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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Rep. Slaughter Brings Senior Defense Department Leaders to Rochester

May 12, 2014
Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY – Today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) hosted two senior officials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to highlight how the region’s research, development and manufacturing capabilities can help the Departmentkeep Americans safe. Elana Broitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing & Industrial Base Policy, and Adele Ratcliff, Director Defense Manufacturing Technology Program, work to ensure the nation’s industrial and manufacturing capabilities meet national security requirements at home and abroad.

During their visit, Slaughter briefed Ms. Broitman and Ms. Ratcliff on Rochester-area high tech research, development, manufacturing and academic facilities, and introduced them to some of the principals running local defense contractors. The women toured Eastman Business Park, Exelis and Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Center for Integrated Manufacturing and Golisano Institute for Sustainability.  Ms Broitman and Ms. Ratcliff participated in a forum hosted by Rep. Slaughter on leveling the playing field for local women-owned, -managed, and -advised defense contractors. The discussion focused on the technical competencies of area high tech firms and the removal of barriers to encourage more participation in defense contracting.

“Ms. Broitman and Ms. Ratcliff are very important leaders in the Defense Department and I’m proud to show them how our region’s expertise in research, development, and advanced manufacturing can help keep our country safe,” Rep. Slaughter said. “The face of our military is changing with women entering into combat roles and more women earning senior posts in the Defense Department. If we want the face of our defense industry to change along with the military it supports, we have to level the playing field for women-owned, women-managed, and women-advised businesses.”

"Some of our country's most innovative ideas have come from new entrants and small businesses, which are also significant generators of jobs,” Ms. Broitman said. “Women have played an extraordinary role in this sector, and the Department is committed to creating opportunities that support small businesses."

“Rochester Institute of Technology is especially pleased and proud to host this important forum,” said Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “Our Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies – and more recently the Golisano Institute for Sustainability – are working to increase the competitiveness of defense manufacturers through applied research and new technologies, and we are looking forward to facilitating this discussion that brings together today’s leading women defense executives.”

Rep. Slaughter has been a steadfast advocate for Rochester’s high-tech manufacturing industry and women-owned businesses throughout her entire career. Rochester is home to defense contractors with proven products that save the lives and improve the effectiveness of our fighting forces.  These technologies include radios, remote sensing, optics used in several high profile Special Forces operations, laser sites untraceable by enemy snipers, and gauges that measure blast exposure which can result in traumatic brain injury.

There are 7.8 million women-owned businesses representing 28.7% of all nonfarm businesses across the country generating $1.2 trillion in total receipts. Early in Rep. Slaughter’s career she supported the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, and continued to lobby the Defense Department to level the playing field for women-owned businesses.

Participating in the forum are representatives from Complemar Partners, Exelis, Harris RF, LaserMax, Intrinsiq Materials,LighTopTech Corp. and others.

Slaughter, now the Ranking Member, was the first woman to ever Chair the House Committee on Rules.