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updated: 8/19/2013 6:00 PM

TMA hosts Congressman Bill Foster

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Scott McPherson

TMA Hosts Roundtable Discussion with Congressman Bill Foster

(Park Ridge)-The Tool & Manufacturing Association welcomed Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11th) to TMA headquarters in Park Ridge last week for a roundtable discussion on jobs and manufacturing.

"I really appreciate that Congressman Foster was able to spend the morning with us to discuss issues of importance to the future of manufacturing," stated TMA Chairman Zach Mottl.

"As one of only two scientists in Congress, Bill really understands what needs to occur to continue to maintain the gains U.S. manufacturing has made recently and the jobs we create. He gets it." Mottl added.

Among topics discussed was STEM training and Congressman Foster's Fab Lab Legislation. In March, Congressman Foster introduced the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2013 to promote advanced manufacturing in the U.S. and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The legislation, which has received bipartisan support, would create a nonprofit entity to establish a National Fab Lab network throughout the United States. This chartered status would be similar to the status enjoyed by the VFW and Little League Baseball.

"We are witnessing a re-birth of modern manufacturing, "stated Congressman Foster. "STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is the wave of the future and they are all components used in advanced manufacturing. "

"The Fab Lab is important in that it allows young people and others to see how much fun manufacturing can be," stated TMA President Brian McGuire. "One of our primary goals as an association is to promote manufacturing to the next generation of workers. They need to be aware of the tremendous benefits a career in manufacturing can offer."

About TMA: 8 small manufacturing companies who thought they could better themselves by associating with one another founded TMA in 1925. Through the years, members established programs and services that would help their businesses grow and prosper, train their employees, and provide medical and retirement benefits. As a result of these efforts, TMA has grown into a 1,000 member nonprofit organization representing almost 30,000 employees of precision manufacturing and supplier companies throughout Illinois.