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Federal government emphasizes continued investment in manufacturing
Kirill Abbakumov   on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

In early October 2017, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross released the Streamlining Permitting and Regulatory Burdens for American Manufacturers report that was submitted to President Donald Trump. The report gathered input from domestic manufacturers and industry stakeholders to identify 20 sets of regulations and permitting issues considered as top priority for reform and immediate action for increasing the capacity of American manufacturing industry.

With 12.4 million employees in the U.S. producing goods that are consumed domestically or exported abroad, manufacturing is one of the keys to building stronger communities. The report is taken as an important step in correcting the status quo and promoting American manufacturing by targeting onerous and lengthy processes and inadequately designed rules that add to an already overwhelming amount of government waste.

Three major themes were identified by domestic manufacturers and industry stakeholders in the report:

  • Overlap, duplication and lack of coordination between states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Uncertainty related to the permitting process;
  • Inconsistency in application and enforcement.

As a critical economic sector, manufacturing has seen targeted development from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which has invested close to $86 million in 84 projects since January 2017 to help communities and regions strengthen their manufacturing competitiveness. These included over $65 million in 47 projects that are expected to create and/or retain over 14,000 jobs and attract more than $3.4 billion in private investment.

EDA also invested over $20 million in 37 projects to support planning, research, technical assistance, access to capital, or other activities that are essential for successful manufacturing-related economic development and job creation in the future. These include the $2.35 million investment into Ranken Technical College in Missouri, a part of the new Manufacturing Inc. incubator. Ranken is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution focused on providing the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields.