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Contacts: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration today announced that 10 public-private partnerships across America will receive $20 million in total awards to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States.
The 10 partnerships were selected through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, which is a competitive multi-agency grant process announced in May 2012 to support initiatives that strengthen advanced manufacturing at the local level. These public-private partnerships consist of small and large businesses, colleges, nonprofits and other local stakeholders that "cluster" in a particular area. The funds will help the winning clusters support local efforts to spur job creation through a variety of projects, including initiatives that connect innovative small suppliers with large companies, link research with the start-ups that can commercialize new ideas, and train workers with skills that firms need to capitalize on business opportunities.
The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
In order to create an economy built to last, America needs to make more things the rest of the world wants to buy. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the deep recession, the economy has added nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010 - the strongest period of sustained job growth since the 1990s. While there's more work to be done, steps like today's announcement build on this momentum.
"A strong manufacturing base in America is critical to the health of the U.S. economy, and these awards further demonstrate the Obama administration's commitment to keeping this country on the cutting edge of innovation in manufacturing," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "This investment will help accelerate and unleash the most promising ideas in advanced manufacturing, and bring those ideas to market. This will lead to good jobs for American workers, increase the nation's competitiveness, and strengthen an economy that's built to last."
"By partnering across the federal government, these grants will help us leverage resources and ensure that training programs for advanced manufacturing careers provide the skills, certifications and credentials that employers want to see from day one," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said.
The awards will help regional clusters grow by strengthening their connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets, helping develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce, increasing exports, encouraging the development of small businesses, and accelerating innovation in technology. The 10 winning initiatives based in Arizona, California, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington will each receive approximately $2 million to fund projects that are expected to train a total of 1,000 workers and help nearly 650 companies leverage a cluster's resources in their regions and create jobs across the country.
"As part of President Obama's blueprint for an economy built to last, the Energy Department is investing in innovative, public-private initiatives like the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge that support the pillars of American energy, American manufacturing and skills for American workers," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "These investments are helping America strengthen our competitive edge and leadership in the global manufacturing sector."
"The SBA pioneered the federal government's first regional cluster strategy two years ago and we've already seen the tangible benefits of these investments including job creation, innovation and increased competitiveness," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "These ten new Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerators are proof that we can continue to build on and complement the success that we've already achieved and support strong ecosystems of small businesses in targeted regions throughout the country and across key industries. Additionally, by supporting our small innovative manufacturing companies, we are fostering the growth of the American supply chain and creating an economy built to last."
As part of President Obama's commitment to creating an economy built to last, the administration has invested more than $200 million promoting regional innovation clusters. The administration created an interagency task force, known as the Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters, to develop and administer interagency grant competitions. This is the third round of the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge and, in addition to the six partnering agencies, this initiative also leverages technical assistance from up to eight other federal agencies.
The 10 winners announced today are: