To Washington, from the Motor City, with manufacturing street cred

Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan worked on manufacturing policy as an appointee under President Obama. Now she’s back in Washington, elected by suburban Detroit voters and with fresh perspective on manufacturing’s high-tech future.

By Christine LaFave Grace, managing editor

Haley Stevens is a member of the history-making class of 42 women joining Congress in January, having been elected in November to represent Michigan’s 11th Congressional district. But this won’t be the suburban Detroit native’s first go-round in Washington – or her first time “rolling up her sleeves,” as she says, to work on U.S. manufacturing policy at the highest levels of government.

In 2009, Stevens (then in her 20s) was chief of staff on a Treasury Department task force working on the federal rescue of Chrysler and GM. She also helped create the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy under President Barack Obama. In 2014, Stevens  joined UI Labs’ Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago, eventually becoming the organization’s director of workforce development and manufacturing engagement.

Stevens says that advocating for U.S. manufacturers – and, specifically, for the digitalization, skills-gap solutions and industry collaboration critical to ensuring the sector remains globally competitive in the years ahead – was a key motivator of her run for Congress and a top priority as she heads back to Washington. She spoke to Plant Services managing editor Christine LaFave Grace recently about the opportunities she’s looking to seize in Congress.

Read the interview on the Influential Women in Manufacturing website


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