In Ohio, and across the United States, manufacturing is helping to lead our economic recovery. Manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other industry. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy. Ohio manufacturers are some of the most competitive in the world and workers are innovating right on the shop floor. To make manufacturing’s recovery permanent, we must support American workers, shifting away from an “innovate here, make it there” mindset. There are skilled manufacturing workers throughout the country and we should be investing in innovation and production right here at home.
Last week, I toured Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a manufacturing plant for lightweight composite technology in Carey, just days after the town received a $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to construct an electric substation. As a result of this project, the company will be able to expand its plant and hire 50 workers.
I also visited Parker Hannifin’s tech incubator facility in Macedonia, where workers have developed an exoskeleton that helps people with mobility impairments to walk on their own. This invention will be life-changing for people across the country and I am working with Parker Hannifin to secure federal approval for the technology which would ramp up its production in northeast Ohio.
The work I saw being done at CSP and Parker Hannifin is exactly the kind of cutting-edge technology being developed across Ohio. The EDA is an essential resource – its contribution to CSP’s infrastructure will be invaluable – but we must also enact policies that support collaboration between businesses and leverage their resources to spur innovation.
My bipartisan legislation – the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) – with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) does just that. The bill – which passed the House of Representatives two weeks ago – would create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to establish a public-private partnership between small businesses, industry leaders, and research institutions, giving them the tools they need to compete on a global scale. These regional, industry-led hubs will leverage local expertise and could create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs for next-generation workers.
Youngstown’s America Makes program, housed inside the Youngstown Business Incubator, uses this model and, as Youngstown becomes a world leader in 3-D printing manufacturing technology, it’s already proving successful. Youngstown’s Incubator was recently named number one in the world for university-associated business incubators by UBI Index and was awarded $3 million by the EDA to build upon its success.
We are pushing to pass my manufacturing bill through the Senate and get it to the President’s desk by the end of the year. We cannot be timid in making the decisions that will drive decades of manufacturing policy – and economic recovery – in in our country. With this investment in our workers and businesses, the United States will once again lead the world in manufacturing and innovation.