Gillibrand unveils new 'Made in America Act' in Utica
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says it's time to see 'Made in America' again and she started her campaign to get more products made in the U.S., right here in Utica. The Democratic Senator from Brunswick says her number one priority is to rebuild the American economy, and she believes her first piece of legislation she is introducing in the new congress will help do that. That piece of legislation is called the 'Made in America Manufacturing Act" and on Friday morning she unveiled that legislation at one of the very companies she believes it will help, ECR International. The senator toured the company's headquarters on Dwyer Avenue along with ECR executives, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Mohawk Valley Edge President Steve DiMeo. ECR manufactures boilers, furnaces and air conditioning units, and a number of their products are made using one of a kind technology. If passed into law, the 'Made in America Act' would create a competitive program that awards regions within a state with low interest loans. Those loans would be used to help local manufacturing companies build new facilities and upgrade their equipment. Funding would also be used to train people in each awarded region to make sure there are qualified employees to fill the new types of technical jobs that this legislation is intended to develop. Gillibrand says the legislation encourages state and regional public-private partnerships to design and implement comprehensive strategies that spur growth for local manufacturing industries. In the first year of the new legislation there would be ten twenty million dollar grants award throughout the country. Under the legislation, the Commerce and Labor Departments would evaluate applicants' plans, also known as Manufacturing Enhancement Strategies, based on how the strategy will improve U.S. competitiveness and the expected economic return on investment, including job creation, cost savings by manufacturers, private investment that federal funding would help leverage, and how the proposal would address high unemployment and mass layoffs. Gillibrand says she has bipartisan support in the Senate.