced as an amendment to tax extenders by Sens. Roberts (R-KS) and Schumer (D-NY).
    More: Coons press release | Schumer press release | Schumer / Roberts modified amendment

    Finance Committee passes Roberts/Coons tax credit to help small manufacturers
    The Senate Finance Committee passed key provisions of the Innovators Job Creation Act (S.192) by a bipartisan voice vote.  The provision allows small business owners to claim the R&D tax credit against their Alternative Minimum Tax liability.  The bill was introduced by Sens. Roberts (R-KS) and Coons (D-DE), and is cosponsored by Sens. Enzi (R-WY) and Schumer (D-NY).  It was included in the amendment offered by Sens. Roberts and Schumer.
    More: Coons press release | Schumer / Roberts modified amendment

    Commerce Committee advances vital manufacturing hubs bill to the floor
    The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, sponsored by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Blunt (R-MO), was advanced out of the Senate Commerce Committee.  This bill will create a network of regional hubs bringing together businesses, universities, and government to promote manufacturing innovation and workforce development. 
    More: Commerce press release | Blunt press release | Brown press release

    Commerce Committee includes National Manufacturing Strategy in hubs bill
    Sens. Pryor (D-AR), Kirk (R-IL), and Coons (D-DE) applauded the Senate Commerce Committee's passage of their American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which requires the President to submit a National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing to Congress every four years, and is part of the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative. While there are numerous programs spread throughout several federal departments and agencies aimed at supporting manufacturing, there is no cohesive national strategy to ensure these programs are working together toward the unified goal of revitalizing American manufacturing.

    This legislation was passed as an amendment, offered by Sen. Pryor, to the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013.  The amendment was based off of S. 1709, The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, introduced by Sens. Kirk and Coons, co-sponsored by Sens. Blunt (R-MO), Brown (D-OH), Stabenow (D-MI), Graham (R-SC) and Harkin (D-IA).
    More: Kirk press release | Coons press release

    Klobuchar and Hoeven Innovate America Act passed by Commerce Committee
    Provisions of Sens. Klobuchar (D-MN) and Hoeven’s (R-ND) Innovate America Act (S.1777) were included in the hubs bill during the Senate Commerce Committee’s markup.  The amendment:

    • Requires the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study on the top 20 exporting industries in the U.S., domestic regulatory and policy barriers to increasing exports, foreign barriers to doing business abroad, and recommendations on how to address these barriers;
    • Clarifies that manufacturing hubs should consider workforce recruitment as part of their functions; and
    • Encourages applications from new centers to emphasize how they will impact global and domestic competitiveness.

    Defense Department announces plans to purchase U.S. made athletic footwear
    The Defense Department announced it will require that service members purchase American-made shoes when using Department funds.  Previously, recruits had received a Department stipend with which to purchase shoes, but no Berry Amendment-compliant athletic footwear was available.  Based on feedback from Members of Congress and shoe manufacturers, the Department determined American manufacturers could manufacture compliant footwear, and will begin requiring that recruits use their stipends to purchase American-made shoes.
    More: Brown press release | Levin press release

  • Manufacturing Update for March 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY

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

    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

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    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.

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    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. 

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