Obama Administration Opens Application Process for Phase 2 of ‘Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership’
To compete in an increasingly global economy, the United States must come up with innovative strategies that will lead to economic growth and job creation around the country. The ‘Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership’ (IMCP) seeks to enhance the way we leverage federal economic development funds to encourage American communities to focus not only on attracting individual investments one at a time, but transforming themselves into globally-competitive manufacturing hubs.
An administration-wide initiative led by the White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the ‘Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership’ will encourage communities to devise comprehensive economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains. IMCP specifically brings together the resources of multiple federal departments and agencies involved in economic development.
In Phase One  of the of the ‘Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership,’  44 communities were awarded a total of $7 million to support the creation of economic development strategies that recognize the community’s comparative advantages as a place to do business, invest in public goods, and encourage collaboration between multiple entities to expand the area’s commercial appeal to investors.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that the competition for Phase Two of the ‘Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership’ is now open, and the Federal Register Notice will be posted in the coming days. In this phase, communities will have an opportunity to compete for a special designation that will elevate them in consideration for $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 cabinet departments/agencies. These communities could also potentially receive catalytic additional federal investments to further support their economic development strategies. The IMCP is a critical component of the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes trade and investment.
Phase Two of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership
In Phase Two of the IMCP, up to 12 communities that come up with winning strategies will receive a designation of “Manufacturing Community” that gives them elevated consideration for $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 cabinet departments/agencies. These communities would also potentially receive additional catalytic federal investments to support their economic development strategies. In order to earn the designation, communities must present strategies that identify technologies or industries in which they would be competitive in the future and would make investments in the following areas:
- workforce and training;
- advanced research;
- infrastructure and site development;
- supply chain support;
- export promotion;
- and capital access
These communities will receive:
- Elevated consideration for federal dollars and assistance across 10 cabinet departments/agencies, totaling $1.3 billion;
- A dedicated federal liaison at these agencies who can act as their concierge to the specific services they need;
- Subject to funding availability, challenge grants may become available to some awardees from the pool of designated manufacturing communities;
- Recognition on a government website, accessible to prospective private investors (foreign and domestic alike) looking for information on communities’ competitive attributes
IMCP Competition Process
- Phase One: The Administration and the Department of Commerce have already awarded 44 communities with $200,000 planning grants – a total of $7 million.
- Phase Two: Communities must apply by March 14, 2014 to be considered. Eligibility for Phase 2 is not contingent on having won Phase 1.
- Details on additional phases of the IMCP are forthcoming.
IMCP Participating Agencies (Either through Phase One or Phase Two)
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
- Department of Transportation
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- Delta Regional Authority
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Science Foundation
- Small Business Administration