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Shaheen, Alexander Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Promote Innovation, Energy Efficiency and Economic Competitiveness of American Manufacturers

Representatives Welch (D-VT) and Reed (R-NY) Introduced Companion Legislation in the House of Representatives

(Washington, DC) – This week, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, legislation that would assist small- and medium-sized American manufacturers in adopting what’s known as “smart manufacturing technologies.” Smart manufacturing combines information, technology and innovation, allowing companies to make real-time management decisions regarding productivity, energy and costs. These advanced technologies are transforming the manufacturing sector, but due to a lack of staff resources, expertise and capital constraints, they have only been implemented mostly by large manufacturing facilities. 

Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Reed (R-NY) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

The Shaheen-Alexander Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act will help manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the market place, and by 2040 is estimated to save consumers $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road. 

“High-tech manufacturing and innovation is the most dynamic sector of New Hampshire’s economy, and smart technology programs represent the latest innovations needed for manufacturers to streamline and improve work-flow,” said Senator Shaheen. “It is especially critical that small- and medium- sized manufacturers are given the tools they need to compete because they help drive our country’s growth and keep America at the forefront of innovation. The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act will ensure these manufacturers have the opportunity to adopt smart manufacturing technologies so that they can continue to grow and create jobs.”  

“Tennessee is one of the top automotive manufacturing states in the country, with about one-third of our manufacturing jobs being auto jobs,” said Senator Alexander. “Our state has worked to develop new and innovative ways to manufacture goods, and this legislation will help create even more new job opportunities while saving energy and improving competitiveness.” 

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act would develop a national plan through the Department of Energy that will identify areas where smart manufacturing technologies can be developed, deployed and adopted more quickly. It would also provide technical assistance and create state grant programs that would help small- and medium- sized manufacturers adopt smart manufacturing technologies.

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act has been endorsed by several industry, efficiency and environmental stakeholders, including the National Association of Manufacturers, Autodesk, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alliance to Save Energy, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. 

Text of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act can be read here.