Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed legislation that encourages U.S. universities and qualifying organizations to give a boost to manufacturing education programs. With this legislation, organizations will help students to be better prepared to enter into the world of modern manufacturing. The act is known as the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Based on the Manufacturing Universities legislation, it is led by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the NDAA is expected to be signed into law by President Obama. Many U.S. universities and manufacturing associations are already onboard.

“Manufacturing has evolved over the years and we need to ensure engineering programs meet the demands of 21st century manufacturing,” said Senator Coons.

“Manufacturing is vitally important to the economic wellbeing of our country, and it is critical that our schools and universities are providing students the tools they need to be successful in this field,” said Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). “This program will go a long way in helping schools establish and modernize their curricula in manufacturing engineering.”

With this bill,  manufacturing-focused, engineering training at U.S. universities and qualified organizations, including non-profits will be supported by the Department of Defense. Potential recipients will compete through a grant-based process and must align their programs in a way that better aligns with the needs of modern U.S. manufacturers.

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