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Restoring U.S. Leadership in Manufacturing

William Bonvillian

Summary 

Manufacturing is a critical sector for American economic wellbeing. The value chains in the American economy that rely on manufactured goods account for 25% of employment, over 40% of gross domestic product (GDP), and almost 80% of research and development (R&D) spending in the United States. Yet U.S. leadership in manufacturing is eroding, leaving a large part of our working class behind an ever-advancing, upper-middle class. To restore U.S. leadership in manufacturing and rebuild manufacturing as a route to quality jobs for Americans, the federal government should double down on advanced manufacturing nationwide. This proposal outlines a series of steps to leverage existing infrastructure and efforts with the Advanced Manufacturing Institutes to reboot U.S. manufacturing.

About the Author

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William B. Bonvillian is a Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaching courses on innovation and on science and technology policy. He is a Senior Director at MIT’s Office of Digital Learning conducting a major research project on workforce education.  Previously, he was Director of MIT’s Washington, D.C. Office between 2006 and 2017, supporting MIT’s longstanding role on national science and technology policy. He was an advisor to MIT’s Production in the Innovation Economy study issued in 2013, and participated for MIT in the President’s industry-university Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and its reports of 2011 and 2014. Prior to MIT, he served for over fifteen years as a senior policy advisor in the U.S. Senate working on innovation issues.

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