NEW: Cicilline Joins Taco CEO At Brookings Manufacturing Forum

Monday, July 15, 2013


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RI Congressman David Cicilline and John Hazen White, Jr. of Taco Inc. attended a forum on July 10th at the Brookings Institution to discuss the current state and future of American manufacturing.

John Hazen White, Jr. of Cranston manufacturing company Taco, Inc. and RI Congressman David Cicilline participated in a forum on American Manufacturing at the second annual John White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy event, held last week at the Brookings Institution. Hosted by Brookings’ Governance Studies and held in the Institution’s Falk Auditorium, the room for this year’s session was attended by journalists, think tank and association professionals, academics, business representatives and students.

The focus of the forum, entitled “Innovating American Manufacturing: New Policies for a Stronger Economic Future," was on the current state of and future outlook for American manufacturing and comprised of three panel discussion sessions. Each an hour long, these discussions dealt with a range of subjects, including today’s advanced manufacturing, the role of manufacturing in the US economy, needed job skills for today’s manufacturing, and the importance of workplace education. The sessions were concluded with a Q&A for the panelists.

Congressman Cicilline spoke of efforts in Congress to advance American manufacturing through the Made in America Act, as well as efforts to support increased funding for training and workplace education. He pulled no punches in emphasizing 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.

Concluding the forum was a discussion on workplace education, a subject that White champions. Taco's new Innovation and Development Center opened in June 2012, and represents a significant and long-term commitment to employee and industry training and education. Speaking of the importance of his employees to Taco, White said that “People are the greatest asset a company like mine has. It’s not machinery or equipment, it’s people.” Even the most advanced state-of-the-art machinery, he went on to say, is virtually obsolete soon after it’s installed because there’s something even newer available, but people are an “asset that’s never obsolete.”

In addition to White and Congressman Cicilline, panelists included representatives from Pfizer and Alcoa, the Congressional Research Service, IDA Science & Technology Policy Institute and the Brookings Institute. 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.


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