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Federal lawmakers push ‘Made in America’ jobs plan

NEWBURGH – “Jobs are job one. Jobs are job two. Jobs are job three for those of us in Washington,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18) Friday afternoon at the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center in Newburgh where US Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and he announced the Made in America Manufacturing Act. Both lawmakers are Democrats.

The ‘Made in America’ act is Gillibrand’s first piece of legislation proposed to the new Congress.

The bill would provide grants of up to $20 million for statewide or regional manufacturing hubs to loan to help manufacturing business expand or develop new enterprises. The second use of funding from the grants would be job training programs, said Gillibrand.

“Almost 600,000 jobs went unfilled in this country because of the lack of qualified candidates,” Gillibrand said, explaining the great need for job training focused on skilled manufacturing in New York State.

In Washington the bill has six co-sponsors in the Senate and has support in the House.  Gillibrand will start meeting with Republican colleagues and once the bill has bi-partisan support the likelihood of going to a vote increases.

“It’s not a Democratic idea. It’s not a Republican idea. It’s just a good idea. And that’s the kind of bill that gets can pass in Congress,” Gillibrand said.

The bill has the support of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, and the Council of Industry as well as the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the American Small Manufacturers’ Coalition.