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Gillibrand introduces bill to boost high-tech manufacturing

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced a bill intended to boost high-tech manufacturing. The Democrat from New York visited the Harper International company outside Buffalo to discuss the Made in America Manufacturing Act, which is her first bill to go before the new Congress.

The bill aims to boost high-tech manufacturing through a competitive program that awards selected state and regional partnerships with around $2 million in federal funding.

Gillibrand says the partnerships will need to make a strong business case in order to access the funds.

"First, the localities would be able to create a revolving loan fund that provides manufacturers with low-interest loans. These loans could be used to expand a business, to upgrade facilities, to re-tool operations. Second, the funding would be used to create job training programs that insure that our workers are trained for jobs that are needed now and tomorrow," said Gillibrand.

The funding would also help connect innovative small suppliers with larger companies.

"If you look at all across New York we are excelling at advanced manufacturing. We are seeing job growth in bio-tech, nano-tech and in energy technology and a lot of jobs are coming back from China," said the senator. "Because when you have to make something that has to be right the first time you make it, we can compete on cost."

Gillibrand says the bill will link the partnerships with colleges across the state to get young people interested in manufacturing careers and create apprenticeships.

Ashley is a Buffalo native, and is in her second stint as reporter at WBFO. During her first tenure at the station, Ashley covered a variety of issues in the western New York region and earned an Associated Press award for team coverage on “Same Sex Marriage in New York.” Ashley has also worked as an anchor/reporter at WBEN in Buffalo and WBTA in Batavia.