Senator Gillibrand Promotes Bill During Massena Visit

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand paid a visit to the north country Friday to talk jobs and to push legislation she says will increase employment.

The New York Democrat spoke at Alcoa's aluminum operations in Massena.

She discussed her proposal, the "Made in America Manufacturing Act," which is intended to promote high-technology manufacturing in the state and increase employment.

The legislation is a federal funding competition.

It's designed to encourage states and regional public-private partnerships to design and implement strategies that spur growth for local manufacturing industries, particularly in the fields of clean-tech and high-tech manufacturing, and that train workers with the skills that businesses need.

"What we have to do is make sure the next generation of products that are developed and made are made here in the north country so we can keep our manufacturers that are here growing and level the playing field for new manufacturers that we hope to grow," said Gillibrand.

According to Gillibrand, the state has been crippled by manufacturing employment loss, with over 123,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 2005.

In the north country, an estimated 3,470 manufacturing jobs were lost from 2005 to 2010, including more than 1,120 from St. Lawrence County, she said.

Under Gillibrand's bill, funding would support local manufacturers through low-interest loans to build new facilities and upgrade equipment.

It would also provide access to capital and technical assistance to develop exporting opportunities and to connect innovative small suppliers with larger companies.

In addition, funding would also go towards job training and vocational education programs that partner businesses with colleges, local workforce centers and other skill providers to prepare workers for manufacturing jobs.

Gillibrand says she chose Alcoa to push her legislation because the company's long-term presence in the north country and to show support for the aluminum giant's proposed multi-million dollar modernization project.
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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