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Fact Sheet: Build It Here, Sell It Everywhere: Why Manufacturing Matters

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In his 2012 State of the Union, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy built to last, with a focus on boosting U.S. manufacturing. The Department of Commerce is focused on helping U.S. manufacturers build things here and sell them everywhere.

  • Manufacturing spurs innovation. About 70 percent of America’s private sector R&D and about 90 percent of our patents are in manufacturing.
  • Manufacturing creates jobs. Since January 2010, the United States has added over 500,000 manufacturing jobs. In the first four months of 2012 alone, the U.S. manufacturing sector added 139,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing jobs are good jobs. Manufacturing workers earn pay and benefits about 17 percent higher than average.

The Obama Administration and the Commerce Department have a wide variety of resources to support U.S. manufacturers and help these businesses continue to create high-paying jobs. Some examples include:

  • White House Office of Manufacturing Policy: To improve the coordination of manufacturing policy across the federal government, Commerce Secretary John Bryson and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling co‐chair the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy. Established by the President last year, the office works across federal agencies to coordinate and implement priority manufacturing initiatives.
  • National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: In his fiscal year 2013 budget, President Obama proposed creating the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) to strengthen the foundation of U.S. innovation infrastructure with up to 15 competitively-selected regional hubs of manufacturing excellence. Funded by a one-time $1 billion investment, these regional hubs would bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and state partners to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially-relevant manufacturing technologies. NNMI also supports the education and training of an advanced manufacturing workforce by attracting the most talented students and researchers to concentrated innovation centers.
  • Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office: In December 2011, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson formed the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO). Hosted by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the AMNPO engages with manufacturing businesses, universities, and other federal agencies to implement an integrated “whole of government” advanced manufacturing initiative. The office is charged with convening industry-led, private-public partnerships focused on manufacturing innovation. By coordinating federal resources and programs, the AMNPO enhances technology transfer in U.S. manufacturing industries and helps companies overcome technical obstacles to scaling up production of new technologies.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership: Housed in the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a federal-state partnership with a national network of MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Through these centers, more than 1,400 technical experts help small and medium-sized
    manufacturers connect to public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability. In FY 2011, MEP interacted with nearly 34,000 manufacturers and, based on survey responses, clients receiving services in FY 2010 reported $3.6 billion in new sales, $1.3 billion in cost savings, and the creation or retention of more than 60,000 jobs.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge: The Administration will announce an Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to provide strategic, catalytic funding for regional partnerships that accelerate innovation and strengthen capacity in advanced manufacturing clusters. The goal is to support clusters in advanced manufacturing that show strong potential to drive innovation and create good jobs.
  • ExporTech: ExporTech is an initiative coordinated by MEP, U.S. Export Assistance Centers, and other partners to help companies enter or expand in global markets. The program assists participating companies in developing an international growth plan and connects the companies with partners to get their products to market faster.
  • National Innovation Marketplace: The National Innovation Marketplace (NIM) is an online tool that connects original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and potential suppliers, encourages technology translation and adoption, and estimates business growth potential. NIM, MEP and their network of partners serve as a clearinghouse that facilitates the strengthening of technology-based supplier networks.
  • Buy American Supplier Scouting: The national MEP system scouts for U.S. manufacturing capabilities in an effort to solve difficult supply chain and procurement issues. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Commerce formed a partnership to develop the Next Generation Rail Supply Chain, a domestic supply base to support intermodal transportation in the U.S.

Last updated May 9, 2012