WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- “This is kind of a shot in the arm to rural communities that are seeing that resurgence," Joe McKinney, Executive Director, National Association of Development Organizations said.
McKinney is advocating in Washington DC for rural communities across the country- making sure they have opportunities for federal funding to develop their businesses. He’s signing his support to a new bill in Congress that does, just that.
“When you see communities that have responded positively since the recession rural communities have lagged behind and there’s very limited federal resources. So this is really one opportunity that there’s federal resources available for those growing communities in those rural areas," he added.
The Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act awards grants to small and medium-manufacturing businesses based in some of the hardest hit communities. The ‘Manufacturing Communities’ designation gives these areas preferred consideration for up to 1 point 3 billion in federal funding. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is re-introducing the bill in the senate.
“If we can get designated then we can create jobs and get more resources to use old places that might be brownfields for new manufacturing and to enhance businesses that are already there," Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gillibrand said Rochester New York is already a manufacturing community and believes many more can also get the designation, including the Southern Tier. She is gaining bipartisan support in the senate and in the house with the help of New York Congressman Tom Reed agrees.
“Working with the senator, this stands for common ground we stand for made in America manufacturing opportunities," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-23) said.
Some opposition to the bill could be the idea of pitting business against business, But McKinney said it’s pushing every company to be better. Currently the bill is awaiting a vote on the senate floor and Gillibrand said she is working with her Republican colleagues to get it passed.