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Four states selected for Policy Academy to strengthen manufacturing

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Four states have been selected to participate in a Policy Academy designed to help grow and strengthen manufacturing in their states. State teams will begin meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. with policy experts to develop or further refine strategies to bolster manufacturing. The four participants chosen for the Policy Academy are Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Utah.  Each team includes representatives from the participants' governor's office, state economic development department, Manufacturing Extension Partnership center, manufacturing trade association, and other manufacturing centers.

"Manufacturing is a vital component of the economy in each state and the success of the manufacturing sector is imperative for the country's strength and competitiveness," said Dan Berglund, president and CEO of SSTI, which is helping to coordinate the Academy. "We are looking forward to supporting the states as they strengthen their manufacturing base and build on their success. We expect that each of the participants will develop new initiatives or expand on those already in place to advance their manufacturing agenda."

The year-long Policy Academy will guide the states through a planning and implementation process to identify relevant manufacturing-related partnerships and policies to move their economic development strategies forward. Each participant will receive customized assistance through access to national experts and collaboration with colleagues in other states. They may choose to focus on addressing skills gaps, accelerating start-up growth, expanding their market, improving their supply chain or other priorities the state teams identify.

The Policy Academy is being coordinated by two national organizations — SSTI and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) – with support from the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). SSTI works to strengthen initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. CREC works to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies. NIST MEP's mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing which it does through 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and more than 1,300 manufacturing experts at over 400 service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed.

The four states were selected after a competitive application process. A second cohort for the Academy is expected to be selected in 2019.

CONTACT: Dan Berglund, SSTI, President and CEO, 614-901-1690

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