The Brookings Institution has announced that it is launching the new John Hazen White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy to study manufacturing. The gift from John Hazen White, Jr., the president and CEO of Taco, Inc. in Cranston, Rhode Island, will endow the Forum and fund activities related to manufacturing and innovation.
The formal launch of the project was Thursday, July 12, 2012 in Brookings’ Falk Auditorium, with a forum on “U.S. Manufacturing: Policies for a New Economic Reality.” Manufacturing has played a vital role in U.S. economic and social development. As the country combats major economic pressures, manufacturers, labor, and legislators are identifying policies to strengthen manufacturing and reenergize this highly important sector of the U.S. economy.
At the July 12 forum, Brookings hosted a half-day conference on ways to address its current challenges. Among the speakers at this event were Representative Don Manzullo (R-Ill), Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Phillip Singerman of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Steven Rattner of Willet Advisors, Thea Lee of the AFL-CIO, Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Rob Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Mark Muro and Darrell West of the Brookings Institution.
Taco is a world-class manufacturer of pumps, valves, tanks, electronic controls, and other components used in heating and cooling applications. John Hazen White, Jr. runs the $200 million business and employs approximately 500 people at three locations in the U.S. and Canada and sells products worldwide. The company recently dedicated a $20 million building expansion in Rhode Island.
The project is led by Darrell M. West, vice president of governance studies and director of the center for technology innovation at Brookings. “John White’s generosity enables us to explore this important area, and raise public and policymaker awareness of this sector,” said West.
“As a manufacturer in business over 90 years, Taco is proud to be a company making things here in America,” said John White, Jr. “The American manufacturer is an important part of our economic strength and health as a country, and we need to do everything we can to encourage and support an American manufacturing comeback.”