WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of today’s Commerce Committee hearing on manufacturing, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a news conference call to urge passage of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation which would establish a Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMI) to position the United States as, once again, the global leader in advanced manufacturing. The bill, introduced with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would ensure that the U.S. can out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. Brown previously worked with Blunt to pass a bipartisan amendment to the Senate Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 aimed at supporting the creation of a network of manufacturing innovation hubs.

“This is about providing the manufacturing infrastructure in this country to retain our competitive edge. Our bipartisan bill would also ensure that American workers, universities, and large and small manufacturers can out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world,” Brown said. “We know that manufacturing has strong ripple effects on the rest of our economy and helped build America’s middle class. That is why I am glad to join Senator Blunt in introducing this bill which would create a Network of Manufacturing Innovation. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 would ensure that we don’t cede our American leadership to countries that are racing to get ahead.” 

Brown was joined on the call by Michael S. Garvey, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Youngstown’s M-7 Technologies, a company dedicated to improving the productivity and cost efficiency of manufacturers. Later today, Garvey will testify at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing entitled, the “Role of Manufacturing Hubs in a 21st Century Innovation Economy.” During the hearing, Brown will deliver an opening statement. Brown’s prepared remarks can be read in their entirety HERE.

“If America intends to compete in the 21st Century Innovation Economy, we must have the tools,” Garvey said. “One critical tool currently missing are manufacturing hubs. Without them, we surrender American ingenuity and prosperity.”

Immediately following the call, Brown released Ohio county by county data which includes the number of jobs and total wages supported by the manufacturing sector. That data can be read in its entirety HERE.

The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 is modeled on the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, a public-private manufacturing hub. Brown’s legislation is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage resources to bridge the gap between basic research and product development. Brown’s bill would particularly benefit a state like Ohio which has nearly 650,000 manufacturing jobs, third most in the United States.  

Brown’s bill is currently endorsed, among others, by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO), National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA), and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

The Brown-Blunt Amendment to the Senate Budget FY 2014 was supported by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Association for Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) North America, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), Council on Competitiveness, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), United Auto Workers (UAW), Association of American Universities (AAU), Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), American Auto Policy Council (AAPC), and The Ohio State University (OSU).  

The Youngstown-based institute is the pilot of NMI. In August 2012, Brown visited M-7 Technologies in Youngstown to announce the $30 million grant from DoD, matched by nearly $40 million in non-Federal funds. The funds helped to establish the new, first-of-its-kind manufacturing institute to specialize in additive manufacturing technology, a type of 3-D printing in which digital models are used to make parts and components.  

Today’s call comes in advance of President Obama’s schedule visit to Cleveland on Thursday to discuss the state of American manufacturing. In September, the Administration launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee “2.0,” part of its continued efforts to ensure that the United States remains a global manufacturing leader through the partnership of industry, academia, and government. Serving on the committee, among others, is Luis Proenza, President of the University of Akron; and Eric Spiegel, Youngstown State University (YSU) alum and President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Siemens Corporation. Spiegel is also scheduled to testify at today’s Commerce Committee hearing, among others.