Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko came to the Capital Region to announce a bill aimed at boosting high tech manufacturing. Our Megan Cruz has more on what's in the legislation, and how it will help high-tech businesses here in New York.
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. -- The bill is called the "Made in America Manufacturing Act." It's the first bill the Senator has introduced this year.
What the act does is create a federal funding program that Gillibrand says will help grow high-tech manufacturing sectors like nanotechnology here in New York.
Senator Gillibrand made this announcement Monday morning at X-Ray Optical Systems. The East Greenbush company produces material-analysis equipment.
20 years ago, the company was a struggling start-up. But through grant funding and by partnering with local schools, management says X-Ray Optical is now a world-class manufacturer.
It's this success Senator Gillibrand wants to duplicate. Her bill makes it so small manufacturing companies like X-Ray Optical could apply for low-interest loans or funding to specifically create job training programs or boost exporting opportunities.
Congressman Tonko praises this bill.
"We're in a clean energy high tech, innovation, ideas economy. And that requires intellect. We can win that competitiveness in a global market through brain power, not necessarily doing it cheaper," said Rep. Tonko.
"You won't ever find harder workers or a better entrepreneurial spirit than here in New York. That's why I know we'll see made in America again and you'll see it right here in New York," said Sen. Gillibrand.
Here in New York, we've lost over 5,000 manufacturing jobs from 2005-2010. But what is growing is the high tech manufacturing field. That grew nine percent from 2004 to 2008.
Gillibrand says if her bill becomes law, this will help to continue this growth here in the state.
The pot of money up for grabs: $20 million.