Standing at the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney announced that the first piece of legislation Senator Gillibrand introduced in the 113th Congress is a federal funding competition that encourages states and regional public-private partnerships to design and implement comprehensive strategies that spur growth for local manufacturing industries, particularly in the thriving fields of clean-tech and high-tech manufacturing, and that train workers with the skills that businesses need.
New York State has been crippled by manufacturing employment loss, with over 123,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 2005. In the Hudson Valley, an estimated 11,530 manufacturing jobs were lost between 2005 and 2010, including more than 700 jobs lost in Orange County.
To bolster more growth in New York manufacturing, Gillibrand's bill, called the Made in America Manufacturing Act, would create a competitive program that awards states and regions with funding to support local manufacturers through low-interest loans to build new facilities and upgrade equipment, and access to capital and technical assistance to develop exporting opportunities and to connect innovative small suppliers with larger companies. Funding would also go towards job training and vocational education programs that partner businesses with colleges, local workforce centers and other skill providers to prepare workers for cutting-edge manufacturing jobs.
"It's time to see "Made In America' again starting right here in New York," said Senator Gillibrand. "I believe New York's great manufacturing communities are well positioned to compete for funding that would help carry out their innovative ideas to spark more growth in manufacturing sectors, jumpstart new businesses, and create good-paying jobs right here where we need them the most."
"After leaving the Clinton White House, I built and ran my own company, so I know from personal experience that the private sector is America's job creation engine," said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). "But innovative ideas like The Made in America Act show that government can be a good partner to the private sector through strategic investments in our manufacturing communities. We can re-build our economy and create jobs right here in the Hudson Valley by growing the next generation of high-tech, bio-tech and alternative energy manufacturing."
Senator Gillibrand's first piece of legislation introduced in the new Congress would award up to $20 million in competitive funding for each statewide or regional manufacturing hub.
The Made in America Manufacturing Act would allow localities to use funding to:
Set up a revolving loan fund to help manufacturing businesses expand or establish new manufacturing operations. According to a Commerce Department report, the lack of available capital to manufacturers has especially restricted the ability of many small manufacturers to grow and compete. Without equipment upgrades and expansions, New York's manufacturing sector will continue to lose its competitive edge in the global economy.
In an effort to retool New York manufacturers to be more competitive and create new jobs, the revolving loan fund would provide manufacturers with direct access to low-interest loans that are below market rate to construct new facilities or to retool, retrofit or expand existing plants, including equipment, infrastructure or energy efficiency upgrades. The federal investment could also help leverage matching funds from the private sector and other non-federal sources.
Create job training programs to help address the skills gap faced by our manufacturers. By working with community colleges, vocational education programs and job training providers to tailor education and training programs to the skill needs of manufacturers, this program will focus on strategies that train workers for the jobs of the future, creating more good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S.
According to a 2011 survey by the Manufacturing Institute, more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs went unfilled due to a shortage of skilled workers. A 2012 survey noted that one-third of small businesses struggled to recruit employees with the needed education and training. Gillibrand's Made in America program would ensure federal funds are invested in job training partnerships to help directly meet the needs of local manufacturers.
Provide capital and technical assistance to boost exporting opportunities for manufacturers through supporting research and analysis of markets and countries with the greatest potential for expanding business as well as connecting innovative small manufacturers with larger companies as a supplier or to take advantage of government or private sector contracts.
The Hudson Valley Technology Development Center (HVTDC) provides hands on support and growth services to small and mid-sized manufacturers, improving the competitiveness of existing small businesses and advancing the development of new business opportunities through the application of innovative, cost-effective techniques and tools.
"Teamwork is the golden ring. We've lost thousands of manufacturing jobs overseas and we want them back," said Thomas G. Phillips, Sr., Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, a federal and NY State funded Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center. "U.S. manufacturers and technology companies have the knowledge, capability and building materials to make it happen, but it isn't going to happen 1,000 jobs at a time. It is going to happen 10-20 jobs at a time. If the number keeps increasing, as we have faith it will, we'll soon see a much stronger collaboration grow between our local manufacturing sector and true growth that will be quantifiable. More than anything, we all want to get machinery humming and people back to work. This legislation when enacted, will provide the skilled workforce, access to capital and technical and business assistance required to restore manufacturing to its rightful place as a cornerstone of our economy and well-being."
"The Made in America Manufacturing Act is exactly what is needed to revitalize our nation's manufacturing community and thus, enhance our global competitiveness," said Dr. John A. D'Ambrosio, President of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. "The fact that it will utilize partnerships between and among business, industry, government and education is particularly impressive."
"The Council of Industry commends Senator Gillibrand's continued recognition of the important role manufacturing plays in our economy and we are pleased to support the Made in America Manufacturing Act," said Harold King, Executive Vice President of the Council of Industry. "This Act, in conjunction with other initiatives such as renewing the R&D tax credit, will help our manufacturers compete in today's global economy."
"The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. wholeheartedly supports the Made In America Manufacturing Act of 2013," said Mike Oates, President and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. "This country needs skilled labor and this bill establishes grant programs that provide much-needed support to American manufacturers, rewarding companies that have long-term strategies to increase their ranks of American workers through training programs, especially in regions suffering from high unemployment. This would be another valuable tool to help the Hudson Valley continue to grow and provide skilled workers to its local companies. We applaud Senator Gillibrand's leadership and efforts to help New York companies grow."
"Senator Gillibrand's Made in America Manufacturing Act is an example of the type of innovative leadership on jobs that New Yorkers, and all Americans, are looking for," said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO. "Expanding opportunities in manufacturing is an essential component of growing the middle class and in turn the economy. It's time to move beyond Washington's fixation on the debt, and start investing in good American jobs."
New York organizations including the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC) and the Council of Industry support Gillibrand's legislation. National groups such as AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the American Small Manufacturers' Coalition also support the bill.
Under Gillibrand's bill, successful applicants would be required to form a partnership board of key stakeholders including county and local governments, small and large manufacturers, labor organizations, higher education institutions, workforce training centers, and local chambers of commerce to pool state or regional resources and develop a strategy to expand opportunities for local manufacturing, spur job creation, and close the skills gap that has slowed the growth of many manufacturers.
The Commerce and Labor Departments will evaluate applicants' plans, also known as Manufacturing Enhancement Strategies, based on how the strategy will improve U.S. competitiveness and the expected economic return on investment, including job creation, cost savings by manufacturers, private investment that federal funding would help leverage, and how the proposal would address high unemployment and mass layoffs. Priority would be given to proposals that commit private sector and state or local matching funds and contributions on a one-to-one basis. The Departments would then work with winning localities to implement their plans.