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U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (r) holds a media event in front of the OSCAR Building construction site to announce the bipartisan American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act. He is joined in that announcement by (l-r) Dr. DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology.

  Sen. Chris Coons Announces Manufacturing Ed Bill at DSU

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons used DSU as the site to hold a media event just outside of the under-construction OSCAR Building in order to announce new mechanical engineering legislation he has introduced.

Joined by DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president of Research Innovation and Economic Development, Sen. Coons explained the bipartisan legislation just outside of the OSCAR Building construction site. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act is designed to help institutions of higher education to strengthen their engineering programs to meet the growing demands of 21st century manufacturing.


Following his media event on the proposed manufacturing education legislation, Sen. Chris Coons (center) receives an update from Dr. Noureddine Melikechi and DSU President Harry L. Williams on the construction progress of the OSCAR Building. 

“I’m excited about Delaware State University’s steady growth as a leader in science and technology education, research and training,” he said. “And I have visited dozens of manufacturers in Kent and Sussex counties that have a common concern about needing more young people they can hire to be future employees both as engineers and as skilled workers.”

According to Sen. Coons, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act would award grants to universities designed to help better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers.

“Manufacturing plays a critical role in our country’s economy,” Sen. Coons said. “Accounting for nearly $2 trillion of our nation’s output, more than 12 million Americans are directly employed in manufacturing.” 

“Given the importance of manufacturing in the United States, it is critical that federal manufacturing policy be effective,” the senator said. “However, because the sector is diverse, no one federal department or agency deals exclusively with manufacturing.”

Dr. Melikechi said that University officials support the bill and the university may consider applying for the money if the legislation passes in Congress.

“It’s a continuum. You need a great education, you need good business leaders, you need a strong innovation and so forth, but also you do need that manufacturing component to have an economy that’s viable,” he said.

After the media event, Sen. Coons went over to the construction site, where Dr. Williams and Dr. Melikechi updated the senator on the progress of OSCAR – Optical Science Center for Applied Research – Building