U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Manufacturing Update for July 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY
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    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
  • VIDEO: Senator Coons talks to NBC 10 about workforce training bill

    Philly's NBC 10 News reports on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Actsigned into law by the President Tuesday. Senator Coons, who leads the Senate's Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign, attended the bill signing ceremony and talked to NBC 10 outside the White House about what the bill means for American workers. Click here to read more about the bill.

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  • Manufacturing Update for June 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update

    1. LATEST POLICY
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    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
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    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

  • Senator Coons convenes bipartisan roundtable on innovation

    Senator Coons, along with Senators Thune, and Wyden met with TechNet CEOs and Senior Executives to discuss digital trade, IP protection, and corporate tax reform on April 1, 2014.

    Senator Coons, along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), met with chief executive officers and senior executives from the nation’s leading technology, venture capital, and e-commerce, companies Tuesday to discuss key issues affecting American innovation. Executives from Bloom Energy, CISCO, Oracle, and other leading technology firms shared their perspectives on proposed trade agreements, corporate tax reform, intellectual property protection, and other policy priorities.

    “America is the world’s leading source of cutting-edge technology,” Senator Coons said. “The technology companies represented today employ nearly a million Americans and are key drivers of our innovation economy. Congress can and should support American innovators by working together to open up markets abroad, protect intellectual property, and build a competitive tax code that incentivizes innovation. I am grateful to all the industry leaders who participated in today’s conversation and look forward to continuing to work with them to promote our global competitiveness.”

    Senator Coons has established himself as a leader on innovation policy by introducing a series of bills that support research and development, and help innovative small businesses grow to create jobs. He introduced the Innovators Job Creation Act with Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) earlier this year and the Startup Innovation Credit Act with Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) last January to help startups and other small companies take advantage of valuable R&D tax credits.

    He also teamed up with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this year to introduce legislation that would modernize the United States’ national lab system to make the innovation pipeline more efficient and give labs new flexibility to partner with the private sector.

    Senator Coons was recognized as a 2014 TechVoice Champion earlier this year by CompTIA and TECNA, two technology policy groups representing thousands of U.S. technology firms, for his work in support of innovation and America’s small and medium-sized technology firms.

  • 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

  • Senator Coons praises launch of Climate Data Initiative

    Senator Coons praised the President’s launch this week of a new Climate Data Initiative, part of the administration’s national strategy to combat climate change first announced by President Obama last June.

    The initiative is an effort to make climate-relevant information and resources collected by the federal government more accessible to the public. New datasets, web services, and tools related to coastal flooding and sea level rise will now be available on the new Climate.data.gov to help city planners, resource managers, farmers, hospitals, and businesses better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change. An innovation challenge also launched this week will encourage entrepreneurs, technologists, and developers to create new tools that increase public awareness of coastal flood risks and other vulnerabilities.

     “In Delaware, we’ve already begun to see the impacts of climate change on our businesses, our infrastructure, and our local environment,” Senator Coons said. “We can’t fight climate change by denying it, but we can make our communities safer and our economy more secure by sharing valuable tools and information that will help us prepare for the changes to come. The new Climate Data Initiative will leverage the tremendous data-gathering capacity of the federal government to fuel private sector innovation and address our most pressing climate challenges. This is an important step that will help our communities take smarter, more coordinated action on climate change.”

    Read more about the White House’s Climate Data Initiative here: http://1.usa.gov/1gPGWd5

    Last week, Senator Coons and 27 of his colleagues held an all night session on the Senate floor to urge action on climate change. You can watch and read Senator Coons’ remarks here: http://1.usa.gov/N46Hyd

  • Senator Coons announces bill to boost manufacturing education at universities

    Senator Coons works with biochemistry students at UD on February 20, 2014

    Senator Coons joined leaders from the University of Delaware Thursday to announce new legislation designed to boost STEM education and help universities prepare students for careers in innovation and advanced manufacturing. The Manufacturing Universities Act of 2014 would award competitive grants to 25 designated ‘manufacturing universities,’ to better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers.

    “The entire lifecycle of innovation, skills, and creativity in manufacturing has to include universities,” Senator Coons said. “Universities have a central role to play in continuing the cycle of innovation that is essential if American manufacturing is to continue its current recovery. Over the last three years, our economy has regained 600,000 manufacturing jobs, but hundreds of thousands more remain unfilled because there aren’t enough appropriately skilled and trained process engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemical engineers to keep that innovation going.”

    Grants of $5 million per year, for a four-year period, will help universities revamp their engineering programs to emphasize manufacturing skills, incentivize partnerships with local manufacturers, increase internship and cooperative education opportunities for students, and help more recent graduates launch new manufacturing businesses.

    “We want more students graduating with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century manufacturing environment, and we want more of our universities orienting themselves toward this field where we can win, our communities can win, and our country can win.”

    Following the announcement Senator Coons visited with biochemistry students and faculty at UD’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) to demonstrate a chemical reaction and discuss the importance of STEM education.

    Tags:
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    University of Delaware
  • Sen. Coons talks manufacturing, innovation with Delaware MIT alums and American Chemical Society members

    Senator Coons meets with Delaware MIT alums and members of ACS Delaware Section on January 17, 2014.

    Local scientists, chemists and engineers packed the dining room at Brantwyn Estate on Friday to engage in open discussion with Sen. Coons about his recent work in Washington to promote advanced manufacturing and innovation. The event was the sixth joint meeting of the MIT Club of the Delaware Valley and the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society.

    Chris, who holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Amherst College and worked for eight years for a materials-based science company, shared his genuine excitement about invention and innovation, as well as his keen understanding of the financing challenges materials-based science companies face. He discussed his efforts in the Senate around these issues, including leading the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to grow our nation’s manufacturing sector, introducing the America INNOVATES Act to modernize aspects of our national lab system, and working on new bipartisan legislation to reauthorize investments in basic science and technology through innovative programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). 

     “I’m trying to help make the connection in the Senate between advanced manufacturing, research and development, and job opportunities,” said Chris. “America is and can continue to be one of the most productive manufacturing countries in the world, but manufacturing relies very heavily on R&D, on patents, and on continuous innovation.”

    “At a time of scarce public resources, science is a critical investment,” Chris continued. “Right now, I need your voice, because there are very few in Congress who understand the compounding value of investment in basic and applied science, about the risks we face in intellectual property, and the importance of getting STEM education at the elementary school level right. We've got huge challenges ahead but also great opportunities – in green chemistry, in reimagining advanced polymers, in advanced manufacturing – and I'm looking forward to working with you to ensure our nation remains a leader in science.”

  • Senator Coons touts job growth potential of startups on Morning Joe

    Senator Coons appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday to talk about his bipartisan work in the Senate to help innovative startups grow and create jobs. Between 1980 and 2005, all net new jobs created in the U.S. were created by firms five years old or less. Watch below.

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