BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Earlier this week, state Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in Long Island City to tour Boyce Technologies, which focuses on manufacturing processes to engineer innovative, reliable and accessible transit safety solutions. There she announced her bipartisan Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act legislation.
According to Gillibrand, the goal of the legislation is to grow the manufacturing industry and help create job opportunities in Queens by creating this permanent program to designate local regions as “manufacturing communities.” The communities are projected to put people in the frontline to receiving federal economic development funding as a means of investing in manufacturing.
“New York City has one of the most diverse and talented workforces in the entire country and that makes us perfectly positioned for a manufacturing boom,” Gillibrand said during her announcement. “This bipartisan legislation would unlock millions of dollars in federal economic development funds for smart investments in high-impact projects, and leverage public-private partnerships to help create good-paying manufacturing jobs in Queens, jumpstart new businesses and grow our economy for years to come.”
The “manufacturing communities” would have to create regional partnerships with key stakeholders such as local and state economic development officials, local governments, manufacturers, labor organizations and higher education or other training providers, in order to compete for up to $1.3 billion, the currently available federal economic development funding for manufacturing.
They would also have to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing and develop strategies to utilize their “manufacturing communities” designation in making investments in workforce training and retraining, advanced research, infrastructure and site development, supply-chain support, promotion of exports and foreign direct investment, and operational improvement and capital access for manufacturers that support energy or process efficiency, equipment or facility upgrades, or the development of business incubators, among other activities.
“Long Island City is the customization capital of the world, where manufacturing companies from design/build engineering to architectural lighting and glass to industrial 3D printers to specialty food and beverage, take advantage of our central location and unparalleled transportation access to serve customers across the region and the globe,” Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, said in a press release. “They also access the best workforce in the world, from Ph.D. engineers to production workers, providing them family-supporting jobs. And when you put some of the smartest people in the world together with some of the best workers in the world, and give them support to produce, you get innovations that change our world.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org