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Make It In America starts here in Prince George's County

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Published on: Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Congressman Steny Hoyer

I am proud to represent Maryland in Congress for many reasons, and one of those continues to be our state’s role as a national model for how to attract the skilled jobs that strengthen and expand our middle class. As our economy continues to recover, Maryland has demonstrated how investments in long-term competitiveness can yield benefits right away. This is especially true in Prince George’s County, where some of America’s most innovative high-tech companies are doing business, expanding operations and hiring workers for jobs that pay well.

Over the past few years, I’ve visited with employees at Prince George’s County businesses that are taking advantage of new initiatives to promote advanced manufacturing and capitalize on Maryland’s investments in education, job training and local infrastructure.  From Aerolab in Laurel, which manufactures cutting-edge wind tunnels to Techno Sciences in Beltsville, where satellite-assisted search and rescue systems are designed and built, some of America’s — and the world’s — leading innovators are choosing to bring their businesses to Prince George’s County and other parts of our state, where they know they can find skilled workers and a culture of innovation. 

Just last month, Gov. Martin O’Malley visited Beltsville’s ATK Space Systems Division, which produces aerospace and defense products, to highlight steps Maryland has taken to attract innovators and entrepreneurs to our state.  I’ve been there as well, and have seen firsthand the incredible work being performed by American manufacturing workers right here in Prince George’s County.  This week, I met with managers and employees from other innovative companies in Maryland, including Sema Connect in Bowie, which is building and deploying electric vehicle charging stations throughout the area.  

Part of attracting advanced manufacturing businesses includes investing in a strong education system for all that helps prepare graduates for college and careers. It also includes prioritizing infrastructure development to help move goods effectively to market and make it easier for local businesses to export their products. Another piece of the puzzle, which helps encourage businesses to bring jobs and private investment back from overseas, is a tax code that makes sense and rewards companies that choose to manufacture right here in our communities. 

While Maryland has made strides in attracting manufacturing jobs, there is still much more we can do — but we need the federal government to help as a partner in this process. That’s why I have been leading an effort in Congress to pass jobs legislation that will build on the successes we’ve had in Maryland and help communities from coast to coast put more Americans back to work in high-wage, high-skill manufacturing jobs. The plan I have put forward, which includes bills introduced by both Democrats and Republicans, is called Make It In America. 

If Congress can take action to help more businesses make their products here, it will help more of our workers and their families make it — that is, access opportunities that secure the American Dream. 

Make It In America legislation focuses on making progress in four key areas. First, we ought to adopt and pursue a national manufacturing strategy to serve as a blueprint for policymakers — drawing on proven ideas from a range of stakeholders. Second, Congress must do more to promote U.S. exports, and this includes investing in infrastructure to help businesses move their goods more efficiently to our seaports and airports. Third, we should be encouraging companies to move jobs and innovation back home through targeted tax credits. Fourth, we need to train and secure a highly skilled workforce for the twenty-first century by investing in access to higher education, providing job training to those out of work, and helping foreign students in advanced manufacturing who have been trained in our schools stay here and help build our economy. Taking these steps will make a significant difference toward moving us from recovery to prosperity.

When the Congress returns to session in September, I will continue to promote the Make It In America manufacturing agenda and encourage representatives from both sides of the aisle to work together in support of the job creation we need. Congress has the power to act to help more of our people Make It In America, make it in Maryland, and make it in Prince George’s County. 

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