Wicker, Cantwell Reintroduce Advanced Technological Manufacturing Act

March 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., ranking member and chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today reintroduced 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 as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down by supporting community colleges and 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; and
  • 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. 

Community college leaders from 45 states sent a letter to Wicker and Cantwell and Reps. Eddie Johnson, D-Texas, and Frank Lucas, R-Okla., chair and ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, expressing their support of the Advanced Technological Manufacturing Act.  

Click here to read the full bill.