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Remarks by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at the America Makes – National Additive and Manufacturing Innovation Institute, Youngstown, Ohio


Introduced by Guy Coviello, Foundation President, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you, Guy, for that kind introduction, and for hosting us here at America Makes, the National Additive, and Manufacturing Innovation Institute. I am extremely pleased to witness the ingenuity and discovery that is taking place in the heart of downtown Youngstown. It is reflective of this state’s continued investment in and commitment to manufacturing.

Thank you for your swift action in rebuilding our medical and protective equipment supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. You teamed up with the VA, FDA, and NIH to optimize 31 PPE designs for clinical use, including 28 for production by the additive manufacturing community. This was no small feat, and I congratulate each of you for what you have accomplished here in Youngstown, and across the Manufacturing USA network.

I am especially pleased to announce that the Department of Commerce is awarding a $1.4 million grant to America Makes from our National Institute of Standards and Technology. This funding will help expand production capacity from 240,000 to 400,000 units of PPE per week using additive and digital manufacturing technologies. Congratulations, and thank you for answering the call during this nation’s greatest time of need. We wish you continued success as we progress through the health crisis and economic recovery.

It is my pleasure today to also recognize another standout organization in the Youngstown area. Since 1978, the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation has shown incredible leadership in helping more than 1,700 companies create more than 19,000 jobs. The organization serves the business community here in Mahoning County as well as in nearby Beaver, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania. Today, I am proud to present M-V-E-D-C with a $5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our Administration is committed to helping businesses and workers get the resources they need to rebound from the challenges caused by this awful pandemic.

In all, we are awarding $6.4 million dollars of aid to support area businesses. This investment comes at a crucial time, as Ohio’s economy rebounds from the biggest economic shock of our lifetimes. Thank you for joining us on this special day and, once again, congratulations.