Made in America Act
Written By: Joe Melillo
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Hornell this afternoon to tour the Alstom Transportation plant, but her trip wasn't just to look at the rail cars, she also brought some good news.
Hornell (WENY) - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Hornell this afternoon to tour the Alstom Transportation plant, but her trip wasn't just to look at the rail cars, she also brought some good news. Senator Gillibrand wants to see more signs that say "Made in America", that's why today she announced her bill called the "Made in America Manufacturing Act".
“For New York our backbone has been manufacturing,” says Senator Gillibrand. “Manufacturing certainly powered us throughout the 20th century but what we've seen this century sadly is that manufacturers have been the hardest hit.”
Between 2005 and 2010 New York lost 123,000 manufacturing jobs. In the Southern Tier, an estimated 5,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in that same time, 1100 jobs in Steuben county alone.
Guillaume Mehlman says those stats wont be the same in the years to come.
“We're picking up momentum and there are a lot of opportunities out there, even though the level of funding still isn't super clear in the long term there is a lot of infrastructure investment out there and we can be successful,” says Mehlman.
Alstom is picking up steam, the company just won an major light rail contract that will export cars to Canada and promises 300 more jobs by 2014. Gillibrand's bill could bring even more, through creating competitive grants. The winners would be awarded up to $20 million and spend on two things, a revolving loan fund or create job training programs. The Senator says 600,000 manufacturing jobs went unfilled because workers weren't trained for the specific job.
“You're never going to find harder workers you're never going to find better workers, you're never going to find more entrepreneurs or people with an innovative spirit then you're going to find right here in New York state,” says Gillibrand. “So I know that with the innovative workforce and the opportunities to grow we will see made in America, we'll see it right here and we'll see it all across new york.”
Companies applying for grant money will have to create partnerships with schools, local governments and workforce employment agencies.