January 7, 2014
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., vice chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, has released a new report detailing the revitalization in U.S. manufacturing. According to the report, the manufacturing industry in the U.S. has added more than 500,000 jobs since February 2010 and exceeded its prerecession peak for exports, up 38 percent since 2009.
Klobuchar outlined a four-pronged strategy for ensuring the recent gains in manufacturing continue, calling for policies that strengthen the workforce and expand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; open markets abroad to boost exports; expand access to capital; and create conditions for growth, including cutting red tape and streamlining the tax code. The strategy is part of a Senate-wide manufacturing initiative led by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.
"America’s manufacturing sector is already coming back and is an important part of our nation’s economic recovery," Coons said. "Manufacturing jobs are high-quality jobs — they pay more in wages and benefits, create local service jobs, and contribute significantly to the local economy. This report thoroughly and thoughtfully lays out how Congress can make a difference in helping American manufacturers grow and create these good jobs."
In a recent study, 83 percent of manufacturers said they were experiencing moderate to severe shortages of highly skilled workers. Nationwide, about 600,000 high-skill manufacturing jobs currently are unfilled. Klobuchar recently introduced the bipartisan Innovate America Act with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., which would help address the challenges of skills training by creating 100 new STEM high schools in the U.S. and supporting scientific research.
Klobuchar also has introduced the bipartisan SCORE Act, a bill that would cut back on unnecessary regulations for manufacturers. The bill, introduced with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, would establish a new independent body within the Congressional Budget Office to perform an economic cost-benefit analysis of the impact and effectiveness of proposed rules and regulations. It would also perform an impartial review to determine the effectiveness of rules that already are in effect.