COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded an announcement by Columbus Castings that it plans to expand capacity at its Southside plant, adding 550 new jobs. Columbus Castings is the largest single-site steel foundry in North America, and has been a leading Ohio manufacturer for more than 100 years.

“Columbus Castings’ expansion and addition of 550 new jobs is the latest in a string of manufacturing success stories taking place in central Ohio,” Brown said. “As American manufacturing continues its rebound, we must do everything we can to help replicate success stories like Columbus Castings. One way to do this is by establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation that would create thousands of jobs and ensure the United States remains the global leader in advanced manufacturing.”

In 2012, Brown toured Columbus Castings and met with workers and leadership to discuss his Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, legislation that would hold accountable countries, like China, that undervalue their currency to give their exports an unfair price advantage. Brown was joined by CEO Rick Ruebusch, who discussed how his company—a manufacturer of undercarriage components for rail cars and a variety of heavy-duty industrial components—is facing the prospect of  Chinese companies selling unfairly underpriced, low-grade products in the United States.

Described as “Congress' leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown—a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus—has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing.

In July, Brown and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) bipartisan manufacturing jobs legislation moved one step closer to becoming law. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee passed their bipartisan manufacturing hubs bill, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI). Brown-Blunt would establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs while enhancing the United States’ role as the world’s leader in advanced manufacturing. In April, the Senate Commerce Committee also passed RAMI.

RAMI would bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government, to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. These public-private institutes would leverage resources to bridge the gap between basic research and product development. Using this model, the Administration recently announced two new advanced manufacturing innovation institutes. One, the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), will establish a unique public-private partnership jointly led by The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and the Columbus-based Edison Welding Institute (EWI). The project is projected to create more than 10,000 jobs in the next five years. This institute was based on the NNMI pilot, Youngstown’s “America Makes,” formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).