U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., ranking member of the committee, introduced S. 3704, the Advanced Technological Manufacturing Act, to reauthorize and modernize the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.
“High-tech fields drive our nation’s economy,” said Wicker. “I am pleased to introduce this bill to modernize the Advanced Technological Education program. This legislation would spur economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a workforce prepared to fill roles in advanced technological sectors. Training today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs is a major priority for me.”
“If America is going to continue to lead the world in the advanced technology sector, we must invest in training for American students today—and not just with 4-year degree programs but more targeted skill-building as well,” said Cantwell. “Community and Technical Colleges have led the way in skilling a workforce for STEM jobs. But we need more institutions to participate, and this NSF legislation further incentivizes more STEM education in America.”
The Advanced Technological Manufacturing Act would:
- Modernize the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992.
- Direct the NSF director to establish a series of pilot programs to expand the number of institutions of higher education that can successfully compete for NSF grants.
This week, community college leaders from 45 states sent a letter to Chairman Wicker, Ranking Member Cantwell, Chairwoman Johnson, and Ranking Member Lucas requesting their support of S. 3704.
Click here to read the full bill.