U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, has introduced legislation to create the National Institute of Manufacturing, which would streamline national manufacturing programs.
The senator said during a press conference July 8 the new federal agency would be modeled after the National Institutes of Health.
Peters said there are 58 federal programs spread across 11 agencies that deal with manufacturing.
“They’re not coordinated, it’s not efficient, taxpayer money is being wasted,” he said. “We need to be focused on the mission, which is to strengthen good-paying manufacturing jobs in America.”
The National Institute of Manufacturing would "speak with one voice for manufacturing in the country," he said, and allow a comprehensive strategy for enhancing manufacturing around the country.
The effort has been in the works for at least a year, with the legislation building off a proposal Peters announced last year.
Peters noted the U.S.'s global share of manufacturing has dropped by 35% in the last 15 years.
“We need to reverse that,” he said. “We need to make sure that we’re strengthening manufacturing, that we’re expanding manufacturing. And that means that we’re using taxpayer money much more efficiently in helping manufacturers.”
The agency would involve the creation of a chief manufacturing officer and a national manufacturing council.
Joining Peters during the press conference was Mike Coast, director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center based in Plymouth, and Bob Holloway, president of Piston Automotive based in Southfield.