Manufacturing USA today released its 2016 Annual Report to Congress. The report describes the program’s work in helping to move discoveries in the nation’s universities and research laboratories to the shop floor here in America. It highlights the nine Manufacturing USA institutes that were active in fiscal year 2016, and documents the network's progress toward increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.
The Manufacturing USA network is a public-private program designed with a vision of U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing. Its institutes have a mission to develop game-changing technology and the skills needed to equip our future U.S. manufacturing workforce. Institutes also provide education and training so that American workers have “improved job opportunities and increased economic opportunity in promising technology areas that result in higher wages.”
Highlights of the Manufacturing USA network in 2016 include:
830 industry members, two-thirds of which were manufacturing firms, including 361 small businesses.
Non-federal funding exceeded the original goals of a 1 to 1 match, with federal funds being matched at a 2 to 1 ratio, indicating the value of the network to industry, academia and the states. In addition to manufacturing companies, the partnerships included a variety of academic institutions and federal, state, local agencies, laboratories, and not-for-profit organizations.
A portfolio of diverse programs for students in high schools, community colleges and universities; educators from kindergarten to twelfth grade; manufacturing employees; and transitioning veterans, so that the nation’s workforce will be prepared for a renewal of advanced manufacturing. Institute-led programs have reached about 28,000 people.
AIM Photonics, based in Rochester, New York, developed a shared toolkit that has helped members speed up the design and development of photonic devices, which use light instead of electricity to enable faster performance and new capabilities.
PowerAmerica, in Raleigh, North Carolina, helped keep 400 highly-skilled manufacturing jobs at a facility, X-FAB Texas in Lubbock. The company was able to update its capabilities to become an “open foundry” that semiconductor companies can use to produce next-generation electronic products.
The annual report also highlights an assessment by Deloitte, which found that the first eight institutes, established between 2012 and 2016, have “reached a critical mass of valuable connections among participating companies, universities, and other entities. Those connections are accelerating the innovations needed to develop new products and markets, helping alleviate a shortage of technically trained manufacturing workers and building a sustainable national manufacturing research infrastructure.”
There are now a total of 14 Manufacturing USA institutes, sponsored by the departments of Energy, Defense and Commerce.
The full annual report can be found here.