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Make it in America Descriptions and Award Breakdowns

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Federal funding partners for the Make it in America Challenge include the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) along with the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).

Make it in America builds upon the Administration’s bottom-up approach to strengthening the economy by partnering with state, regional and local economies. Grantees will leverage funding from funding agencies to include:

  • public works projects that revitalize, expand and upgrade physical infrastructure that will attract new industry or encourage business retention or expansion,
  • technical assistance in developing new strategies and tools to make their economies more attractive to insourcing or retention and expansion,
  • technical assistance to companies looking to invest in innovative technologies, new products or services, or enhanced processes that will grow sales and jobs and,
  • targeted training and employment activities that support the local workforce needs of employers, move new and current workers up and along a career pathway, and strengthen America’s highly-skilled and diverse workforce.

Federal funds announced on October 22, 2013 are from the EDA, the DOL-ETA, and the DRA. NIST-MEP plans to make awards in early FY2014.

EDA will help distressed regions build on existing assets and create a competitive environment for foreign-owned and domestic firms to establish and grow their U.S. operations, and create jobs.

DOL-ETA will provide H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant funds for training and training-related employment activities to develop a skilled workforce for the target industry.

The DRA will support the winner from the agency’s congressionally designated area.

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Lead applicant: Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority of Brunswick, Maine
DOL-ETA applicant: Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., of Brunswick, Maine

$2,050,000 ($750,000 EDA, $1.3 million DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will support infrastructure improvements and renovation of Building 250, a former Navy maintenance facility at the closed Naval Air Station Brunswick to establish TechPlace – an advanced manufacturing accelerator, and reduce dependency on H-1B visas in four targeted manufacturing sectors. When complete, TechPlace will provide office, shop, laboratory, and workspace for aerospace, aviation, advanced materials, renewable energy, and biotechnology manufacturing. The project will provide customized skills training leading to industry-recognized credentials for incumbent workers and increase access to career pathways for unemployed workers through a “co-op” education experience with a credential-based training model.

Lead Applicant: Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan
DOL-ETA applicant: Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board of Warren, Michigan

$1,471,800 ($400,000 EDA, $1,071,800 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will support research into the bio-based product manufacturing cluster and its existing and potential relationship to the automotive manufacturing sector, provide specific and specialized technical assistance to firms within the sector, and provide skills training for unemployed, incumbent and new entrants in bio-based materials development with automotive industry applications. The project is expected to launch at least 10 supplier scouting initiatives, provide access to high performance computing tools for modeling and simulating bio-based materials specifically targeting supply chain and small- and medium-sized manufacturers, and provide technical assistance to at least 10 cluster companies resulting in $5 million in new sales and $1 million in new investment according to grantee estimates. The project encompasses a contiguous 22-county area in southeast Michigan and will emphasize training strategies along recognized career pathways leading to engineering credentials.

Lead applicant: Mississippi State University (MSU) of Starkville, Mississippi
DOL-ETA applicant: Three Rivers Planning & Development District of Pontotoc, Mississippi
DRA applicant: Mississippi State University (MSU) of Starkville, Mississippi

$1,931,935 ($400,000 EDA, $1.3 million DOL-ETA, $231,935 DRA)
Grant description: These grants will strengthen the existing automotive and furniture manufacturing cluster supply chains in the region and drive job creation, business formation, export promotion, and foreign direct investment activity. Community college partners will establish six-week internship programs with cooperating advanced manufacturers, and Mississippi State University will conduct a series of intensive, certificate-based workshops that are designed to develop a more competitive workplace through Lean, Six Sigma, and management skills.
The project includes a broad range of regional and state partners, including the Franklin Furniture Institute, the National Strategic Planning and Research Center, Mississippi Development Authority, and the Innovate Mississippi/Innovate MEP-Manufacturing Extension Partnership. A total of 10 technical assistance projects will be funded by the Delta Regional Authority focused on building capacity within the Delta region. These projects will include Innovation Engineering, Plant Master Planning for plant expansions and launches, and other opportunities to leverage University-based technologies. The DRA will also support and facilitate multiple Original Equipment Manufacturer supplier sourcing “listening sessions” throughout the Delta region.

Lead applicant: The Curators of the University of Missouri (MU), Columbia, Missouri
DOL-ETA applicant: Missouri Division of Workforce Development of Columbia, Missouri

$1,842,977 ($463,518 EDA, $1,379,459 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will help develop the supply chain, logistics, and infrastructure necessary to manufacture small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) for the nuclear power industry, creating a new industry in Missouri focused on clean energy to respond to expected strong market demand in both the United States and abroad for SMRs. MU recently announced a partnership among Ameren Missouri, Westinghouse Electric, Co. and two MU campuses to conduct research related to small modular nuclear reactors. This project will help Missouri manufacturers become part of a supply chain for SMR production. The project will advance a comprehensive training strategy to develop a high-skill, high-quality workforce for manufacturers in the nuclear power industry while assessing the education, training, and certification needed to support the SMR effort.

