Sen. Blumenthal and CT MEP Center CONNSTEP Promote Benefits of Endless Frontier Act at Bristol Manufacturer Arthur G. Russell Company
(Hartford, CT, June 9, 2021) – Senator Richard Blumenthal visited Bristol manufacturer Arthur G. Russell (AGR) Company on June 3rd along with CONNSTEP President and CEO Beatriz Gutierrez where they discussed the future of manufacturing in the state, technology, and the anticipated passage of the Endless Frontier Act in Congress.
Blumenthal stated, “the Endless Frontier Act provides money for technology hubs, research, and development, with a lot of it going to exactly the type of equipment being developed here at the Arthur G. Russell Company. It will continue to make sure we are developing new tools and technology, and provide training for companies like this one in Connecticut.”
CONNSTEP’s Gutierrez added, “manufacturing is at the core of any economic growth in Connecticut. We’re fortunate to have companies like Arthur G. Russell in the state, building a strong supply chain and working to attract the right people. Our MEP system – the Manufacturers Extension Partnership – is important as it provides a valuable framework for the necessary tools and training to manufacturers.”
Voicing optimism for passing of the federal bill, Blumenthal indicated “it will provide billions of dollars to make American manufacturing more competitive with China and protect our intellectual property.” The senator supports training and education for jobs in manufacturing, adding “you can’t make things if you don’t have the people trained to do it. Automation and artificial intelligence will only get you so far.”
The Endless Frontier Act bill as introduced in the Senate establishes a Directorate of Technology and Innovation in the National Science Foundation (NSF) with various programs and activities. The goals are to strengthen the U.S. leadership in critical technologies through basic research in key technology focus areas such as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, advanced manufacturing, and the commercialization of those technologies to businesses in the United States.
As part of the Act, the Department of Commerce would (1) establish a supply chain resiliency and crisis response program to address supply chain gaps and vulnerabilities in critical industries, (2) designate regional technology hubs to facilitate activities that support regional economic development that diffuses innovation around the United States, and (3) award grants to facilitate development and implementation of comprehensive regional technology strategies.
Approval of the Endless Frontier Act would provide nearly $100 billion over five years to institutes such as the NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and others. Gutierrez said it has been many years since these organizations have seen such a large boost of funding.
AGR President Mark Burzynski said he thinks public/private partnership programs for manufacturing industry training have been successful in other states and would like Connecticut to expand such programs here. “The public/private partnership model is what’s been successful and we’re willing to participate in that,” Burzynski said.
CONNSTEP, an affiliate of CBIA, is a consulting firm helping companies in Connecticut to strategically grow their businesses and improve operational methodologies, leading to increased profitability, higher productivity, and creating sustainable competitive advantages in the marketplace.