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Kirsten Gillibrand toured New York state on Monday, building support for her high-tech manufacturing and worker training measure. Photo: Gillibrand website
Kirsten Gillibrand toured New York state on Monday, building support for her high-tech manufacturing and worker training measure. Photo: Gillibrand website

Gillibrand pushes manufacturing bill in Ticonderoga

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Ticonderoga, NY, yesterday, working to build support for a new measure that aims to boost high-tech manufacturing.

Gillibrand wants Congress to fund low-interest revolving loans that would help modernize factories and pay for worker training.

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I believe New York's great manufacturing communities are well-positioned to compete for funding.
Senator Gillibrand used the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga as a backdrop for talking about her bill that would fund state and regional competitions.

The goal is to identify the best public-private partnerships to boost manufacturing and job training.

According to Gillibrand's office, New York state has lost 123,000 manufacturing jobs since 2005 — with nearly 3500 of those jobs disappearing from the North Country.  

Gillibrand said communities like Ticonderoga could "compete for funding" from the Federal government as part of an effort to "spark more growth in high-tech manufacturing sectors, jumpstart new businesses, and create good-paying jobs right here where we need them the most.”

Chris Mallon IP's mill manager in Ticonderoga, issued a statement saying that Gillibrand's program would provide "exciting  opportunities for partnerships" that could expand manufacturing in the region.

According to Gillibrand's office, the new initiative would award up to 20 million dollars in competitive funding for each statewide or regional manufacturing hub.

Speaking with the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, North Country Community College President Steve Tyrell said his school could provide job training for high-tech manufacturing.

“This proposed legislation will, in all essence, create the type of degree program that will serve the region," Tyrell told the newspaper.

It's unclear whether this kind of measure would find support among Republicans in the Senate, or with Republicans who control the House of Representatives.

GOP leaders have been leery of stimulus-style programs.

If approved, the new measure would offer a revolving loan fund to help companies upgrade equipment, provide grants for technology purchases, and pay for worker training.

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