WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the NIST Reauthorization Act, legislation that authorizes several manufacturing support programs, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), who supported the measure, said the bill authorizes $850 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including $128 million for the MEP program.
“Through the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, small and medium sized manufacturing businesses are given the tools and expertise to improve productivity and competitiveness. For every $1 of federal investment, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership delivers $19 in news sales growth – it is a vital program that helps strengthen our economy, enhances our competitiveness and generates robust job growth,” said Cicilline.
The Hollings MEP seeks to enhance competitiveness, productivity, and technological performance in the United States manufacturing industry. Last year, Rhode Island’s statewide MEP called Polaris MEP received $750,000 in funding to support Rhode Island manufacturing businesses and grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry. Established in 1996, Polaris MEP is one of 58 manufacturing extension programs located across the United States. Since its creation, the organization has supported 750 Rhode Island manufacturers.
“I am proud to support the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help give Rhode Island manufacturers the resources they need to compete successfully, grow jobs, and get our state and national economy moving again. I look forward to continuing to work to bring back federal funding to support Rhode Island manufacturers, small business owners, and middle class families,” Cicilline concluded.
Throughout his two terms in Congress, Cicilline has focused heavily on revitalizing manufacturing and providing new ways for small businesses to expand. Cicilline introduced the Make It In America Manufacturing Act – legislation to help small and medium-sized manufacturers retool their facilities and retrain workers with the skills they need to compete for 21st century manufacturing jobs. Cicilline also recently introduced the 21st Century Buy American Act, which would modernize outdated buy American provisions and help level the playing field for American manufacturers to allow them to compete against foreign manufacturers.
Now that the bill has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate must pass the measure before the President can sign it in to law.