Lead applicant: N.E.O. Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio
DOL-ETA applicant: Medina County Workforce Development of Cleveland, Ohio

$1,796,867 ($499,954 EDA, $1,296,913 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will help identify up to twenty-five firms with the potential to attract foreign investment from the bio-medical, automotive, and advanced energy sectors in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Lorain, and Youngstown. The project also provides specialized and individualized technical assistance to those firms and will support workforce hiring and training in advanced materials development. In addition to identifying workforce needs of the clusters, recruiting and training talent, the project will provide better access to career pathways for the regional concentration of engineers and technicians.

Lead applicant: Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District of Reno, Ohio
DOL-ETA applicant: Ohio Valley Employment Resources of Marietta, Ohio

$1,700,844 ($400,888 EDA, $1,299,956 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will help identify, research and document attributes of up to 1,000 development sites in the region, make the findings available online, and create a GIS database and maps spotlighting characteristics of those sites and of regional economic and workforce development assets to draw the attention of developers and site selectors. The project also includes workforce training focused on targeted industries including metal fabrication, polymers and chemicals, and wood furniture manufacturing. The project’s plan is based on an incumbent worker training model that fosters increased productivity, wage gains, and transferable skills for the region’s targeted industries.

Lead applicant: Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments of Salem, Oregon
DOL-ETA applicant: Job Growers, Inc., of Salem, Oregon

$1,714,376 ($414,400 EDA, $1,299,976 DOL-EDA)
Grant description: These grants will help develop industries that utilize advanced manufacturing processes to accelerate, grow, and maintain industrial activity within Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties in western Oregon. Project activities will include supply chain market research, manufacturing sector support, outreach to targeted industries, and technical assistance. Through a combination of On-the-Job Training for unemployed workers and skill enhancements for incumbent workers, the project will focus on leadership training for businesses in the region’s advanced manufacturing industry sector.

Lead applicant: SEDA Council of Governments of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania DOL-ETA applicant: Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania $1,800,000 ($500,000 EDA, $1,300,000 DOL-ETA) Grant description: These grants will support PA Made Again, an initiative focused on promoting job creation, growth and retention in manufacturing by building networks of industrial clusters in a 52-county Pennsylvania region. The initiative will facilitate collaboration among manufacturers, colleges, and research institutions in the area, while developing a pipeline of skilled manufacturing workers, all with the goal of generating foreign and domestic investor interest. The project’s collaborative industry model will build a strong pipeline of middle-skilled and highly-skilled manufacturing workers through new and/or expanded training courses in industrial maintenance, computer numeric controls machining, and various trades along the industrial production career pathway.

Lead applicant: Clemson University of Clemson, South Carolina
DOL-ETA applicant: South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments of Greenville, South Carolina

$3,549,610 (2 projects, non-construction/construction) ($2,250,000 EDA, $1,299,610 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will implement the 12-county “Select SC: Improving Manufacturing Competitiveness in the Palmetto State” program focused on encouraging in-sourcing, domestic company expansion, and foreign direct investment. The project will create a statewide workforce Virtual Innovation Hub that will utilize distance learning and provide technical assistance in innovation engineering. Through this investment, Clemson University will collaborate with such entities as Work Link, Greenville Technical College, Northeastern Technical College, Tri-County College, and the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The grants will also finance an addition to and partial renovation of Freeman Hall, to establish the Select SC Innovation Hub, a digital innovation center built on Clemson University’s campus and run by the Clemson University Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD). The center will give economic development offices, state agencies and education institutions access to state-of-the-art digital learning tools, equipment and expertise. The Center will develop advanced skills training programs, formulate strategies to increase the efficiency of manufacturing supply chains, create strategic partnerships to expand regional-product export opportunities and promote foreign direct investment in the region. The project will focus on stackable certificates to build core skills and gain industry-recognized credentials (such as Manufacturing Skills Standard Council Certified Production Technician, National Institute for Metalworking Skills, and the American Welding Society). Through work experience, on-the-Job training and apprenticeship models, participants will include unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers.

Lead applicant: Innovate Washington Foundation of Spokane, Washington
DOL-ETA applicant: Washington State Workforce Training & Education of Spokane, Washington

$2,675,000 ($500,000 EDA, $2,175,000 DOL-ETA)
Grant description: These grants will implement a technical assistance program to make small and medium-sized business enterprises more competitive in the global marketplace and to encourage foreign direct investment in economically distressed rural areas of Washington State.
To increase high-skill employment, the project will provide advanced educational experiences to incumbent and potential employees through Washington State University’s Global Campus distance learning and Manufacturing Management Certificate Programs.