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Bipartisan legislative to encourage new manufacturing jobs here in America

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.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA-10) today announced a bipartisan legislative push to encourage the creation of new manufacturing jobs here in America, strengthen worker training and industry certification programs, and expand U.S. exports.

The Warner/Wolf partnership, launched after the U.S. unemployment rate edged up to 9.1% in May:

• Creates a competitive grant program for states to provide up to $5,000 in forgivable loans for each new manufacturing job created and maintained for at least five years within a rural or economically-distressed region of the country;

• Works with employers to develop training and education programs for the specific jobs available at area businesses, strengthening those programs which provide an industry-recognized credential for workers in the advanced manufacturing and information technology industries;

• And expedites federal financing to allow certain qualifying companies to increase export capacity.

"America’s competitors for these solid, good-paying manufacturing jobs are nations like India, China and Korea - countries which have consistently offered generous employer incentives," Senator Warner said. "Our legislation provides more tools for states and localities, allowing them to ‘tip the balance’ by providing an additional financial incentive and a trained, qualified workforce as employers are considering where to open new factories and hire new workers."

This initiative builds upon Sen. Warner’s 2010 America Recruits Act, which establishes additional federal incentives for employers creating new jobs in rural and economically challenged regions of the country. It also incorporates elements of Rep. Wolf’s Bring Jobs Back to America Act, introduced in March 2011, which would start the process of bringing jobs back to America that have relocated overseas during the last two decades.

"I believe that a strong manufacturing and technology development base is critical to job creation and the economic competitiveness of the United States," Rep. Wolf said. "However, we have been far too slow in responding to our international economic competitors in this era of global markets and competition. This legislation helps to re-focus the United States to be more proactive and a smarter competitor in the global economy - both in the short-term and long-term. We cannot afford to wait. Our international competitors aren’t."

This Warner/Wolf jobs initiative has been endorsed by leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that promote U.S. innovation, economic competitiveness and new job creation.

• "A robust, high-tech American manufacturing sector is essential to advancing the economic recovery, enhancing our national security and creating a new era of job creation and long-term prosperity," said Deborah Wince-Smith, president & CEO of The Council on Competitiveness. "We applaud this effort by Senator Warner and Congressman Wolf to make the U.S. globally competitive in 21st century manufacturing, which is central to generating the new products and new industries and that will raise the standard of living for all Americans."

• "For too long, too many have seen the loss of manufacturing as inevitable and chosen to do nothing," said Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. "This act would make it easier for companies to do what most of them want to do in the first place - create and retain high-skill, high-wage jobs here in the United States. ITIF’s research makes clear that advanced countries can maintain vibrant, manufacturing sectors when they put manufacturing strategies in place. It’s time for the United States to do the same and we are pleased that this legislation is an important step in this direction."

• "I commend the leadership of Senator Warner and Congressman Wolf to increase U.S. competitiveness and incentivize more globally-headquartered companies to boost their U.S. employment," said Nancy McLernon, President & CEO of the Organization for International Investment. "U.S. subsidiaries of global companies already employ five and a half million Americans. With other countries already working overtime to attract this investment, it’s imperative that the United States have a plan at the highest level of government to help states’ efforts to recruit foreign companies to set up operations in this country."

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