The National Council for Advanced Manufacturing has a very impressive wish list... What would you add, subtract modify?
Priority # 1 -- Build a better Educated and Trained Workforce
• Increase credentialing and/or certification for all workforce members.
• Increase focus on career and educational pathways and pipelines for all learners.
• Increase parent and student awareness of manufacturing career opportunities.
• Use competency models to shape career decision-making.
• Require applied learning in all schools serving K - 20 students.
• Increase courses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for all K - 20 students.
• Provide real-world career counseling for secondary and post-secondary students.
• Promote increased established (incumbent) worker retaining/re-skilling.
• Create more teacher/counselor internships in the private sector.
• Encourage greater use of technology in learning and training.
• Urge all American citizens to pursue life-long learning to retain marketable skills.
• Increase community-level employer/educator collaboration to support learning and skill enhancement programs for K-20 students, teachers and counselors.
Priority # 2 -- Promote Product and Process Innovation and Expand R&D
• Lower interest-rate loans to help small companies’ innovation initiatives.
• Lower interest-rate loans to help small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) grow.
• Make permanent and raise the R&D tax credit for both product and process R&D.
• Make permanent and raise the tax credit for collaborative research and experimentation (R&E).
• Provide government-backed loans (50%) to SMMs upgrading outdated factories to produce advanced manufacturing products, especially those resulting from innovations.
• Establish advanced manufacturing technology consortia that correlate manufacturing R&D investments with applied research and thereby accelerate innovations’ time to market.
• Guarantee the allocation of 5% of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds annually to incentivize innovation in manufacturing, including the funding of applied research.
• Establish incentives to increase SMM R&D on sustainable innovations aimed at reducing costs and risks.
• Establish incentives to increase focus on applied research.
• Expand Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) to serve as manufacturing process innovation centers to assist SMMs.
• Provide expanded market intelligence to SMMs.
• Use technology transfer programs to disseminate innovative ideas and information to companies.
• Expand SMM interaction with Federal labs.
Priority # 3 -- Increase Global Competitiveness for U.S. companies
• Create a level playing field for U.S. companies involved in world trade.
• Reform the export control system to increase trade.
• Adopt additional free trade agreements to open more foreign markets to U.S. companies
• Enforce trade agreements with greater vigor.
• Secure intellectual property (IP) protection for U.S. companies involved in global trade.
• Expand MEPs ExporTech program to provide global trade and best practices information to SMMs.
• Establish a U.S. Credit Bank to help small manufacturers obtain business loans.
• Require foreign nations to allow their currencies to float.
• Minimize manufacturers’ cost burdens – taxes, regulations, anti-trust rules.
• Share ideas and information with other businesses to enhance productivity.