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Congresswoman Escobar Secures Over $900,000 in Funding for El Paso Makes in Appropriations Bill to Promote Local Manufacturing and Job Creation

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) announced the inclusion of $964,000 in funding for the El Paso Makes project in the Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Subcommittee Appropriations bill. The El Paso Makes project would develop a regional innovation ecosystem by harnessing UTEP’s national research preeminence to create high quality jobs for the region and accelerate El Paso’s manufacturing competitiveness. 

This funding would be used by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the El Paso Chamber, and National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining (NCDMM)/America Makes to assist El Paso manufacturing businesses in identifying and developing proposals to address the needs of the Department of Defense and develop accounting practices and contracting vehicles that can be utilized to rapidly accept contracts. 

“Additive manufacturing holds immense promise for our military and our dynamic region, and El Paso Makes is a key step in accelerating our competitiveness and providing more opportunities for small businesses and jobs for our talented and diverse workforce,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “I am thrilled to announce that funding for this innovative initiative will be included in this year’s appropriations bill.”

“Congresswoman Veronica Escobar has long championed economic development investments that will increase wages and provide job opportunities for our talented engineering graduates,” said Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri, Professor and Associate Vice President of UTEP’s Aerospace Center. “Through her leadership and advocacy, El Paso Makes is creating the necessary programs and business support to help create high paying jobs in aerospace, defense and advanced manufacturing.”

“NCDMM has been a critical partner to El Paso, opening its first America Makes Satellite Center at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation in 2015,” said Dr. Ryan Wicker, Professor and Director of UTEP’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. “By opening up a DoD Contracting Support Office in El Paso, NCDMM will extend its impact in El Paso to our manufacturers.”

“As part of our El Paso Makes initiative, we have visited dozens of local manufacturers and learned that El Paso has both a highly competitive and innovative manufacturing base, ready for real growth,” said David Jerome, President & CEO of the El Paso Chamber. “This investment is in the capabilities of these local manufacturers and ensures they have the tools needed to be successful in the advanced manufacturing marketplace.”

“Providing Department of Defense contract support to El Paso manufacturers through this Defense Community Funding advocated for by Congresswoman Escobar will strengthen our nation by bringing new competitive entrants into the defense industrial base,” said Randy Gilmore, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of NCDMM. “We are proud to support this El Paso Makes initiative by bringing NCDMM’s extensive DoD contract support for manufacturers to El Paso.”

The Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Subcommittee Appropriations bill will advance to the floor for a vote by the full U.S. House of Representatives this summer. The legislation must pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by President Joe Biden before funds can be distributed.

More information about the Community Project Funding requests to the Appropriations Committee and Congresswoman Escobar submitted requests can be found here.

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