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The National Photonics Initiative hosted its first Congressional Visit Day (CVD) of 2023 this week. Members from Optica and SPIE as well as representatives from several photonics and optics companies and research institutions, met with members of Congress and staff to discuss the importance of federal investments in key scientific agencies, the development of a stable and sustainable stem workforce, and supporting optics and photonics awareness in Congress. Among the states represented at this week’s CVD were Massachusetts, Maryland, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas.