The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has added its name to the growing list of organizations that support the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009. The legislation, authored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), says NAM, would help small and mid-sized manufacturers improve their long-term competitiveness and retool for the clean energy economy.
The IMPACT Act, which was included in the House-passed clean energy bill, would establish a US$30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund. States would receive funds for the establishment of revolving loan programs to assist small and medium-sized firms in retooling, expanding or establishing domestic clean energy manufacturing operations, and improving energy efficiency. Currently, NAM says that 70% of America’s clean energy systems and components are produced abroad. NAM says the bill would ensure that clean energy jobs are created in the U.S. by supporting small and medium manufacturers’ transition to the clean energy economy.
NAM says the bill would also modernize the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the federal-state program that provides support to small and mid-sized manufacturers. Currently, our nation’s 59 MEP centers receive slightly more than $100 million in federal funds each year, with states matching the federal contribution two-to-one. NAM says the bill would provide the MEP program with $1.5 billion in federal funds over five years to help manufacturers diversify to clean energy markets and adopt innovative, energy efficient manufacturing technologies.
Under the bill, the federal share of MEP funding would increase to 50%. Based on the MEP’s current average cost per consultation, the additional federal funding in this bill could enable MEP to reach at least 10,000 additional U.S. manufacturers each year.
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