Oakland Park, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/22/2016 -- The US Senate passed legislation Tuesday intended to help engineering programs at American universities meet the challenges of 21st century manufacturing.
Manufacturing universities, part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, allows the US Department of Defense (DOD) to support "industry-relevant, manufacturing-focused" training in engineering at American universities, a press release issued by the office of Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said. Senators Coons, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) led the effort to get the legislation passed.
"I'm thrilled the Senate came together in a bipartisan way to pass our legislation that will help students across the country acquire the skills they need for jobs in today's advanced manufacturing industries," Sen. Coons said in the release. "Manufacturing has transformed over the years but job training programs at universities have failed to keep up, leaving students unprepared to meet the demands of 21st century manufacturing. We need to better equip students across the country for today's advanced manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing Universities will do just that by ensuring our country is offering higher education that gives young people the skills necessary to excel in this growing field."
The program will be administered by the DOD, which will designate certain schools as "manufacturing universities." The selected schools will receive federal grant money to meet certain objectives like building partnerships with manufacturing companies, developing specialized advanced manufacturing programs, establishing hands-on training opportunities and more.
"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," said Sen. Gillibrand. "This legislation takes important steps to give students the skills to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce."
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