Press Release

Bipartisan Group of Senators and Representatives Introduce New Legislation to Create Regional Manufacturing Hubs, Invest in Manufacturing Jobs

Feb 9, 2016

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE) along with Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Tim Ryan (D-OH), John Katko (R-NY) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to boost American manufacturing. This legislation would grow the manufacturing industry across the country by creating a permanent program that designates local regions as “Manufacturing Communities,” which would put them in the front of the line to receive federal economic development funding specifically for the purpose of investing in manufacturing.

“New York has one of the greatest manufacturing traditions in the country, and we need to help ensure that our local communities have the chance to become leading national manufacturing hubs in the 21st Century,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This bipartisan legislation will help unlock millions of dollars in federal economic development funds for smart investments in high impact projects and leverage public-private partnerships to help create good-paying manufacturing jobs, jumpstart new businesses, and grow our economy for years to come.”   

“As home to many of our nation’s key manufacturing hubs, Illinois is poised to grow our skilled workforce and add to our legacy of innovation,” Senator Kirk said. “By breaking down barriers to investment and better leveraging public-private investment, we can build on successes in Peoria and Chicago and open new doors for manufacturing communities like Rockford.”

“Representing a state that is home to nearly 3,200 aviation and manufacturing businesses, I know firsthand the importance of investing in jobs and manufacturing right here in the United States,” Sen. Moran said. “This legislation would help stimulate the Kansas economy and create jobs for Kansans by empowering ‘manufacturing communities’ throughout the state to receive federal economic development funding. Investing in manufacturing will help make certain our state can continue to build quality products for export and stay competitive in the global marketplace.”

“This bipartisan measure will put Connecticut at the front of the line for critical federal funding for focused direct investment in its thriving manufacturing sector. Our aerospace and shipbuilding industries are already fueling growth in high-skilled, high-paying jobs through Hartford’s Advance Manufacturing Communities Region, and this public-private partnership will spur more research, innovation and economic opportunity,” said Senator Blumenthal.

“Manufacturing has enormous power to create jobs, foster innovation, and drive America’s continued economic recovery.” said Senator Coons. “Helping support manufacturing in Delaware and across the country has been a top priority since my first day in the Senate. That is why I’m pleased to support this important bill.”

“In Rhode Island, manufacturing is written into our DNA. Good-paying manufacturing jobs helped build our middle class, and after so many years of seeing these jobs sent overseas, it’s time we reclaim our identity as a leading center of American manufacturing and innovation,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Today, I’m delighted to announce the introduction of the Make it in America Manufacturing Communities Act. This bill, which is being introduced with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, will guarantee us an opportunity to strengthen our ability to compete for federal funding to grow manufacturing jobs, strengthen our local economy, and bring together leaders in business, government, non-profit, and education to develop new strategies for moving our state forward.”

“Upstate New York has a proud history of being a manufacturing hub from its earliest days,” Rep. Hanna said. “Over the years that edge dwindled and we saw stalled growth, but now we are back on the upswing with new interests in nanotechnology and other tech-related manufacturing fields. We have seen public dollars enhance private investments to translate into more jobs and a better local economy. I support this bill because our communities in Central New York and the Southern Tier can not only compete to be manufacturing hubs, but with an extra push can transform themselves into globally competitive markets.”

“We care about creating and keeping quality, family sustaining jobs right here in the United States. Its only right that we come together to develop common sense solutions that ensure our manufacturers stay competitive and help working families. We are proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Cicilline, as well as with our Senate colleagues Senators Gillibrand and Kirk, to support this bill,” said Congressman Tom Reed.

“Public-private partnerships are critical to a strong manufacturing sector and I am proud to support this legislation that would allow our communities to foster and grow these important relationships. Being from Northeast Ohio, I have seen firsthand how manufacturing is the back-bone of the American economy – supporting over 18.5 million jobs nationwide – and it is our duty as leaders to ensure that we not only protect these positions, but increase the opportunities for the next generation. Manufacturing can no longer be viewed as jobs of the past, but also the careers of future,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13).  

“Manufacturing is the backbone of Central New York’s economy.  In order to move our region’s economy forward, we must work to move manufacturing forward,” said U.S. Representative John Katko (NY-24). “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation does just that by ensuring that manufacturers in our region are able to compete for federal funding for education, modernization, and skills training for our workforce.  I thank Senator Gillibrand for her bipartisan efforts on this legislation.”

“As the only city in Texas to receive the manufacturing community designation, San Antonio can benefit from this bill. San Antonio, with its edge in technology, business leaders, and universities, is a manufacturing leader. With manufacturing such an important part of the Bexar County economy, this bill builds on my effort to expand opportunity and train our workforce to meet the demand for high-skilled, high-paying jobs,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

To bolster more growth in the American manufacturing industry, this bill would create a permanent program to competitively award regions with the “Manufacturing Community” designation. This designation would give these communities preferred consideration when applying for up to $1.3 billion in currently available federal economic development funding for manufacturing. This legislation encourages a regionally-driven approach to strengthening the manufacturing industry. To compete for funding through this program and earn the “Manufacturing Communities” designation, communities would create regional partnerships with key stakeholders such as local and state economic development officials, local governments, manufacturers, labor organizations, and higher education or other training providers. 

In order to earn the Manufacturing Communities designation, communities would demonstrate the significance of manufacturing in their region and develop strategies to utilize their “Manufacturing Communities” designation in making investments in six areas:

  • Workforce training and retraining;
  • Advanced research;
  • Infrastructure and site development;
  • Supply chain support;
  • Promotion of exports and foreign direct investment; and
  • Operational improvement and capital access for manufacturers that supports energy or process efficiency, equipment or facility upgrades, the development of business incubators, among other activities.

A current Administration program has launched 24 “Manufacturing Communities” around the country. This proposal will make this program permanent, allowing existing communities the opportunity to continue to implement their manufacturing strategies, and allowing new communities the opportunity to receive a designation.

The Senate version of the bill, led by Senator Gillibrand, is titled the “Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act.” The House version of the same bill is led by U.S. Representative David Cicilline and titled the “Make it in America Manufacturing Communities Act.”