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U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D. RI) is pushing to make the next revolution in manufacturing to start in Rhode Island:

U.S. Senator Jack Reed wants Rhode Island on President Obama's radar as he calls on Congress to provide $1 billion to open 15 manufacturing hubs around the country.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama praised a new manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio, and outlined a plan for creating more such centers.

"Rhode Island is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and would make a great site for one of these new, advanced manufacturing centers," Reed said in a statement Friday. "There will be many regions vying for this. But I am hopeful that the state, along with our universities and local businesses, could partner to form an effective coalition where industry, academia, and government collaborate on advanced manufacturing." - Providence Journal, 2/15/13

Reed is working with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on crafting legislation that would create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation:

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23:  Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Member, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, attends  the Friends of the Global Fight - Global Fund Dinner at the Reserve Officers Association on July 23, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Aiming to build on a pilot program launched in 2012 in Youngstown, Brown said he wants to create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation to help American businesses out-innovate global competitors.

“Our workers are the most productive. Now we need to make them the most innovative. That’s why I’m calling for the creation of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. Every region, every state has a role to play in helping to maintain our innovative edge,” Brown said. “I’ve worked with small business and industry leaders and universities and research institutions on legislation to create the National Network. The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation will establish the U.S. as a leader in a range of next generation technologies and will capitalize on our investment in basic research and create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs that are a part of the country and the whole country needs.”

The proposal is designed to bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage investments to bridge the gap between basic research and product development.

“American workers have the drive, the creative thinking and the determination to out-innovate the rest of the world,” Brown said. “We just need to make certain that they have the opportunity to do so.”

Brown said each institute created through the program will serve as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence, providing innovation infrastructure to support regional manufacturing. - The Lima News, 2/12/13

Reed has discussed the Youngstown pilot program on his site and wants to use it as a model for a Rhode Island manufacturing hub:

The Youngstown facility, known as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), is headquartered in a former warehouse, and received approximately $30 million in federal funding, mostly from the U.S. Department of Defense, and $40 million from a coalition of 60 manufacturers, colleges, and non-profit groups.

The Brookings Institution, a non-partisan think tank, has been a strong proponent of creating these types of regional manufacturing hubs, noting: “The centers will seek to accelerate technology deployment, operate demonstration facilities and test beds, support education and training, and perform applied research on new manufacturing processes—all unlikely activities for private industry on its own.” -, 2/15/13

Glad to see Reed pushing to create more manufacturing jobs in his home state.  I for one am a big supporter of creating more manufacturing jobs and Reed has my respect for wanting to make his home state a part of the new era of manufacturing.

In other related news, Reed is also looking out for Rhode Island's fisheries:

In an effort to help Rhode Island fishermen and fishing communities across the country, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are leading a bipartisan effort calling on the Obama Administration to support emergency federal funding for fisheries disasters that were declared in 2012. On September 13, 2012, a federal fisheries disaster was declared for multiple groundfish species in the Northeast Atlantic, as a result of severely low stocks of key groundfish species, such as cod and flounder. Six Northeast states have been significantly impacted by this disaster declaration, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed worked to secure funding included in the Senate-passed Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill last year that would have provided $150 million to support recovery efforts from all fisheries disasters declared in 2012, including the Northeast groundfish disaster. Despite the bill passing 61 to 33 in the Senate with bipartisan support, it was blocked by House leadership.

“Fishing communities in Rhode Island and throughout the northeast will be affected, directly and indirectly, by the groundfish disaster. I want to restore this critical funding to ensure that appropriate assistance is available. I am pleased we were able to get strong, bipartisan support for this effort and I will continue fighting in Congress to help our state’s fishermen through these difficult times,” said Senator Jack Reed. - Political News, 2/16/13

Reed is also helping Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA) in the fight to keep Richard Cordray on as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and some of her Democratic colleagues are pushing Senate Republicans to stop filibustering and take an up-or-down vote on the confirmation of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and Warren is turning to the grassroots network that led her to victory in 2012 for back up.

In an email to supporters over the weekend, Warren, who was a driving force behind the creation of the CFPB in 2010, asked that they sign a petition demanding an up-or-down vote from the GOP, which is blocking Cordray's re-nomination to the top post at the consumer watchdog agency.

In addition to her online petition, Warren joined with Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to demand action from Senate Republicans last week. The three Senate Banking Committee members said the GOP's obstruction puts consumers at risk and undermines the nation's economy.

“Every year, hard-working American families lose millions of dollars to deceptive financial practices like hidden fees and predatory lending. The CFPB is there to help keep families from getting scammed," said Reed. "They are shining a spotlight on predatory loan practices and products--bringing them into the light, where they can be seen and stopped. We must not let opponents of Wall Street reform turn back the clock on consumer protection. Instead of preventing the CFPB from doing its job, opponents of the agency should take an up or down vote. A well-regulated marketplace is good for the economy. It improves consumer and business confidence and ensures fair competition." -  Go Local Worcester, 2/18/13
You can sign Warren's petition here:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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