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WASHINGTON – A top executive at Moog Inc. of East Aurora testified before Congress Thursday to stress the role the government can play in helping high-skill manufacturing companies find the trained employees they need.

Richard A. Aubrecht, vice chairman and vice president for strategy and technology at Moog, told the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology that it’s the government’s proper role to invest in worker training. He said that while Moog gets plenty of highly-skilled workers out of programs at Erie Community College, the company is not so lucky at its other manufacturing locations, proving there’s need for a network of manufacturing training centers nationwide.

“The federal government could provide the seed money to create such a network,” Aubrecht said.

The government could get more bang for the buck out of its training dollars, too, if it emphasized online education in math, computer science, electronics and other fields, Aubrecht added.

Aubrecht also said it made more sense for the government to invest in worker training than in manufacturing research, which many companies do on their own.

Aubrecht testified at a hearing on the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013. Authored by Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, and Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., the bill would establish a $600 million National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. That network would encourage public-private partnerships aimed at improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, boosting manufacturing research and improve workforce development.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com