By Amber Thomas, Vice President – Marketing, Communications & Advocacy at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
The Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and is now headed to the full Senate for a vote. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the last congress with the support of several manufacturing organizations including AMT. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced it last month with a long list of cosponsors.
The bill creates a permanent program built on the Obama administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). In 2014-15, the IMCP awarded targeted investment and support to 24 locally organized, public-private consortia that successfully demonstrated best practices in advancing innovative regional manufacturing economies. The “Manufacturing Communities” designation allows these communities around the country to compete to receive preferential consideration for federal economic development funds for investing in manufacturing.
In order to earn the designation, communities must demonstrate the significance of manufacturing in their region and develop strategies to use their designation in making investments in six key areas: workforce training and retraining; advanced research; infrastructure and site developments; supply chain support; promotion of exports and foreign direct investment; and operational improvement and capital access for manufacturers that support energy or process efficiency, equipment or facility upgrades, or the development of business incubators, among other activities.
The IMCP’s future is uncertain without this authorizing legislation to make it permanent. Please write your members of Congress and urge support. For more information on the IMCP, visit www.eda.gov/imcp/.
If you have questions on issues that are impacting your company, workers or industry, please send me an email at athomas@AMTonline.org. Your input is invaluable in our advocacy efforts.