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Sen. Warner shares vision for strengthening competitiveness.

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January 21, 2009 - In address to manufacturers at NAM's Leadership Luncheon, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) offered to work closely with manufacturers to forge clearly articulated, comprehensive, national competitiveness strategy. According to NAM President John Engler, Senator Warner's focus on advanced technology, research and development, balanced energy policy, and international trade are issues that resonate with manufacturers. NAM looks forward to working with him to strengthen manufacturing.

Sen. Warner (D-VA) Shares with Manufacturers of His Vision for Strengthening America's Competitiveness


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National Association Of Manufacturers (NAM)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC, 20004
USA



Press release date: January 19, 2009

NAM President Engler Cites Warner's Business Record, Bold Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2009 - Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) today offered to work closely with manufacturers to forge a "clearly articulated, comprehensive, national competitiveness strategy" in an address to more than a hundred manufacturers at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Leadership Luncheon, held in conjunction with the inaugural celebration for President-elect Barack Obama.

Warner said there is a great worldwide race "on for the future" to determine who will lead the 21st century, and that "America has no national plan to get in, and win, that race during a time of transformative change."

"As Governor of Virginia," said NAM President John Engler, "Senator Warner was a champion of economic growth, education reform and investment in infrastructure. His focus on advanced technology, research and development, balanced energy policy and international trade are issues that resonate with manufacturers. We look forward to working with him in the years ahead to strengthen manufacturing and make our country more prosperous."

Warner told the NAM assembly that as Governor he was amazed to see how leaders from different fields of education "rarely talked to each other." The major education programs - Head Start, No Child Left Behind, the Higher Ed Act, the Perkins Act - are not coordinated. "Imagine if these funding streams were lined up to achieve clear policy goals," Warner said. "Imagine if we could get our higher ed people engaged in the future of the American high school. Imagine if we streamlined our education efforts instead of stove-piping them." Senator Warner said also "we have to get serious about workforce training."

Warner said everyone can point to a single school or program they support, "but in the corporate and non-profit world, there's a sense that if it's not invented here, it's not worth pursuing." In government, he said, "there is a lack of courage, and dollars, to try the model, to move beyond the tired and entrenched ways of doing things."

Warner said everyone can point to a single school or program they support, "but in the corporate and non-profit world, there's a sense that if it's not invented here, it's not worth pursuing." In government, he said, "there is a lack of courage, and dollars, to try the model, to move beyond the tired and entrenched ways of doing things."

"It's time to make innovation a national priority again," Senator Warner said. "It makes no sense that at a time when science is shaping more and more of our economy and daily lives, we've spent the last several years debating the merits of science itself. It makes no sense that a time when technology and innovation have never been more important, America R&D as a percentage of our GDP has fallen to sixth in the world."

Finally, Warner called for recognition of the critical need to develop human capital across the board - assuring opportunity for everyone, attracting the "best and brightest" from around the world to the U.S., developing human talents in rural America, and training a new generation of workers for jobs in the workplaces of the 21st century.

"It's time to see a little farther down the road because success is not an American birthright," Warner said. "Each generation is charged with earning success through innovation and good old-fashioned hard work. Each generation is charged with understanding the consequences of its actions, or its failure to act. Each generation is charged with protecting that quintessential American value; a fair shake and a fair shot at the American dream.

"It's time for America to get in the race," Warner concluded. "It's time to get to work." The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.

CONTACT: HANK COX
(240) 432-5952
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