Friday, October 3, 2014

Manufacturing Hub Bill Clears Senate

Senators Tom Reed (R) of New York and Joseph Kennedy III (D) of Massachusetts have gone against the recent narrative of a do-nothing Congress by securing passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act  (RAMI).  The bill passed the House with overwhelming approval, and only awaits a vote by the Senate to begin changing the manufacturing landscape across the country.

The RAMI Act secures earmarks of $300 million spread over ten years to foster and support community centers, or "hubs", where local private companies can access public funding to work together, not just on creating new manufacturing products, but training a new generation of labor to create those products as well.

Although one part of the greater puzzle in making the United States more competitive with foreign manufacturing advantages such as cheaper labor and less legal restrictions, the bill goes a long way in helping to fill a crucial gap in the US.  The disconnect between national factory chains and local city/state communities that thrive with their own unique contributions to those chains is a clear hindrance.  Previous collaborative pilot programs where government entities such as NASA provide criteria and benchmarks for private groups to develop new products and methods have proven very successful in the past few years (3D Printing owes its success to this).

Senators Reed and Kennedy should be commended for recognizing these public/private efforts and taking a step to provide a much more stable network within which they can continue.  You can go here to learn more about the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, as well as the Regional Innovation Program it's based on.

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.

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