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U.S. Manufacturing Education to Get Reboot Thanks to New Grants Program

According to Science Magazine, President Barack Obama signed a hefty piece of legislation last week called the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which primarily focuses on defining policy for the Department of Defense (DOD).

Also included in the legislation, Science Magazine notes, is the allocation of funding for a grants program dedicated to improving manufacturing education and consequentially the future manufacturing workforce.

"The legislation creates a grants program for which companies, nonprofit organizations, and academic-industry consortia would be eligible as well as universities. It contains a broad description of what counts as an education program including classroom and lab activities, internships, faculty development, and recruitment, and a host of interactions with the private sector and national laboratories," Science Magazine says.

Funding for the program, the article says, won't be determined until a bill outlining DOD spending is passed in the Senate. (The bill currently allocates $10 million for the program.)

The program, which is a bipartisan one, was pushed by U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to encourage U.S. organizations to "better align their educational offerings with the needs of modern U.S. manufacturers," says The New Hampshire Business Review (NHBR).

"This legislation will help ensure that students in New Hampshire and across the nation have the education and skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce and to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States," said Ayotte, according to NHBR.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/29/2016

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