CRANSTON, R.I. — Taco’s John White Jr., and U.S. Rep. Dave Cicilline, D-R.I., participated in the second annual John White Jr. Forum on Public Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Hosted by Brookings’ Governance Studies, and held in the institute’s Falk Auditorium, the forum’s focus on manufacturing is proving to be a timely and popular discussion offering, as the room for this year’s session was filled to capacity with journalists, think tank and association professionals, academics, business representatives, and students.

The forum, “Innovating American Manufacturing: New Policies for a Stronger Economic Future,” was comprised of three panel discussion sessions, each an hour long, that dealt with a range of subjects: today’s advanced manufacturing, the role of manufacturing in the U.S. economy, needed job skills for today’s manufacturing, and the importance of workplace education. A lively question and answer period completed each session.

Panelists included representatives from Pfizer and Alcoa, the Congressional Research Service, IDA Science & Technology Policy Institute, and the Brookings Institution. Moderators included Darrell West, vice president and director, Brookings’ governance studies; economic policy correspondent Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post; and staff reporter Sophie Quinton of National Journal.

White and Cicilline paired with the Brooking Institution’s governance studies fellow Elisabeth Jacobs for a discussion on workplace education to conclude the forum, a subject that White champions. Taco’s new Innovation and Development Center, opened in June 2012, represents a significant and long-term commitment to employee and industry training and education. Taco opened its original learning center in 1991.

Cicilline spoke of efforts in Congress to advance American manufacturing through the Made in America Act and to support increased funding for training and workplace education. He further emphasized how hard it currently is to get bipartisan support for even the smallest or least political of measures in today’s hyper-partisan House of Representatives.

Publication date: 8/26/2013 

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