Rosen, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Support American Manufacturing Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) – both members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection – announced the introduction of the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act, bipartisan legislation that would help to fill the gap between the growth of advanced manufacturing jobs, and individuals qualified with the unique skill set to fill those positions. The bill, which the two introduced alongside Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Gary Peters (D-MI), has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, of which Rosen is also a member. Bipartisan companion legislation is being introduced in the House by Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA) and Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN). 
“Jobs in the field of advanced manufacturing are on the rise across the country, and Nevada is leading the way,” said Senator Rosen. “However, despite the increase in job openings, advanced manufacturers have difficulty in filling these positions with qualified employees. This legislation would help to develop pilot programs that help to close the advanced manufacturing jobs gap through education and job training. I will continue working on commonsense legislation that works to benefit Nevada workers.”

“Tennessee is blessed to have a robust economy and to be a leader in both jobs and wage growth,” said Senator Blackburn. “As we prepare for the future, we know it is essential to continue to educate our workforce and prepare for not only the next year, but the next decade. The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act will assist our employers in increasing the number of advanced manufacturing training programs and encourage collaboration to grow our workforce.”

“Advanced manufacturing jobs are an economic lifeblood to our community in the Inland Empire, and this legislation will connect eager workers with the skills they need for good paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Torres. “This legislation is more than an effort to support the industries of tomorrow – it’s an effort by lawmakers of every political persuasion to work together to support the workers we serve. It is my hope that lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress recognize the vital impact that the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act will have. This is a bill that every lawmaker should want signed into law.”

“Our nation’s economic outlook relies on the success of our manufacturers. The number one concern I hear from employers in East Tennessee is the difficulty they have finding qualified employees to fill their needs,” said Congressman Roe. “I am proud to work with Senators Rosen and Blackburn and Representative Torres in introducing the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act to ensure greater collaboration in our workforce development programs.”

“Opening up funding for advanced manufacturing training to institutions, such as MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnerships) Centers, with a track-record of providing advanced manufacturing training and support, is crucial in ensuring the U.S. stays ahead of the manufacturing technology curve,” said Mark Anderson, Director of Nevada Industry Excellence. “Senator Rosen and Blackburn’s bill is an important step in ensuring that the U.S. maintains its position of global economic leadership.”

“The bill serves manufacturers by fostering a more integrated and comprehensive approach to workforce development,” said Paul Jennings, Executive Director, University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. “Greater collaboration among the wide range of providers, including higher education institutions and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) network, will expand the range of expertise and solutions available to small and medium size companies.”

BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act directs the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to initiate pilot projects between local community colleges, state and tribal colleges, local boards, advanced manufacturers, and Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers, in order to facilitate education and training programs in the field of advanced manufacturing.

These pilot projects are intended to:
•    Strengthen the relationship between community colleges, MEP centers, and advanced manufacturers;
•    Target skills development in communities with expected growth in advanced manufacturing; 
•    Educate individuals about opportunities for career advancement within advanced manufacturing; 
•    Lead to an industry-recognized credential; and 
•    Prioritize training and hiring of displaced and unemployed individuals.

The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act has been endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, Nevada Industry Excellence, and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.