WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), along with a bipartisan group of their colleagues, introduced the Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act of 2022.

The bill would create a new program that incentivizes private-public partnerships by empowering the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to designate consortiums as “Manufacturing Communities,” which would be eligible for federal financial and technical assistance designed to expand and support domestic manufacturing.

“West Virginia is home to dozens of communities that are defined by the manufacturing industry,” Senator Capito said. “This legislation follows through on our previous efforts to support employers and workers in the manufacturing sector by investing in the partnerships and companies that lead to growth, expansion, and job creation right here in our state.”

The legislation would help strengthen the U.S. manufacturing base, encourage domestic public-private partnerships, and help local businesses cut through bureaucratic red tape to address ongoing pandemic-related supply chain disruptions that continue plaguing local economies.

The Made in America program is a successor to the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) initiative. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) operated the IMCP in 2014 and 2015 and successfully enrolled 24 locally-organized public-private consortiums, including one that contains eight counties in West Virginia. In addition to Commerce assistance, approved Made in America Manufacturing Communities in this new proposal would have access to technical assistance from other federal agencies, giving them a leg up in accessing a wide array of federal grants. Specifics on Made in America eligibility and investments:

  • Eligible consortiums include but are not limited to partnerships between commercial industry, state and local government organizations, and academic or workforce training organizations to convene community stakeholders and set the foundation for long-term investments in manufacturing communities.

  • Eligible consortiums can be designated as a Manufacturing Community for a five-year period, after which they can apply for re-designation for two additional two-year periods. 

  • Approved Manufacturing Communities will receive assistance and investments in equipment or facility upgrades, workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention, business incubators, advanced research and commercialization, supply chain development, assistance for small business concerns, and strategic planning assistance for consortiums that lack experience applying for federal assistance.

The bipartisan bill is endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, National Association of Development Organizations, National Association of Counties, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, National Tooling and Machining Association, North American Die Casting Association, Precision Machined Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association, and the National Skills Coalition.

For the full bill text, please click here.

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