Al Lubrano, Vice Chair of NAM’s Small and Medium Manufacturer’s Group, and Craig Giffi, Vice Chairman at Deloitte, testified today before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. The hearing also featured Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, Dr. Ken Tindall, Vice President of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and Dr. Robert Atkinson, President and Founder of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
The hearing, titled “Where the Jobs Are: Can American Manufacturing Thrive Again?,” was answered with a resounding yes from each of the witnesses. Mr. Lubrano, the President of Materion Technical Materials in Lincoln, Rhode Island, told the committee that his company is achieving things that were not technologically possible even two years ago. He said that MTM is rebounding after an incredibly difficult period over the past few years, but he stressed that manufacturers in the U.S. need policies that will increase competitiveness and lower their 20% cost disadvantage compared to foreign competitors.
He stressed the need for more free trade agreements that will expand available markets for manufacturers in the U.S., the critical function of the Export-Import Bank in increasing exports, and discussed the benefits that a comprehensive “all-of-the-above” energy strategy would create for manufacturers.
Both Mr. Lubrano and Mr. Giffi responded to questions from Chairwoman Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA) that centered on the skills gap that manufacturers face. Currently 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled because employers can’t find workers with the necessary skills. Each discussed the need for more highly skilled workers for today’s manufacturing economy and focused attention on the need for better training programs and improved educational options.
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