Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today passed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s 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, which was led by Senators Gillibrand, Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), passed as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This provision 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.
“I am so pleased that the Senate came together to pass our bipartisan Manufacturing Universities bill as part of this year’s NDAA,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This legislation gives our universities access to new resources that can help them prepare more engineers, more product designers, more innovators, and more men and women to drive our economy forward.
"No job should go unfilled and no company’s expansion should ever be inhibited because there aren’t enough trained workers ready to work, and this legislation takes important steps to give students the skills they need to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce.”
The Manufacturing Universities legislation would establish a program within the Department of Defense charged with designating schools as ‘Manufacturing Universities.’ Designated schools would receive federal grant funding to meet specific goals, including focusing engineering programs on development of industry-relevant advanced manufacturing skills, building new partnerships with manufacturing firms, growing hands-on training opportunities for students, and fostering manufacturing entrepreneurship.
This bill was endorsed by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Precision Metalforming Association, the National Tooling & Machining Association, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, the University of Missouri System, the University of Illinois, the University of California, Davis, the University of California, Irvine, Boston University, the University of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the State University of New York (SUNY) System, Kent State University, the University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Connecticut, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, The Ohio State University, Dow, DuPont, and Siemens.