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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Obama Administration Awards $20.5 Million inMake It In America Challenge Grants To Spur Business Investment and Job Creation in the U.S.


News Media Contacts:
DOC Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883
DOL Office of Public Affairs, Jason Kuruvilla, 202-693-6587
DRA Press Office, 202-434-4842
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, today announced the 10 winners of the Make it in America Challenge, an Obama Administration initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States. 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. The programs are designed to encourage U.S. companies to keep, expand or re-shore their manufacturing operations—and jobs—in America, and to entice foreign companies to build facilities and make their products here.

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Labor Department’sEmployment and Training Administration (ETA), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) are providing funding for the winning proposals. Additionally, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) plans to make awards in early FY2014.

“Given our competitive advantages in energy costs, research and development, labor productivity, and intellectual property protection, there is no better place to do business than the United States," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. The Make it in America Challenge grants support innovative, regionally-based strategies that will encourage businesses to capitalize on those advantages.”

“Making smart investments in a skilled workforce is critical to continuing our recovery and unleashing the economy’s full potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “In an increasingly sophisticated economy, equipping workers with the skills they need to succeed on the job isn’t just a workforce development issue, but also an economic development issue and these partnerships are helping to lead the way.”

The 10 winners of the Make it in America Challenge will pursue projects in nine states. Descriptions of each project, including grant amount breakdowns by agency are available at http://www.eda.gov/challenges/MakeItInAmerica/winners.htm

  • The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority of Brunswick, Maine ($2,050,000)
  • The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan ($1,471,800)
  • The Mississippi State University (MSU) of Starkville, Mississippi ($1,931,935)
  • The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri ($1,842,977)
  • N.E.O. Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio ($1,796,867)
  • The Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District of Reno, Ohio ($1,700,844)
  • The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments of Salem, Oregon ($1,714,376)
  • The SEDA Council of Governments of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania ($1,800,000)
  • Clemson University of Clemson, South Carolina -2 projects (construction and non-construction) ($3,549,610)
  • The Innovate Washington Foundation of Spokane, Washington ($2,675,000)

The Make it in America Challenge was issued on March 18, 2013. Under President Obama’s leadership, federal agencies are collaborating more effectively to make smart investments that provide stakeholders with a seamless process for applying for federal resources.  To that end, the Make it in America Challenge allowed applicants to submit one application to fund their projects.

EDA’s investments will help distressed regions build on existing assets to generate job growth by creating a conducive environment for businesses to establish and grow their operations in the U.S. ETA’s investments will help to develop a skilled workforce for specific industries. When they are announced in early FY2014, NIST-MEP’s grants will help develop greater connectivity in regional supply chains and assist small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The Make it in America Challenge builds on the United States’ significant competitive advantages – from a strong business climate to a highly skilled and productive workforce – that make it a profitable place for businesses to invest. Investing in businesses and production here can help put more Americans back to work. Some of the ways in which the Administration has already helped American workers and businesses thrive include enhancing the general business climate, securing access to markets for U.S. exports, providing financial and technical support for companies to grow and expand, providing funding to improve education and training opportunities to develop a skilled workforce, and enforcing global trade rules to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.

For more information on the Make it in America Challenge, please visit:http://www.eda.gov/challenges/MakeItInAmerica/.