Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, reacted positively to President Obama’s June announcements of two different manufacturing-related initiatives. “AMT is encouraged by the Administration’s continued focus on the manufacturing sector,” he says.
The President first announced an expansion of Skills for America’s Future, a workforce development initiative launched late last year with the aim of improving collaboration between industry and community colleges. That expansion includes a new system for developing standardized manufacturing training credentials that will be recognized throughout the industry. “I am encouraged by the President’s speech today that he understands the importance of training and credentialing to build a manufacturing ‘smartforce,’” Mr. Woods said after the announcement.
A few weeks later, the President announced the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort to bring industry, universities and the federal government together to create jobs and boost global competitiveness by investing in emerging technologies such as small, high-powered batteries, advanced composites, bio-manufacturing and more. The $500 million plan uses existing funds and future appropriations from various federal agencies. Given current deficits, leveraging existing funds to jumpstart this effort is a plus, Mr. Woods says. However, Congress should consider that investments made today in science, technology and a skilled workforce will increase revenue in the long run, he adds.