Brown Passes Amendments to Budget to Support Ohio Green Manufacturing and Job Growth

Amendments Encourage Regional Approach to Workforce Training Development and Support Ohio's Green Manufacturing Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced Senate passage last evening of three amendments he authored to the fiscal year 2010 budget resolution. Brown authored two of the amendments to support Ohio’s green energy manufacturing base and encourage regional job growth through workforce development.

“It’s critical that Ohio’s economy is prepared for the jobs of the 21st century,” said Brown. “That means revitalizing our state’s manufacturing base through investment in green energy technologies and ensuring regional job growth through a skilled workforce. These amendments are about making the budget work for Ohio.”

Brown successfully passed three amendments to the Fiscal 2010 Senate Budget Resolution, which cleared the Senate late last evening by a vote of 55-43. His first amendment, which passed earlier in the day, would reduce government waste, fraud, and abuse and invest the resulting budget savings in protecting seniors from identity theft. More information on this amendment can be found here.

Brown’s other two amendments are focused on job growth and workforce development in Ohio. Despite the recent loss of manufacturing jobs, demand for clean renewable energy has the potential to drive investment in new equipment and component manufacturing. Retooling current manufacturing supply chains to meet this new demand is a prerequisite to creating domestic sources of clean renewable energy. Brown’s manufacturing supply chain amendment would expand the uses of the “clean energy deficit neutral reserve fund” to include funding for projects that strengthen and retool manufacturing supply chains for green energy production.

Despite Ohio’s 9.2 percent unemployment rate, there is still demand in today’s labor market for skilled workers. This is particularly true for “middle-skill” jobs in health care, clean energy manufacturing, and biotechnology that require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree.

These jobs make up nearly half of America’s labor market and provide good compensation for workers. Brown’s workforce training amendment would  allow funds reserved for economic stabilization and growth to be used for sector-specific workforce training strategies. This amendment paves the way for Brown’s“Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success” (SECTORS) Act, which he introduced earlier this week with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). This bill would support the development of specialized workforce training programs at two-year colleges to meet regional workforce needs of emerging industries or “sectors.”

All of Brown’s amendments were included in the Senate Fiscal Year 2010 budget resolution. This bill must now be reconciled with the House version before heading to the President’s desk for signature.

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