Yesterday, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews addressed the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Conference about the success of this national public-private partnership in catalyzing U.S. manufacturing and evolving to better support manufacturers. The Deputy Secretary referenced his own experience at Ford to speak about the recovery in American manufacturing since the financial crisis, and particularly the recent successes of the auto industry.
At the event, Deputy Secretary Andrews highlighted the rebranding of the National Network on Manufacturing Innovation as Manufacturing USA, and announced the recipients of several new National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST) grants that will help smaller manufacturing firms contribute to technological and economic innovation. He reiterated that investing in MEP provides benefits to manufacturers of all sizes, and thanked everyone involved in the program for their efforts to encourage and support manufacturing.
Deputy Secretary Andrews praised MEP’s record of assisting exporters seeking to break into new markets, with examples of how their work has increased sales and created jobs. Across the country, these efforts have supported 68,000 jobs and $2.3 billion in new sales.
In addition, he discussed workforce training, emphasizing that the Department of Commerce is giving businesses a voice in shaping training programs that seek to reduce the skills gap and encourage more workers to enter the manufacturing industry. As part of the effort to increase interest in manufacturing, the Deputy Secretary spoke about the success of Manufacturing Day in 2015, with more than 2,600 events across the country, and previewed this year’s Manufacturing Day taking place on October 7.