As part of his ongoing work to get Rhode Island's economy back on the right track, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today unveiled the Make It In America Manufacturing Act to target federal investment in manufacturing, helping create jobs, generate public-private partnerships, and support small business growth.
"When they're competing on a level playing field, American workers outperform competitors across the world," said Cicilline. "Rhode Island's economy was built on the strength of our manufacturing industry and that's why I am pleased to introduce the Make It In America Manufacturing Act in order to help give manufacturers the resources they need to compete successfully, grow jobs, and get our state and national economy moving again."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has introduced the Senate version of the Make It In America Manufacturing Act, collaborated with Cicilline in recent months to build upon legislation they introduced in the 112th Congress. Cicilline also received feedback from Rhode Island constituents and the Brookings Institution on ways to enhance the manufacturing proposal.
If signed into law, the Make It In America Manufacturing Act would create a competitive incentive grant program, jointly administered through the Departments of Labor and Commerce. States or regional partnerships may apply for the program, and successful applicants will receive grant funds to help implement innovative Manufacturing Enhancement Strategies. Funds can be used to create a revolving loan fund, to issue low interest loans to manufacturers, or to provide grants to non-profits, including community colleges, helping manufacturers to:
Address the skills gap that hinders growth in the manufacturing sector
Increase exports and domestic supply chain opportunities
Improve energy efficiency
Retool and expand existing manufacturing facilities to compete in the 21st century economy
"There is tremendous potential for job creation in the advanced manufacturing sector here in Rhode Island and throughout New England, and this innovative proposal would provide the kind of investment needed to support growth," said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. "The Council is proud to support Congressman Cicilline's Make it in America Manufacturing Act and we look forward to working with him as he continues to fight for our region's ongoing economic recovery."
Cicilline, who was a leading advocate for the House Democratic Make It In America agenda during his first term in Congress, has pledged to continue working with colleagues to find commonsense solutions for the obstacles facing small business owners and manufacturers - especially those in Rhode Island.
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), an original co-sponsor of the Make it in America Manufacturing Act and the Co-Chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus, added, "I am proud to support the Make it in America Manufacturing Act of 2013. This bill should receive the support of my colleagues from both parties as it seeks to maintain the revitalization of manufacturing that continues around the country. This competitive grant program will provide low-interest loans to small business and job training assistance to employees and community colleges, just the things we need in my District to keep our traditional manufacturers thriving and continue building our advanced manufacturing sector. This bill will also allow U.S. manufacturers to refine their processes, train both new and existing employees on the most updated machinery, and innovate their product line to stay ahead of the competition. This is what we need right now."
The Make It In America Manufacturing Act has already received endorsements from several national groups, including the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, National Association of Counties, National Skills Coalition, United Steel Workers, AFL-CIO, and National Association of Development Organizations.