Christmas List for US Manufacturers

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 • Provide government-backed loans (50%) to SMMs upgrading outdated factories to produce advanced manufacturing products, especially those resulting from innovations.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.