Congressman points to potential for job creation in unveiling Make it in American Manufacturing Act
The New England Council was honored to recently join Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) as he unveiled a new bill aimed at boosting American manufacturing. NEC President & CEO Jim Brett joined the Congressman at a press conference unveiling the bill at North East Knitting, a local manufacturer in Pawtucket, RI, last week. The Make It In America Manufacturing Act (H.R. 375) would target federal investment in manufacturing to improve the competitiveness of manufacturing and strengthen this vital sector of our economy. Congressman Cicilline said the bill would help create jobs, generate public-private partnerships, and support small business growth. The bill creates a grant program to facilitate the creation of unique public-private partnerships which will develop comprehensive Manufacturing Enhancement Strategies. The partnerships are intended to bring together federal, state, local, and regional stakeholders with educational institutions, industry, chambers of commerce and non-profits. Together, these organizations will address the skills gap hindering the growth of the sector, enhance the competitiveness of the industry, and assist manufacturers in retooling, expanding, and transitioning their enterprises. Grant funds would be used to establish a revolving loan fund to make low-interest loans to manufacturers but could also be used to award grants to not-for-profit third parties, such as community colleges, to provide on-the-job and off-site training, create apprenticeship programs, and support training and education initiatives that align with employer demand and result in industry-recognized credentials.
As was reported in the New England Council’s & Deloitte’s 2010 Advanced Manufacturing Report, there is tremendous potential for job creation in the advanced manufacturing sector in New England. The study found that with a renewed focus on this sector, approximately 8,000 new jobs with average salaries of $80,000 could be created in New England each year.