Lipinski Testifies Before Joint House-Senate Committee on Need to Strengthen American Manufacturing (July 12, 2011)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) testified before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee today on the need for a National Manufacturing Strategy and how better workforce education and training will help put more Americans to work in manufacturing. Congressman Lipinski’s testimony was part of the JEC’s on-going series of hearings on manufacturing in the United States.

“While some believe America can no longer compete in manufacturing, I say robust job creation can and must come from manufacturing – from what we think of as traditional manufacturing, such as Northstar Aerospace in Bedford Park, Illinois that makes parts for the Apache helicopter, to Advanced Diamond Technologies in Romeoville, Illinois that makes coatings for artificial heart valves,” Congressman Lipinski said in his testimony. “Manufacturing in all its forms is critical for America’s economic future and for our national defense.

But many manufacturers say that they are having a difficult time finding skilled workers to fill positions. To address this, Congressman Lipinski called for a two-pronged approach: one that is focused on improving our K-12 education system so that students have the necessary basic skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and the other focused on post-secondary training and retraining to improve the skill sets of workers.

In addition to these initiatives, in his testimony Congressman Lipinski also discussed how a national manufacturing strategy could help strengthen America’s manufacturing sector and put more Americans to work. Lipinski’s National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 1366, which passed the House last year with strong bi-partisan support, would require implementation of such a strategy in the United States.

“If we do not make a concerted effort to produce the workforce needed by manufacturers then it will mean nothing less than giving up on much of the middle class, throwing in the towel on “Made in the USA”, and accepting that everything we buy – even equipment needed for national security – will be made somewhere else,” Congressman Lipinski said. “We cannot allow this to happen.”  

Click here to read Congressman Lipinski’s full testimony before the Joint Economic Committee.

(July 12, 2011)