This morning , Secretary Gary Locke met with the 24 members of the recently-appointed Manufacturing Council.
“Today’s meeting is an example of the public-private partnership needed to restore our manufacturing sector in the United States,” said Locke. “I look forward to working with the members of the Council to present President Obama with solutions to revitalize this critical sector, grow our economy and put Americans back to work.”
The Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, and government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturers. The Council’s new charter increased membership from 15 to 25 members and now includes more diverse and expansive industry representation in the manufacturing sector. The appointees represent a broad cross section of the industry and include steel, supercomputer, solar panel, medical device and superconductor manufacturers, both large and small. Their products support a diverse range of industries such as the auto, aerospace, apparel and energy efficiency sectors.
Key priorities for this Council include supporting small and medium manufacturing businesses, advanced manufacturing practices, and global competitiveness issues.
Prior to meeting, Chair Brian Sohn of First Solar announced that his company is building a new manufacturing plant in the United States.  The plant should be completed by 2012 and will create 600 jobs.