Manufacturing

Issues: Economy

I believe it is critical that the federal government do everything it can to support the manufacturing base of our economy. Our industrial sector has traditionally been a source of well paid jobs that helped create the middle class. Manufacturing is also at the heart of our economic competitiveness and national security though the creation of advanced technology. Manufacturing companies conduct more than three-quarters of  the private sector research and development in the United States. That’s why I am a strong supporter of funding for programs to support America’s manufacturers.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership

I am an active supporter of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. For more than 20 years, MEP centers across the country have been ensuring that America’s small manufacturers have access to the latest technology and processes to enhance their productivity and make them more competitive. MEP centers operate very much like smaller versions of the consultants that provide these services to very large companies.

MEP is represented in Michigan by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC). MMTC provides Michigan’s small and medium sized manufacturers with operational assessment, process improvement training, mentoring services, website technical assistance and market diversification tactics.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget would eliminate funding for MEP.  I remain steadfastly opposed to that idea.  In March, as I have done in previous years, I joined with many of my colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide funding for MEP so that manufacturers, and the economy, can continue to benefit from the resources MEP centers provide.  This is key to remaining economically competitive and creating jobs in Michigan.

Macomb Business Accelerator

I am also proud of my efforts to secure funding for the Macomb-OU INCubator. The county is providing leadership during this ongoing economic transformation to support manufacturing businesses and their need to diversify into fields beyond the automotive sector. The county, in partnership with the City of Sterling Heights and Oakland University, has created the Macomb-OU INCubator to assist entrepreneurs and existing companies to allow them to either start and grow high demand business in new industries or to reposition and expand their current business to serve other industries, particularly defense and homeland security, which have been identified by Macomb County and the State of Michigan as viable and emerging growth sectors.

 

(September 2017)