WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced $125,000 in new federal funds to support Youngstown State University’s Virtual Advanced Manufacturing Equipment Network initiative. The funds were awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to purchase 3-D printers as part of an educational laboratory where students and local manufacturer employees can learn additive manufacturing skills while providing support services for local manufacturers. The program is expected to begin in 8 months.
The Network will consist of Youngstown State University, AST2, the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), Eastern Gateway Community College, and America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).
“This is great news for Mahoning Valley students, workers, and businesses,” Brown said. “Public-private partnerships like this leverage resources to provide local business with skilled workers and provide Ohioans with the training they need for high paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs.”
In addition to the $125,000 in ARC funds, local sources will provide $275,044, bringing the total project funding to $400,044.
ARC is a federal-state partnership focused on economic development in the 13 Appalachian states. The Commission is tasked with bringing Appalachia’s job opportunities and per capita income to parity with the nation and making the people of Appalachia more globally competitive. ARC is also focused on increasing the region’s economic competitiveness through strengthening the infrastructure and reducing Appalachia’s isolation through the development of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown is a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, currently Vice-Chair of the Senate Auto Caucus, and was recently named incoming Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus. Last month, bipartisan manufacturing jobs legislation introduced by Brown and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), and modeled off Youngstown’s “America Makes” program, moved one step closer to becoming law. 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.