Rochester, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand along with Mayor Lovely Warren and local community officials and economic development leaders today announced her new bipartisan Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act legislation. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would grow the manufacturing industry in Upstate New York 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. Rochester is already one of 24 communities nationwide designated as a “Manufacturing Community” under the current temporary program.
“Upstate 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 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.”
“I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership on the issues of creating good-paying jobs and giving citizens access to the skills they need to thrive in this fast-changing economy,” said Mayor Warren. “Rochester is already reaping the benefits of being named a Manufacturing Community under President Obama’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program. The force of law and Congressional oversight will give this the program permanent status across presidential administrations and increase the flow of Federal job-creating dollars to regions like ours. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, along with Congresswoman Slaughter, all played instrumental roles in our successful bid to achieve the Manufacturing Community designation, and now it looks like the future of this program is even brighter. We are fortunate to have such tremendous partners in Washington as we work to create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and provide all of our children with a quality education.”
New York has struggled with manufacturing job losses despite manufacturing job growth in other areas of the country. To bolster more growth in the New York manufacturing industry, Senator Gillibrand’s 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.
Gillibrand had lobbied successfully to secure the “Manufacturing Community” designation for Rochester in 2014. Since receiving that designation, the Rochester region has secured over $6 million in federal economic development funding for key investments in the area’s photonics manufacturing industry. The proposed legislation would allow Rochester the opportunity to continue the progress started with this designation of making the region globally competitive for manufacturing jobs and investment.
Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), and a bipartisan House version is led by U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), and is cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), John Katko (R-NY), and Tim Ryan (D-OH), and John Katko (R-NY).