Press release | Press releases | Writing

04.11.22

After Schumer pressured Commerce Secretary Raimondo directly to defend Buffalo, WNY; Advanced Manufacturing Proposal Selected for Final Round to Compete for Up to $100 Million Grant to Transform WNY’s Economy

With Major Funding for Schumer’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act Technology Center, Senator Says WNY Needs to Strike While the Iron is Hot to Strengthen its Technology Infrastructure and Workforce to Bring Back the made in the USA

Schumer: WNY’s selection as one of the Nation’s regional challenge finalists is a game-changer. Now is the time to bring it home and step up efforts to make WNY a global technology hub!

Following his direct advocacy that secured the Western New York Advanced Manufacturing Cluster’s place as a finalist for a regional grant of up to $100 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Charles E. Schumer, today continued this momentum by launching a major campaign. for the federal government to select the Western New York project. Schumer explained that as a Phase 1 winner, the project has already received $500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop their Phase 2 application. Schumer said that since receiving those funds, the Council of Western New York Regional Economic Development (WNYREDC) was able to bring together a broad coalition of public and private sector partners committed to building Western New York’s advanced manufacturing infrastructure and workforce. of work qualified as new generation. Schumer also revealed how new programs in his bipartisan US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), such as the $10 billion regional technology hub program and significant investments in strengthening domestic manufacturing, strengthening our supply chains, and boosting research and education and technology training, is uniquely suited to help Buffalo and Western New York develop advanced manufacturing and connect more workers to well-paying jobs. Receiving funding from the Regional Challenge Grant, Schumer said, would elevate the region as an emerging global technology hub and make Buffalo a more competitive candidate for new federal investments, fundamentally reshaping WNY’s economic landscape.

“This is a unique opportunity to transform Western New York’s legacy as an industrial powerhouse into a center of advanced manufacturing and technology that is helping bring manufacturing back to America and create jobs. well paid in the region. This federal investment would help revitalize the East Side of Buffalo for new investment, ensure key technologies are made in Western New York rather than overseas, and train thousands of workers for high-paying technology and manufacturing jobs. Now it’s time for the nation to see what I’ve known for a long time: Western New York has all the right ingredients to be the nation’s next tech hub! said Senator Schumer. “When I went through the US bailout, which created the EDA regional challenge, I had in mind places like Buffalo and the world-class workers who are ready to take on those manufacturing jobs. to rebuild our economy, strengthen our supply chains, and bring manufacturing back to America. Potential funding for this program, in tandem with the significant investment in domestic supply chains, American manufacturing, research and technological education and training of my US Innovation and Competition Actcan transform Buffalo’s economy and I won’t stop fighting to make sure workers in Western New York are the ones who get the good-paying jobs that are building our nation’s future.

“Senate Majority Leader Schumer has long been a champion of meaningful collaborations between business and industry, nonprofits, K-12 education, and higher education” , said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “The University at Buffalo is integral to creating the new regional economy in Western New York and we are very grateful for the Majority Leader’s efforts to bring this funding to the region.”

Last year, Schumer personally called Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to advocate for the selection of Western New York as a finalist to compete for the opportunity. The senator explained that the billion-dollar EDA Build Back Better regional challenge program, created by the American Rescue Plan, received 529 Phase 1 applications from across the United States, and that the advanced manufacturing cluster WNY was one of 60 proposals selected as a Phase 1 winner to receive $500,000 in technical assistance to strengthen their project and compete for a final Phase 2 prize. Now with a national spotlight on Buffalo and Western New York as a rapidly growing advanced manufacturing and technology center, the proposal for the exclusive Phase 2 award has been submitted. Phase 2, Schumer said, will award 20 to 30 regional coalitions between $25 million and $100 million in grants for their project, if selected.

Schumer explained that the Western New York Advanced Manufacturing Cluster proposal, submitted by WNYREDC, would help train more than 1,600 people for technology careers over a three-year period. The project would also aim to fill gaps in Western New York’s innovation ecosystem, which will enable the region to become a national hub in key industries such as vaccine production, utility infrastructure, industrial gases and precision motion control. The project would also reverse the environmental degradation left by the area’s industrial past by cleaning up and revitalizing properties, including parts of Buffalo’s East Side, to attract new investment and create new jobs. The proposal also emphasizes the development of a more diverse and highly skilled workforce to meet the needs of growing employers and expand opportunities for more workers to access well-paying jobs. and unionized. The project is supported by a broad coalition including the University at Buffalo, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Launch NY, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Northland Workforce Training Center, Goodwill of Western New York, SUNY Alfred, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation and many others .

Additionally, Schumer highlighted bold new federal investments planned for research and development (R&D), entrepreneurship, technology training and education, and domestic manufacturing as part of his US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) which can also benefit Buffalo and Western New York in their continued efforts to develop the advanced manufacturing sector and establish the region as a technology hub.

Specifically, Schumer pointed out that his bill:

  • Create a new $10 billion regional tech hub through the Department of Commerce to support regional economic development efforts to build centers across the country to not only research and innovate technologies, but also to manufacture them here in America. Schumer said this initiative aligns with EDA’s Regional Challenge Program goals, as well as the Western New York Advanced Manufacturing Cluster proposal and would create new opportunities for the region to compete. for more federal investment. Technology hubs would make efforts to strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains, workforce training, business and entrepreneur development, technology transfer and commercialization, and improving infrastructure to drive innovation and manufacturing across the country.
  • Increase investment in National Science Foundation (NSF) research and development programs and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and training programs. Schumer said research institutions like the University at Buffalo and technical training schools like Erie Community College are in a strong position to compete for these federal funds. The legislation also incorporates a range of new programs, including STEM education programs for underrepresented populations and skilled technical training to prepare workers for tech jobs.
  • Increase federal investments in supply chains and US manufacturing, $2.4 billion for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $1.2 billion for the Manufacturing USA program. The investment would nearly quadruple the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which funds centers like Insyte Consulting in Western New York to help small and medium-sized manufacturers, including area companies like Sumitomo who are already being helped by Schumer’s bill. also includes $52 billion in federal funds to expand domestic semiconductor manufacturing, including at sites like STAMP in Western New York, and the bill creates a supply chain resilience program to bring manufacturing back to America and help address supply chain vulnerabilities that are increasing costs on working families and disrupting the economy.
  • Launch a new directorate of technology and innovation at NSF to support R&D in key technologies, increasing STEM education to improve the national STEM workforce, building regional innovation hubs, and supporting technology transfer and entrepreneurship programs.

Schumer led USICA through the Senate in June of last year. The House passed its companion legislation, the America COMPETES Act last January. Last week, Senator Schumer took an important step in advancing the bill toward final passage, announcing that speakers at the Conference Committee would reconcile the differences between bills passed by the Senate and the House. in order to send the final legislation to the president to sign into law.

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