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Public Statements

The National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Speaker, today I introduced the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013. I introduced this bill because America needs a well-trained workforce for advanced manufacturing.

When I go home, people ask me, Where are the jobs? But when I talk to manufacturing groups like the Tooling & Manufacturing Association in Illinois, they tell me there is a mismatch between job openings and students and workers with the right skills to fill them.

Fab labs can help bridge that skills gap. Fab labs are workshops equipped with computer-controlled machine tools that allow children and adults to build almost anything. The first fab lab was started at MIT, and they have spread worldwide.

My bill would create a Federal charter for a nonprofit organization called the National Fab Lab Network. This chartered status would be similar to that enjoyed by Little League Baseball or the Veterans of Foreign Wars. My bill would help American manufacturers fill job openings and encourage students to become more active in STEM fields, all at no cost to taxpayers.

I ask my colleagues to join me in support of this initiative and to cosponsor the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013.

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