Posted at 5:14 PM
Thank you, Gene – not just for those comments, but for ALL of the leadership that you have provided on manufacturing and many other areas during your service to our country.
It is great to be with mayors from across the United States.
All of you are on the front lines of economic growth.
I saw this first-hand working with Mayor Emanuel – when I was on the Chicago School Board… and on an effort called Skills for Chicagoland’s Future.
Then, after becoming Secretary, I went on a listening tour. I met with mayors and business leaders in a dozen communities who are partnering to create jobs…
About a month ago, I sat down with Mayor Smith. He told me about the great work you are doing in areas like export promotion, skills development, and, of course, manufacturing – the focus of today.
American manufacturing is experiencing a renaissance.
After a period in which we lost too many manufacturing jobs, our businesses have now created over half-a-million in the past few years.
These are GOOD jobs. Based on the latest Commerce Department data, new hires in manufacturing have 38 percent higher earnings than new hires in other sectors.
And our latest data show that for every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy – the highest multiplier of any sector.
In the years ahead, the United States is primed to attract even more investments and jobs in manufacturing.
Both domestic and foreign companies are attracted to our strong rule of law, our IP protections, our stable financial markets, our world-class universities, our strong consumer base, and the ingenuity of our people.
On top of that, our low-cost and abundant energy is working in our favor – particularly important for attracting manufacturing investment.
Overall, we are in a great position to compete.
At the Commerce Department, we crafted our Open for Business Agenda with that fact in mind.
Today, I want to highlight two programs that are part of our new priorities as part of that Agenda: SelectUSA and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership – IMCP.
Two years ago, the President launched SelectUSA at the Commerce Department.
This is the first-ever federal effort to help bring business investments to the doorstep of communities like yours.
How many of you have heard about the SelectUSA Investment Summit in DC a month ago?
The Summit attracted over 600 foreign investors from 60 countries… as well as more than 200 economic development organizations from states and cities like yours.
The demand for this event was overwhelming and the demand to invest in the United States is deep.
At the Summit, the President announced that we will expand SelectUSA to help even more CEOs invest here.
- Inbound investment will become part of the standard portfolio for our foreign commercial service officers and embassy staff…
- We will do more to help foreign businesses cut through red tape and navigate regulations…
- The highest-level officials in the Administration – including the President himself – will step up and advocate for key deals…
- And we will provide economic development leaders in your regions with more tools, information, and connections to investors.
The President and I will continue to call on Congress to fully fund SelectUSA.
And while SelectUSA will help bring more manufacturing investments to your doorstep…A second program will support your bottom-up efforts to develop the very best economic development plans in your regions…
This is the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership – IMCP.
Our goal with IMCP is to incentivize smart, comprehensive, and integrated economic-development planning across the country.
We want to do nothing less than reinvent how economic development is done (in manufacturing).
Several mayors here today are already familiar with IMCP because you won one of 44 planning grants.
For example, I know that Mayor Smith and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council received a grant. With those funds, they are developing plans for an Innovation and Commercialization Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
And I know that Chief Executive Vincent (Butte, MT), Commissioner Brooks (Columbus, OH), and several mayors here are putting their own grants to work.
Those planning grants were just the first step of IMCP…
Today, I am pleased to announce Phase Two – a competition that rewards communities that demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding manufacturing.
Specifically, these communities must bring together key local stakeholders and make long-term plans that integrate all of the key investments across their industrial ecosystem.
Research has shown that communities can create a virtuous cycle for the growth of technologies and supply chains by building strong, interconnected relationships in 6 areas:
- Workforce and training efforts
- Supplier networks
- Research and innovation
- Infrastructure and site development
- Export promotion and international investment
- and access to capital.
We want to incentivize communities to create the very best strategies for designing and making investments across these 6 areas…
We will do that by awarding up to 12 official “manufacturing community” designations.
That designation is more than just words. It provides four key benefits:
- First, these communities will get elevated consideration for grants and assistance from the 10 agencies that are involved in IMCP. Altogether, that means better access to funds totaling $1.3 billion dollars.
- Secondly, the winners will get a dedicated federal liaison at these agencies – someone who can act as their concierge to the specific services they need.
- Third, the White House and the Commerce Department will recognize these communities online. We will make sure that both domestic and foreign investors can easily see that these communities are globally competitive.
- And fourth, subject to funding availability, we will provide challenge grants to some awardees from the pool of 12. We want to reward the best of the best.
Even though the potential to receive one of these designations is exciting, I believe that simply participating in this competition will be extremely valuable.
My hope today is that we can count on each of you in this room to work with all of the stakeholders in your region to apply for this designation.
After all, you are the leaders on the front lines. You are the people who can drive the sometimes disruptive change in thinking that we need.
In summary, we are going to support you from both ends:
We will help bring more investment opportunities to your doorstep through programs like SelectUSA and we will support your bottom-up efforts to be prepared for those kinds of opportunities through IMCP.
Let me close by saying that supporting manufacturing hits home for me because it is part of my own family’s history.
For example, back in the 1950s, my family bought a business and turned it into a profitable manufacturing company called the Marmon Group.
I served for 10 years on the board of that firm, which makes electrical and industrial components and transportation equipment.
My Uncle, who ran Marmon and was a former chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, strongly believed – and would often tell me – how important it is for this country to make things.
I could not agree more.
Let’s work together to ensure that America continues to make the very best things in the 21st century.
If we are all focused on that vision, I know that our communities will continue to flourish and thrive in the years ahead.