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Manufacturing Jobs for America Update - July 2014

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Monthly newsletter from Manufacturing Jobs for America and the Office of U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.).
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    MANUFACTURING UPDATE - JULY 2014 - 1. LATEST POLICY ================================== Passed by the House -- Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act The House passed H.R. 5120, the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, on suspension on July 22. The bill is a companion to the America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973), sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). Both bills increase the flexibility of the national lab system, allow more flexibility to work with the private sector, and “vertically integrate” the Department of Energy’s energy and science research. H.R. 5120 was introduced by Reps. Hultgran (R-IL-14) and Kilmer (D-WA-6), and is cosponsored by Reps. Fattah (D-PA-2), Johnson (D-TX-30), Lipinski (D-IL-3), Lujan (D-NM-3), Lummis (R-WY), Nunnelee (R-MS-1), Smith (R-TX-21), Swalwell (D-CA-15), and Veasey (D-TX-33). More:  Kilmer press release  Presidential actions -- Improving workforce training A new White House report, compiled by Vice President Biden, details strategies for improving federal workforce training. The report outlines new actions the Administration will take to strengthen program coordination and accountability, expand investment in apprenticeships and effective on-the-job training, and enable federal agencies to pilot promising new training models. The report includes examples of successful job training programs around the country and a number of steps the administration is taking to build on the progress Congress achieved by passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These steps include competitive grants, a job-driven checklist, improved information, and expanding on programs that have been proven to work. More:  Ready to Work report   Approved out of Committee -- Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), out of Committee by voice vote. RAMI is the House companion to Sen. Brown (D-OH) and Blunt’s (R-MO) National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), also known as the Hubs Bill. Both bills bring together industry, academia, and government to accelerate manufacturing innovation and bridge the gap between basic research and product development.  More:  Markup  Introduced and voted on -- Bring Jobs Home Act Sens. Pryor (D-AR), Stabenow (D-MI), and Walsh (D-MT) introduced the Bring Jobs Home Act, which closes a tax loophole that pays for companies for moving jobs overseas. It also provides a 20% tax credit to help companies with the cost of bringing jobs back to America. The bill was cosponsored by Sens. Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Coons (D-DE), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Hagan (D-NC), Klobuchar (D-MN), Markey (D-MA), McCaskill (D-MO), Merkley (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Rockefeller (D-WV), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Udall (D-CO), Udall (D-NM), Warner (D-VA), and Whitehouse (D-RI). Sen. Stabenow said: It's outrageous that, right now, American workers are paying through the tax code to ship their own jobs overseas. We need to close this indefensible loophole and instead start rewarding the companies that are doing the right thing and bringing jobs back to America.” The bill was brought to the floor at the end of July, but the Senate failed to agree to cloture to end debate. More:  Stabenow release | Walsh release   Introduced -- COMPETES Act Sens. Rockefeller (D-WV) and Coons (D-DE) introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Nelson (D-FL), Pryor (D-AR), and Markey (D-MA). The COMPETES Act extends and enhances federal investments in cutting-edge research and education. The bill builds on the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and its 2010 reauthorization. The legislation authorizes stable and sustained increases in R&D funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The bill also promotes the economic benefits of promising R&D and addresses agency efforts to increase participation in STEM fields, particularly among women and minorities.  More:  Coons release   Introduced -- Manufacturing Universities Sens. Graham (R-SC) and Coons (D-DE) introduced bipartisan legislation to help schools strengthen their engineering programs to meet the growing demands of 21 st  century manufacturing. The bill would designate 25 universities as ‘Manufacturing Universities.’ Designated schools would receive $5 million per year for four years to meet specific goals, including focusing engineering programs on manufacturing, building new partnerships with manufacturing firms, growing training opportunities, and fostering manufacturing entrepreneurship. “It’s critical that our schools and universities equip students for success in manufacturing and contribute to the research and development that drives advanced manufacturing,” said Senator Coons. More:  Coons release  2. OTHER NEWS ================================== Other News -- Stabenow attends grand opening of Marrone Bio Innovations manufacturing plant Senator Stabenow (D-MI) attended the grand opening of the Marrone Michigan Manufacturing facility in Bangor. Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) was recently awarded a $10 million loan by Five Star Bank, backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program. Today's grand opening of the Marrone Michigan Manufacturing facility is great news for Southwest Michigan and our entire state, said Sen. Stabenow. We know how to grow things and make things, so it's no surprise that MBI chose to invest right here in Michigan. It's exciting to be back at MBI and see new bio-based products being manufactured that are supporting new  jobs, helping our farmers, and protecting our Great lakes. More:  Stabenow press release  Other News -- Sen Cardin “Made in Maryland” jobs tour Senator Cardin (D-MD) toured Vorbeck Materials as part of his Made in Maryland Jobs Tour. Vorbeck is an industry leader in graphene nanotechnology and cutting edge energy storage solutions. “Vorbeck Materials is at the forefront of turning science fiction into a reality while creating quality jobs for Marylanders. Through innovation and a strong commitment to their employees, Vorbeck is a part of the reason why Maryland is a national hub for high-tech jobs. I want to ensure that the federal government continues to be a partner, not an obstacle, to their growth, said Senator Cardin. More:  Cardin press release   Other News -- Pryor hosts manufacturing summit Senator Pryor (D-AR) hosted a “State of Manufacturing” Summit in Little Rock to hear from companies throughout Arkansas about the challenges they face in today’s global marketplace. “It’s critical that we create a better environment for Arkansas companies—and their workers—who build and buy products made in the USA,” Pryor said. “Today’s summit is an opportunity to hear from companies of all sizes, and in different regions of the state about proposals that can help them better compete and thrive in today’s marketplace. I plan to take the input I received today back to Washington and get something done to make our state and nation stronger.” Pryor asked company officials to discuss their company’s outlook and challenges, as well as any recommendations that might create more jobs in the future. More:  Pryor press release  Floor Speech -- Sen. Walsh Senator Walsh (D-MT) spoke on the Senate floor about the Bring Jobs Home Act. Speaking on the floor, the Senator said “The answer to disagreements is not ‘do nothing.’ The answer is to start with manageable, common sense reforms that everyone can get behind. Montanans understand this. They know that it is wrong for American workers to subsidize a corporation’s decision to pack up business in the U.S. and send our jobs packing.” More:  Walsh release  Floor Speech -- Sen. Merkley Senator Merkely (D-OR) spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. “As someone who grew up in a blue-collar Oregon family, I know what a difference a good job makes and will always push to prevent our Oregon jobs from being outsourced. … If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” said the Senator. More:  Merkley press release | Merkley speech  Letter -- Merkley, Baldwin ask GAO to look in to trade agreements Senators Merkely (D-OR) and Baldwin (D-WI) send a letter to the GAO calling for an inquiry into the impact of trade agreements on the federal government’s domestic procurement preferences, known as “Buy American,” and the impact this has on U.S. manufacturing. The Senators urged the agency to update previous findings that trade agreements had not delivered sufficient commercial value and provide recommendations to ensure there is truly a level playing field between the U.S. and our trade partners. More:  Merkely press release | Baldwin press release | Letter 
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