President Biden’s top economic priority is to fight inflation by lowering costs that working families face, and lowering the federal deficit.
One of the best ways to lower the cost of the goods and services that families rely on is to make more things in America, with more secure, resilient supply chains. We’ve learned this the hard way during this crisis – when brittle supply chains and hollowed out manufacturing resulted in backlogs, bottlenecks and higher prices for families.
President Biden’s plan to fight inflation addresses this problem head on. Thanks to the President’s leadership, we are in the midst of an American manufacturing boom with over $200 billion of investments in new manufacturing facilities and record-setting job creation. The Biden Administration has spurred unprecedented job growth and the fastest economic recovery in nearly four decades. Since taking office, President Biden’s actions have resulted in the creation of 7.9 million jobs, including 473,000 in manufacturing – more jobs in the first 14 months of any President’s term ever.
Companies are investing in America again, bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back home. Whether it’s semiconductors, advanced batteries, or other leading sectors, companies are opening new facilities and announcing commitments to produce the world’s most cutting-edge technologies in the United States.
To support AM Forward, the Biden Administration has identified a range of federal programs that U.S. SME manufacturers can use to support their adoption of additive capabilities and increase their competitiveness. The Administration’s actions are focused on helping to overcome common challenges that have slowed the deployment of AM technologies, particularly among smaller manufacturers.
- Providing access to capital to our SME manufacturers: Providing affordable financing to small manufacturers will support the installation of additive equipment by reducing its cost. To address this issue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will make its Business and Industry program available to rural manufacturers to support the purchase of new additive machines, and the training necessary to upskill their workforce. The Export-Import Bank will highlight its new domestic lending program that can help SME manufacturers upgrade their existing production equipment. And the Small Business Administration will work with the participants of AM Forward on how its 504 Loan Program and Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program can support the widespread deployment of new additive capabilities across U.S. industry.
- Delivering technical assistance from the federal government and OEMs to our SME manufacturers: SME manufacturers have noted the need for technical assistance to utilize new production technologies like 3D printers to their fullest extent. To support AM Forward, the Department of Energy will make its Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory available to SME manufacturers to test new additive techniques. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership will provide enhanced technical assistance; and the Department of Defense (DOD) will use its Mentor Protégé Program to reimburse the cost to the large OEM participants in AM Forward for providing technical assistance to their smaller U.S.-based suppliers owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. DOD’s Manufacturing Technology Program Office will work with America Makes, a DOD-sponsored Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and AM Forward members on a pilot standardization project.
- Investing in the additive manufacturing workforce: To fully benefit from the use of additive capabilities, SME manufacturers must train their workforce differently to successfully deploy additive capabilities, including upskilling workers. America Makes will thus develop curriculum for workforce training with AM Forward participants; and, along with the U.S. Department of Labor, will assist manufacturers in launching apprenticeship programs in additive manufacturing.
- Setting industry standards: Finally, since 3D printing requires different standards and process certifications, the U.S. Department of Commerce – through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – will conduct measurement science research to overcome key barriers to widespread use of metals-based additive manufacturing, develop the technical basis for new high-priority standards, and disseminate these results to AM Forward participants through leadership of standards development within ASTM International, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and other standards bodies.