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Madison County Courier: Gillibrand announces bipartisan ‘manufacturing universities’ legislation

NTMA & PMA featured in Madison County Courier article.

Thursday, December 15, 2016
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced bipartisan legislation to help universities in New York and throughout the country strengthen their engineering programs to meet the demands of the modern manufacturing industry.
The Manufacturing Universities legislation authorizes the Department of Defense to support training at U.S. universities to help equip students with skills to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce.
Universities would be selected through a competitive grant-based process and would tailor their educational curriculum to the needs of modern U.S. manufacturers. The provision passed the Senate as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and now heads to the President for signature.
“The Manufacturing Universities legislation will give students many new opportunities and resources to pursue careers in manufacturing,” said Gillibrand. “I fought to include this provision in the NDAA because in recent years, high-tech manufacturing companies have struggled to find qualified prospective employees to fill open positions. This provision will help our manufacturers overcome this challenge and takes important steps to give students the skills they need to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce.”
“The Manufacturing Universities legislation is a timely and welcome recognition of the importance of preparing the next generation of our manufacturing workforce and the central role of manufacturing in enabling the U.S. economy to thrive”, said RIT President Bill Destler. “Any way in which we can continue to foster and strengthen the partnership between universities and the manufacturing sector are investments in our nation’s future and we applaud Sen. Gillibrand’s commitment and support for this legislation.”
“On behalf of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute we congratulate Senator Gillibrand on the passage of the Manufacturing Universities Act. Rensselaer is a national leader in advanced manufacturing education and research, with vibrant programs, advanced courses, and world-class facilities.  Our outstanding faculty and a diverse student body – with over 1000 women enrolled in our Rensselaer Engineering programs – are bringing fresh new ideas and approaches to modern manufacturing.  In fact, Rensselaer was recently named a regional hub in the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute sponsored by the Department of Energy.  The Manufacturing Universities Act will boost American competitiveness through grants to leading universities like Rensselaer to enhance educational programing, foster partnerships with industry, and educate leaders in advanced manufacturing,” said Shekhar Garde, Dean of Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
(Read more here.)