Guest blog post by Matt
Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Director of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology
especially advanced manufacturing based on new technologies, is
a sector of vital importance to America’s economic viability—both
to businesses and the people they employ. A recent study conducted by
the Department of Commerce bears this out: Manufacturing is responsible
for 70 percent of our private-sector research and development (R&D), 90
percent of our patents, and 60 percent of our exports. And the benefits accrue
to manufacturing workers, since they earn pay and benefits that are
about 17 percent higher than average.
is why the $26 million Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation
Accelerator Challenge, supported by 14 Federal agencies and announced today by
the Obama administration, is so important.
Advanced Manufacturing Jobs Accelerator is a competition to help grow
industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development
opportunities; enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable
jobs; develop a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce; encourage the
development of small businesses; and accelerate technological innovation.
At the Department of Commerce, the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the
Economic Development Administration (EDA) are leveraging resources, along with
the Departments of Energy and Labor, the Small Business Administration (SBA),
and the National Science Foundation, to support public-private partnerships to
spur economic and job growth in manufacturing clusters. Approximately 12 projects are expected to be
chosen. This is the third in a
series of multiagency Jobs and Innovation
Accelerator challenges since 2011.
of the 2011 challenge, which was funded by EDA, the Department of Labor’s
Employment and Training Administration, and the SBA, have already begun
to foster business growth and create jobs. For example, in the
Greater Kansas City area, eight regional organizations joined together to
form the Kansas City Jobs Accelerator. This organization is helping
the advanced manufacturing and information technology cluster in the bi-state
region by identifying game-changing technologies and processes
and putting them in the hands of small businesses and talented
entrepreneurs. Their tactics include coordinating research resources,
helping prepare workers for careers in advanced manufacturing,
and creating a clearinghouse for regional cluster
and commercialization information.