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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Obama Administration’s Make It In America Challenge Accepting Applications Through May 31

Challenge Focused on Encouraging Businesses to Bring Production Back to the United States or Expand Domestic Operations

WASHINGTON — The Obama Administration today announced that it is accepting proposals through May 31, 2013, for the Make it in America Challenge, a $40 million competition funded by multiple federal agencies that is designed to encourage investment and job creation in the United States. Up to 15 awards will be made to challenge applicants who put forth one plan to accelerate job creation by encouraging re-shoring of productive activity by U.S. firms, fostering increased foreign direct investment, encouraging U.S. companies to keep or expand their businesses—and jobs—here at home, and training local workers to meet the needs of those businesses.

Funding partners for this competition include the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP); the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA); and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). Challenge applicants must submit applications that leverages complementary Federal funding sources to support the development and implementation of a regionally driven economic development strategy.

“A vibrant manufacturing sector is critical to the strength of the American economy and job creation,” said U.S. Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “The Make it in America Challenge builds on the Obama Administration’s approach to improving our economy by helping to create an environment that encourages businesses to invest in the U.S. Through this initiative, the federal government will team up with local, state, and regional entities on projects that will make a particular city or community a more attractive place to do business. By encouraging companies to make their products in America, we will strengthen our nation’s competitiveness.”

“The Make It In America initiative supports President Obama’s goal of ensuring the United States is a magnet for job creation,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris. “These investments will prepare workers for high skilled manufacturing jobs that are critical to strengthening the middle class and our country’s ability to compete in the global economy.”

“Our focus must be on helping our businesses and entrepreneurs in doing what they do best—creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. “The Make It In America Challenge does exactly that—investing in our people, our infrastructure, and a growing economy. We’re proud to partner with the Obama Administration and innovative investments like these because they create opportunities for the people across the Delta and America for years to come.”

Eligible challenge applicants must demonstrate support of the development and implementation of a regionally driven economic development strategy. Applicants must provide a detailed description of all activities that will be undertaken, a summary of how these activities support the overall project’s goals, and a clear data-driven overview of anticipated impacts. Applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the criteria set forth in Section VI.A of the Federal Funding Opportunity. All proposals must be submitted through www.grants.gov.

The Make it in America Challenge builds on the Administration’s efforts to encourage companies – large and small, foreign and domestic, manufacturers and service firms – to increase their investment in the United States. The President’s initiatives include eliminating tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and providing tax credits for companies that bring jobs back, investing in American workers to ensure they have the skills they need, modernizing our infrastructure, and taking action to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.

For information on how to apply for the Make it in America Challenge, including eligibility and evaluation criteria, please click here.