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Bi-Partisan Manufacturing Jobs Bill Passes Through Committee

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 4:43pm
Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

It was an announced earlier today that the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) has passed through the committee phase. The bill, co-written by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), aims to establish a Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMI) with the goal of creating thousands of high-paying and high-tech advanced manufacturing jobs.

In a statement, Brown said: “Our workers can compete against anyone in the world. Establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation would create thousands of jobs and ensure the United States remains the global leader in advanced manufacturing. I thank Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Thune, and the entire Commerce Committee for supporting this bipartisan legislation and helping it take another step towards becoming law.”

If RAMI passes through Congress and is signed by President Obama, it would direct the Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to establishing a Network for Manufacturing Innovation Program within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). That network would be funded via a one-time $600 million investment from NIST that would select future manufacturing institutes across the country. Funding for RAMI has been included in President Obama’s F13 and F14 budges, and a few manufacturing institutes have already been announced.

For example, the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is a public-private partnership that is led by The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the Edison Welding Institute (EWI). That institute hopes to create more than 10,000 jobs in the next five years.

Blunt added: “I’m pleased we’ve taken the next steps to advance this bipartisan bill which would strengthen American innovation and job creation and position our nation as the global leader in advanced manufacturing by establishing an important network of partnerships in Missouri and across the country. I thank Senator Brown for his tireless work to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, and I’ll keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass pro-growth policies that encourage innovation and put more Americans back to work.”

The endorsements for RAMI from industry associations, companies and education institutes are numerous. Endorsements from associations include the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and more. Major manufacturers like Alcoa, BAE Systems, Boeing, Dupont, GE, Intel, Honda, U.S. Steel and many others are also onboard the potential that RAMI promises. Right now, 33 world-class universities and technical schools are supporting the bill’s passage.

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