Rhode Island Representative David N. Cicilline and Michigan Representative Peter Meijer have re-introduced the “Made In America Manufacturing Communities Act,” which empowers the Secretary of Commerce to design consortiums as “manufacturing communities” eligible for federal financial and technical assistance. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the legislation in the senate.
The goal of the act is to strengthen the domestic manufacturing community. Sen. Gillibrand described it as “legislation that uses current federal resources to invest in public-private partnerships building the next generation of leaders in manufacturing.”
Through an approved consortium/Manufacturing Community, local Rhode Island businesses would be able to cut through red tape and get the resources they need to rebuild or expand.
Polaris MEP, which is viewed as THE resource for Rhode Island manufacturers, was among several state organizations expressing support for the bill. Center Director Kathie Mahoney was quoted by Rep. Cicilline’s press office as saying
“Polaris MEP is honored to support The Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act. The bill highlights the importance of manufacturers collaborating with key stakeholders in a regional manufacturing ecosystem to expand and grow the domestic supply chain and workforce pipeline which are all critical areas for manufacturers.”
Per Rep. Cicilline’s office, approved Manufacturing Communities will receive assistance and investments in equipment or facility upgrades; workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention; business incubators; advanced research and commercialization; supply chain development; and assistance for small business concerns.
Mahoney notes that Polaris MEP currently delivers on its mission through collaboration. The non-profit Manufacturing Extension Partnership works with a wide range of stakeholders, including the state’s Department of Labor and Training, non-profit accelerators and business incubators, commercial industry groups such as the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network, the academic sector, economic development agencies and more.
Christian Cowan, former Polaris MEP Center Director and now Executive Director of 401 Tech Bridge, lent his support saying “Rhode Island has proven that there are great economic impacts when industry, government, academia and non-profits collaborate and create strategic partnerships.”
“This bill will provide access to a wider array of federal resources for Rhode Island’s manufacturers so we can continue to move forward together, as a community,” said Mahoney.
Read more about the Made In America Manufacturing Communities Act of 2022 at https://cicilline.house.gov/press-release/reps-cicilline-and-meijer-announce-house-introduction-bipartisan-bicameral-made.