Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Visits Alpha-EN, Announces New Bipartisan “Made In America Manufacturing Communities Act” To Grow Manufacturing Industry In Westchester

Aug 10, 2016

Yonkers, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined today by Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to visit the new headquarters of alpha-En in Yonkers and announce her bipartisan Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act legislation. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would grow the manufacturing industry and help create good-paying jobs in Westchester 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 would unlock millions of dollars in federal economic development funds for smart investments in high-impact projects and would leverage public-private partnerships to help create good-paying manufacturing jobs, jumpstart new businesses, and grow our economy for years to come.”   

“The Yonkers economy is booming thanks in large part to the continued growth of our local small businesses and the manufacturing sector in the area,” said Congressman Eliot Engel, senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Companies like alpha-En are leading the way in transforming our local economy through a drive to innovate while creating quality products. When you buy locally you can feel good about knowing your hard-earned dollars are staying in the community, supporting the type of jobs and businesses that keep America strong. It’s an exciting time for Yonkers, and I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for highlighting just what our domestic manufacturers are capable of achieving.”  

“Yonkers is quickly becoming home to more jobs and the many expanding businesses in Westchester County which locally manufacture products,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “I thank Senator Gillibrand for her continued support in ensuring these domestic companies are provided the opportunities and funding needed to grow and contribute to the flourishing economic development of our city and region.”

“Local manufacturing provides high-paying jobs and serves as a source of economic innovation and commercial progress,” said New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “Encouraging manufacturing within our communities is more environmentally sustainable than outsourcing it elsewhere, and it is an enormously productive enterprise. When we help local manufacturers, we help ourselves. I stand in staunch support of this legislation, which will strengthen small regional companies and bolster the American economy.”

“This initiative will help alpha-En fulfill its mission to lower the cost and enhance the purity of lithium sustainably and, in so doing, ultimately enable not only the mass acceptance of electric vehicles, but also enable the development of new classes of devices and sensors that will power the technology of the future,” said Jerome I. Feldman, Executive Chairman of the Board, alpha-En Corporation.

“Yonkers has been able to generate over $1 billion in economic development over the last few years thanks to innovative ideas like Senator Gillibrand’s Manufacturing Communities legislation,” said Kenneth W. Jenkins, Westchester County Legislator and President of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency.  “As both an elected official and head of the Yonkers IDA, I’ve seen Senator Gillibrand’s understanding of how local economies work to help make our communities thrive and her ability accomplish goals like this by building bipartisan consensus.  By being designated as a manufacturing community and becoming eligible for federal funding, we will be able to continue to make improvements in every part of Yonkers.  I look forward to playing a part in that process.”  

“As the Hudson Valley’s leading economic development organization, HVEDC supports Senator Gillibrand’s regionally-driven approach to strengthening U.S. manufacturing,” stated Laurence Gottlieb, president & CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. “Through smart, collaborative efforts – combining the critical financial and human resources of government with the private sector’s ‘entrepreneurial accelerant’ – we will truly provide Hudson Valley manufacturers with the support tools necessary for unprecedented job creation and economic growth.”

“The mandate is clear: It’s time for America to revive and reinvigorate its manufacturing base, and the Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act is a terrific start,” said William M. Mooney, President & CEO, The Westchester County Association. “To prepare our region for the new economy and new manufacturing opportunities, we at the Westchester County Association are actively supporting Smart Growth initiatives in our cities, and are engaged in workforce training and retraining, infrastructure development, and other transformational initiatives to move our region forward. We commend Senator Gillibrand and the co-sponsors on their outstanding efforts.”

“The Business Council of Westchester applauds Senator Gillibrand’s leadership with the Made for America legislation,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, President /CEO, The Business Council of Westchester. “This is all about growing the economy and creating jobs and a great example of our legislative leaders working together with private business to build opportunities for all.”

Senator Gillibrand’s bill would help the manufacturing industry in New York continue to grow by creating a permanent program to competitively award regions with the “Manufacturing Communities” 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, or the development of business incubators, among other activities.

Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), and a bipartisan House version was introduced by U.S. Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Tim Ryan (D-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), John Garamendi (D-CA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).