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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Blog Post

Growing the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Initiative

Caption below
Assistant Secretary Jay Williams visits with IMCP designee Puget Sound Regional Council

Promoting American manufacturing is a significant priority for President Obama, Secretary Pritzker, and the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative is one way the Administration is working to bolster our nation’s manufacturing sector. IMCP is designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds by incentivizing the creation of comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen the communities' competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments.

Through IMCP, the federal government is rewarding best practices – coordinating federal aid to support communities’ strong development plans.

In May 2014, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the first 12 designated manufacturing communities under the IMCP initiative. In October of that year, Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews announced that Commerce would be conducting a second round of competition, and on July 8, 2015, Secretary Pritzker announced the additional 12 communities designated under the IMCP.

All of the Manufacturing Communities were selected by an interagency panel based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sector to carry out their plans. As demonstrated by this year's designees, leaders from the private sector, local government, higher education, local economic development organizations, and other nonprofits worked together to identify a sector of manufacturing where their community has a comparative advantage and drafted a strategic plan that addresses: workforce and supply chain challenges; infrastructure; research and innovation; trade and investment; capital access; and operational improvement for manufacturing companies.

Under IMCP, 11 federal agencies with more than $1 billion in grant funding can use the designees’ plans to make targeted investments to strengthen regional manufacturing. In addition, each designated community has a federal liaison to help it navigate the federal grant process and the ability to capitalize on its designated Manufacturing Community to help attract additional private investment and partnerships.

The first 12 designated communities are already making incredible strides in workforce development, advanced manufacturing innovation, and building partnerships. For example:

  • Through the Puget Sound Regional Council’s IMCP designation, the state of Washington received a $4.3 million Department of Defense grant to help the state’s military and defense sector handle the recent reductions in defense spending. The grant will be used for defense supply chain mapping and forecasting, developing economic diversification strategies, and assisting businesses and workers impacted by spending cuts.
  • Southern California’s designation helped enable Chaffey College to secure a grant for $15 million from the U.S. Department of Labor and Education to establish a training center, which will train workers in advanced manufacturing for highly technical, highly skilled jobs.
  • Tennessee Valley is leveraging its ‘Drive for the Future’ proposal and nearly $100,000 in federal grants to catalyze the region’s burgeoning automotive supply chain sector.

In October 2014, the Department of Commerce, through the EDA, convened nearly 300 stakeholders for the 1st IMCP Summit to provide an opportunity for the designated communities, applicants, and potential future applicants to share best practices and work to address regional challenges. With such a successful summit, Commerce plans to host another event on October 21-22 of this year.

Congratulations to all of our IMCP designated communities and applicants.We hope to see you all in D.C. in October!

To learn more about IMCP, visit: http://www.eda.gov/challenges/imcp/.