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Kind Votes to Strengthen Economic Competitiveness through Investments in Innovation and Education

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Vice Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, today voted for significant investments in science, education and innovation in an effort to spur job growth and economic competitiveness. The bipartisan America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, H.R. 5116, will strengthen U.S. scientific and economic leadership, support employers, and create jobs through investments in science, innovation, and education.

"The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act is an important investment in our long-term economic future and will help make sure our country remains the most innovative and creative in the world. It will strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math education, support basic research at our science agencies, universities and technical colleges and help foster innovation and creativity in our workforce--all of which are crucial to creating the jobs of the future, improving our quality of life, and ensuring our nation can compete and be a leader in a global economy."

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act supports science and innovation to strengthen American competitiveness in a 21st century global economy.

* The bill creates jobs and supports manufacturers and industry by authorizing programs like Innovative Technology Federal Loan Guarantees to address the immediate need of small- and medium-sized manufacturers to access capital to become more efficient and stay competitive.

* The bill fosters innovation in clean energy research by doubling the funding for basic research programs over 10 years and authorizing the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy and Energy Innovation Hubs to help advance the U.S.'s transition to a clean energy economy and to support the growth of jobs and new sectors of the economy.

* The bill improves STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education to prepare students for the high-paying, highly-technical jobs of the future. It expands and strengthens STEM education programs, providing grants to increase the number and quality of students receiving degrees, improve STEM learning outcomes for all students; and increase participation in STEM fields by women and minorities to strengthen and diversify the workforce.

"This bill is an effort to bring our economy to the next level, create the jobs of the future - and prepare us for those jobs -- that's what economic competitiveness and stability is all about. It will create and retain good jobs for Wisconsin and ensure a brighter future for our children."

The Act requires the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to submit a report to Congress and the President outlining a national competitiveness and innovation strategy to ensure we make the best investments in the above area. The report will lay out a strategy for strengthening the innovative and competitiveness capacity of the Federal Government, State, and local governments, institutes of higher education, and the private sector.

Over 750 organizations have endorsed the legislation including the University of Wisconsin, 3M, Cummins Inc., Rockwell Automation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, the Council on Competitiveness, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the National Venture Capital Association.

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