U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) discussed his work to promote the House Democratic Make it in America Agenda during an appearance on NECN's DC Dialogue yesterday.
On the Make it in America Block Grant Program:
"The Make it in America Block Grant really focuses on bringing resources through a competitive grant process to help retrofit factories, retrain workers, buy new equipment, improve your exports, improve your energy efficiency -- to really invest in manufacturing in the states that have been particularly hard hit by the manufacturing job loss."
"So, it would be a real opportunity to build on some market conditions, wages are rising in Asia, energy costs are still high -- so transporting goods back to the U.S. is expensive -- so this is a moment that if we do some things in Washington to support American manufacturing, Rhode Island manufacturing in particular, that we can really grow this sector of our economy."
On Rhode Island's advantage in innovation:
"We have to be very smart and we have to have lots of regional conversations about ways we can compete as a region. What we have in Rhode Island is this great entrepreneurship, this great innovation economy -- this is home to great universities, great health care institutions, a tremendous amount of research happening."
"Manufacturing today is really growing out of new ideas and new technologies, new processes, new products that grow out of innovation. So the innovation investments and the great universities and health care institutions are helping to fuel that manufacturing -- it's sort of more high-tech, what we call advanced manufacturing, but it's happening in Rhode Island -- what we need to do is ensure that Rhode Island gets its fair share."