Posted at 2:30 PM
America’s middle class was built on the strength of our manufacturing sector. Today, five years after we pulled our economy back from the brink of collapse, manufacturers have created 647,000 jobs. But there’s more work to do to create more of these good jobs making things the rest of the world buys, and President Obama has focused on boosting U.S. manufacturing by rewarding companies that create jobs here, rescuing the U.S. auto industry and expanding exports.
To build on this momentum in manufacturing, the Obama Administration launched the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) last September– an initiative to spur communities to develop integrated, long-term economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains to our local communities—increasing investment and creating jobs. IMCP specifically brings together the resources of multiple federal departments and agencies to support strong local economic development plans.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is announcing the first 12 communities that will be designated Manufacturing Communities as part of the second phase of the IMCP. Selected out of more than 70 communities that applied, these 12 communities developed strong economic development plans and have deep partnerships in place across the public and private sectors to carry out their plans.
The first 12 Manufacturing Communities designated by the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership are:
- Southwest Alabama led by the University of South Alabama
- Southern California led by the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development
- Northwest Georgia led by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
- The Chicago metro region led by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
- South Kansas led by Wichita State University
- Greater Portland region in Maine led by the Greater Portland Council of Governments
- Southeastern Michigan led by the Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine
- The New York Finger Lakes region led by the City of Rochester
- Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region led by the City of Cincinnati
- The Tennessee Valley led by the University of Tennessee
- The Washington Puget Sound region led by the Puget Sound Regional Council
- The Milwaukee 7 Region led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee
Eleven federal agencies with $1.3 billion in economic development funds will be able to use the designees' plans to make targeted investments in demonstrably strong public-private partnerships to strengthen regional manufacturing. In addition, each designated community will also receive a federal liaison and branding and promotion as a designated Manufacturing Community to help attract additional private investment and partnerships.
Later this year, the Administration will launch a second Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership competition to designate the next round of communities. In the meantime, the Administration and federal agencies will work with all the applicant communities to help them strengthen their plans and to identify opportunities for communities to work with the federal government on their local economic development priorities.
And later this year, the White House will convene the more than seventy communities that applied for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership to share best practices in economic development planning and attracting new jobs and investment in manufacturing.
IMCP Manufacturing Communities:
Home to 14 major shipbuilders and many more small manufacturers making everything from U.S. Navy vessels to commercial tug boats, Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding Southwest Alabama area, including Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties, led by the University of South Alabama, are strengthening and expanding their workforce partnerships to compete for shipbuilding and aerospace manufacturing.
At the vanguard of innovation in aerospace manufacturing and home to innovative companies like SpaceX, AeroVironment, and Sapphire Energy, the Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties, led by the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development, are investing in infrastructure to reduce shipping costs, higher today due to congestion by 50-250%, and developing a regional workforce training consortium in manufacturing.
Called the “Carpet Capital of the World” for producing over 70% of the nation’s carpet, the Dalton County and Northwest Georgia region led by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission is transferring innovations from its universities into its local supply chain and out into the skills of its workforce to spur a more sustainable floor covering industry.
The Chicago Metro Region
Home to 3,700 metals and machining companies, the Chicago metro region including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, led by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, has formed an integrated strategy to strengthen its lead in metals and machining leveraging local strengths like its strong transportation access – including six Class 1 railroads, seven interstates, and the nation’s second busiest cargo airport.
The 27-county region around Wichita, Kansas is the most manufacturing-specialized metro area in the country with 32% of employment in manufacturing, half of which is in the aerospace supply chain. Led by Wichita State University, South Kansas is leveraging shared research and innovation facilities to compete on the frontier of advanced materials used in planes, cutting-edge machinery, and refineries.
Greater Portland Region in Maine
With arguably more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country and over 60 food processers and hundreds of home microbusinesses, Cumberland County, home to Portland, Maine, is a food processing powerhouse. Led by the Greater Portland Council of Governments, the community is upgrading its port and improving the transportation and distribution efficiency of its supply chains to grow its lead in sustainable food production.
Thirteen counties in Southeastern Michigan, including the cities of Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Pontiac, produce 22% of all vehicles made in America and at $14 billion a year, account for over 70% of total U.S. auto research investment. Led by the Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine, Southeastern Michigan is building on its strengths in connected-vehicle technologies, including technologies that allow cars to communicate with each other and with the road to carry their passengers more safely and efficiently to their destinations.
The New York Finger Lakes Region
With over 120 photonics manufacturers and more than 500 photonics patents last year alone, the Greater Rochester region, led by the City of Rochester, is bringing new life to manufacturing business parks and expanding its workforce development efforts to maintain its historic lead in precision machining and optics, photonics, and imaging.
Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region
The birthplace of modern aviation, with over 116,000 manufacturing workers across all stages of the aerospace supply chain, the 27 counties along the I-75 Corridor, led by the City of Cincinnati, are expanding industry-led curriculum and training and launching efforts to certify more small manufacturers for aerospace manufacturing.
The Tennessee Valley
In the past two years alone, more than 150 auto and auto parts manufacturers have announced expansions or new facilities in the Tennessee Valley automotive region, which spans 69 counties in Tennessee and portions of southern Kentucky, north Alabama, and north Georgia. Led by the University of Tennessee, the region is better connecting its nationally renowned research institutions with manufacturers to move up the value chain in automotive manufacturing.
The Washington Puget Sound Region
The counties along the I-90 and I-5 Aerospace Corridors in Washington State host the largest aerospace cluster in the world, with over 132,000 aerospace-related employees and more than 1,350 aerospace firms. Led by the Puget Sound Regional Council, the region is working with local employers to identify training needs and to develop new manufacturing capabilities to strength its aerospace supply chains.
The Milwaukee 7 Region
Known as the “Machine Shop of the World”, the seven-county Milwaukee region in Southeast Wisconsin employs than 15% of its workforce in manufacturing. Led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, the region is building on its historic strengths in precision machining to attract new jobs and investment in energy and power, water technologies, and food and beverage manufacturing.
- Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership to Spur Investment and Create Jobs Appalachian Regional Commission
- Delta Regional Authority
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Science Foundation
- Small Business Administration
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Department of Transportation