America’s middle class was built on the strength of our manufacturing sector.  Today, five years after we pulled our economy back from the brink of collapse, manufacturers have created 647,000 jobs.  But there’s more work to do to create more of these good jobs making things the rest of the world buys, and President Obama has focused on boosting U.S. manufacturing by rewarding companies that create jobs here, rescuing the U.S. auto industry and expanding exports.

To build on this momentum in manufacturing, the Obama Administration launched the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) last September– an initiative to spur communities to develop integrated, long-term economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains to our local communities—increasing investment and creating jobs. IMCP specifically brings together the resources of multiple federal departments and agencies to support strong local economic development plans.


Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is announcing the first 12 communities that will be designated Manufacturing Communities as part of the second phase of the IMCP.  Selected out of more than 70 communities that applied, these 12 communities developed strong economic development plans and have deep partnerships in place across the public and private sectors to carry out their plans.


The first 12 Manufacturing Communities designated by the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership are:


  • Southwest Alabama led by the University of South Alabama
  • Southern California led by the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development
  • Northwest Georgia led by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
  • The Chicago metro region led by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
  • South Kansas led by Wichita State University
  • Greater Portland region in Maine led by the Greater Portland Council of Governments
  • Southeastern Michigan led by the Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine
  • The New York Finger Lakes region led by the City of Rochester
  • Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region led by the City of Cincinnati
  • The Tennessee Valley led by the University of Tennessee
  • The Washington Puget Sound region led by the Puget Sound Regional Council
  • The Milwaukee 7 Region led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee


Eleven federal agencies with $1.3 billion in economic development funds will be able to use the designees’ plans to make targeted investments in demonstrably strong public-private partnerships to strengthen regional manufacturing. In addition, each designated community will also receive a federal liaison and branding and promotion as a designated Manufacturing Community to help attract additional private investment and partnerships.


Later this year, the Administration will launch a second Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership competition to designate the next round of communities. In the meantime, the Administration and federal agencies will work with all the applicant communities to help them strengthen their plans and to identify opportunities for communities to work with the federal government on their local economic development priorities.


And later this year, the White House will convene the more than seventy communities that applied for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership to share best practices in economic development planning and attracting new jobs and investment in manufacturing.