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Tuesday, January 28, 2020
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MAY 17 - Barrow Gets Amendment Passed to Support Manufacturing

SBJ Staff Report

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the America COMPETES Act last week that was introduced by Congressman John Barrow (GA-12). His amendment will increase education in the field of manufacturing.

“This is something we need to be competitive,” said Barrow.  “If we’re going to be a country that makes things, rather than one that just consumes what other countries make, then we’re going to need to know as much as we can about advances in manufacturing technology.  This program will educate students in manufacturing technology.  That’s good for the students getting the training, it’s good for the manufacturers that hire them, and it’s good for our economy,” according to Barrow.

The America COMPETES Act establishes a committee within the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate and plan federal activities in manufacturing research and development.  That committee is charged with developing a strategic plan to guide federal manufacturing research and development activities.  Congressman Barrow’s amendment would require that the committee include manufacturing education in that strategic plan.

Speaking in support of the amendment, Barrow said, “I’ve recently spent a lot of time visiting businesses in my district, many of which are large manufacturers.  I have been struck that, even as our economy becomes more sophisticated, we still rely a great deal on our manufacturing base. That base is threatened by competition from abroad and by financial crisis at home.  What has sustained us through the hard times like these has always has been American innovation…”

Barrow’s amendment requires that the U.S. include manufacturing education in the long-term strategic plan for manufacturing R&D. 

In Savannah, many of the area's manufactureres are members of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, which has a manufacturer's council to help support and promote manufacturing in the area. According to several area presidents, the legislation is a step in the right direction.

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