IMAGE: Congressional Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) toured Directed Light to see first-hand the impact of photonics in San Jose, the state, and the nation. Directed Light president Neil Ball (left) shows Rep. Honda (right) some laser instrumentation. (Image credit: Directed Light)
San Jose, CA--On September 16, 2013, U.S. Congressional Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) toured Directed Light to see first-hand the impact of photonics in San Jose, the state, and the nation. During his visit the congressman discussed the benefits of photonics and the role that Directed Light plays in solving the challenges of a modern world by harnessing the power of light.
Through the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), Directed Light is pushing to expand STEM education and training programs that equip Americans with the skills that photonics companies need to grow and continue providing top-quality products and services. The NPI is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government that seeks to raise awareness of photonics and to advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communication and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. US investment in these photonics-driven fields will create jobs and grow our economy, protect and improve the lives of our people, and position the United States as a global technology leader.
"It was a privilege to host Rep. Honda today, and we appreciate his continued support for our business and the photonics industry in San Jose and beyond," said Neil Ball, president of Directed Light. "This was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase to the congressman how optics and photonics enable the development of key technologies that make our everyday lives possible."
Directed Light serves the industrial, medical and scientific laser communities worldwide through its three business units: laser contract manufacturing, laser components sales and service, and medical laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) components and service. The company assists customers in the medical device, aerospace, automotive, electronics, semiconductor, commercial products, and telecom industries by providing the technology and components necessary for manufacturing essential items ranging from jet engines to pacemakers to car airbags.
"Many people take for granted the modern-day technologies made possible largely by photonics," said Congressman Honda. "My tour of Directed Light today showcased how photonics enables our day-to-day lives and the ways in which optics and photonics support our local economy. We must ensure US workers receive the training they need to have careers in this important, expanding industry."
As one of the businesses supporting more than 20,000 California jobs dependent on optics and photonics, Directed Light is part of a growing industry in critical need of qualified workers. Historically, the United States has been the world leader in deploying photonics research to power cutting-edge technologies, but global competition has put our leadership position at risk, causing a substantial loss of global market share to overseas competitors as well as thousands of US jobs.
"By embracing the goals of the NPI, Rep. Honda is supporting American workers, businesses and overall industrial and economic strength," added Mark Taggart, president of Laser Mechanisms, who delivered remarks during Rep. Honda's visit. "It was a pleasure to speak with the congressman and emphasizing to him the importance of optics and photonics to industries that present opportunities for US leadership, such as advanced manufacturing."