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Progress on Manufacturing, Workforce Bills
Jun 20, 2012
Two pieces of legislation that are consistent with AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate are moving in the House of Representatives.
On June 7, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade approved the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, H.R. 5865. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Illinois Congressmen Dan Lipinski (D) and Adam Kinzinger (R), requires the development of a national strategy to revitalize American manufacturing and create jobs. A public-private sector board would be responsible for coming up with a manufacturing competitiveness strategy on a quadrennial basis. It would include a far-reaching analysis of factors that affect the manufacturing competitive environment, including research and development, energy, taxes, workforce development, measures competing nations are taking, infrastructure, etc.
H.R. 5865 is the last version of Rep. Lipinski’s National Manufacturing Strategy Act, which passed the House with strong bipartisan support, 379-38, in the 111th Congress. The bill now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.
Also on June 7, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved the Workforce Investment Improvement Act, H.R. 4297, by a party-line vote. The legislation reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) for the first time since it was enacted in 1998. Moreover, it aims to improve current law by maintaining FY12 funding levels but consolidating the more than 40 programs subsidized by the WIA into state block grants to give states greater flexibility in targeting areas where federal dollars have maximum impact. The bill also increases business representation on local Workforce Investment Boards, which are responsible for allocating funds. The bill remains under consideration in several other House Committees with jurisdiction over workforce programs.