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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce



Fall Sees Major Developments in Manufacturing Promotion

The Obama Administration this fall announced major developments in its ongoing efforts to support American manufacturing. The winners of two multi-agency initiatives – the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) and the Make it in America Challenge – will support local efforts to promote economic growth and advance regional investment collaboration.

On September 25, the administration announced the IMCP awards, an initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and create jobs in cities across the country.

The forty-four planning grants and investments, totaling $7 million, are funded through the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Small Business Administration.

These grants and investments will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched in fall 2013 and awarded in the spring of 2014.

In the 2014 Challenge competition, the Administration will designate stand-out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government.

“The IMCP is a program that challenges communities around the country to coordinate their resources for strategies on economic development,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “These planning grants and investments provide an opportunity for communities to design plans that help revitalize American manufacturing, attract investment, and strengthen our economy.”

The Make it in America Challenge, launched in September of 2012, is also helping to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Since early 2010, U.S. manufacturing has added over half a million manufacturing jobs, and surveys show that more than half of all manufacturers are, or are actively considering, re-shoring production to the United States. The Challenge aids domestic production and job growth by encouraging U.S. companies to keep, expand, or re-shore their manufacturing operations. Further, it entices foreign companies to build facilities and make their products in the U.S.

Ten Challenge winners in nine states were announced on October 22, 3013 and will leverage investments from several sources. Funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will help distressed regions build on existing assets and create competitive environments for foreign-owned and domestic firms, encouraging job growth. The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA) will provide H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant funds for training and training-related employment activities to develop skilled workforces for target industries. The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) will support the winner from the agency’s congressionally designated area, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) plans to make awards in early FY2014.

Secretary Pritzker explained that Challenge grants “reward promising ideas that will advance the Obama Administration’s goals of improving our economy by strengthening our manufacturing sector and making our country a more attractive place to do business.”

The 10 grantees will receive a total of $20.5 million for projects supporting regional economic development, advanced skills training, greater supply chain access, and other enhancements.

Look for further reports on the push to make America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing in upcoming issues of Innovate@EDA.