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White House Announces Strategic Plans to Push American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing

Oct. 9, 2018
The plan calls for developing new manufacturing technologies, training the workforce and expanding of the domestic manufacturing supply chain.

Continuing its efforts to build up the manufacturing sector, on Oct. 5 The White House released a 40-page report, Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing, compiled by the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing.

The report goes into specifics on a variety of sectors within manufacturing and outlines paths for how the U.S. can take leadership roles.

The strategy is based on three specific goals: the development and transition of new manufacturing technologies, the education and training of the workforce, and the expansion of the domestic manufacturing supply chain’s capabilities.

With regard to the first goal, the report calls out a recent study that shows by addressing scientific and technical challenges in advanced manufacturing the U.S. can "conservatively save U.S. manufacturers over $100 billion annually while further enhancing the economic value to the private sector of federally performed R&D.” In order to achieve these savings, the authors believe that “portfolio-based strategies coordinated across agencies would more effectively develop and transition new manufacturing technologies.”

The report also addresses the  workforce shortage. “Underlying all of the challenges for innovation and competitiveness in U.S. advanced manufacturing is a shortage of Americans with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics knowledge and technical skills needed for advanced manufacturing jobs. Appropriate education and training is required from elementary through high school, and through technical training programs, re-training, apprenticeships, postsecondary education, and access to valid, industry-recognized, competency-based credentials.”

With regard to the expansion of the supply chain, the report calls for small and medium-sized businesses to become the “primary Federal focus for supply chain development. This focus should include growing a larger and more cyber-secure supply chain, supported through federally convened public-private-partnerships.

“Second, the United States must foster new business development and connect our fragmented silos of innovation with advanced manufacturing ecosystems—where pre-competitive applied research can be done by multiple members of the supply chain, thus pooling risk to achieve greater returns.  These innovation ecosystems and related efforts need to foster new manufacturing business development and faster R&D transition to advanced manufactured products.

“Third, the United States must strengthen the supply chains that support our defense industrial base. This objective will require better leveraging of existing authorities such as Buy American and Foreign Military Sales as well as expanding dual-use technologies. Finally, it is important that America’s rural communities, where advanced manufacturing technologies and processes can be tailored for the important agricultural sector, can be sustained and thrive.”

The plan met with the approval of industry group, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), which represents leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers. AAM President Scott Paul particularly liked the Buy American policy endorsement.  “Buy American policies, when properly enforced, can incentivize investments in factories and workers in the United States.”

To view the full report click here.

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