The U.S. Commerce Department has launched a $113 million manufacturing investment initiative outlined in President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal.
The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership will provide money for between five and six communities that have an economic development plan aimed at attracting investment. The winners will receive small grants to jumpstart projects in 2013, and communities selected for support in 2014 will get up to $25 million each.
The government will target plans that focus on the supply chain and export programs as well as those that create new, energy-efficient infrastructure. Communities will be rewarded for striving to create university research centers that focus on a particular technology sector. The initiative is also focused on starting community college programs that prepare workers for jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“This new partnership is designed to improve the way we use federal resources for economic development initiatives, in order to bring more investment to American communities and make them an attractive place to do business,” Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said in a statement.
“Rather than creating targeted incentives for one company to locate in a particular area,” she continued, “the IMCP will challenge communities to coordinate their development efforts around workforce training, infrastructure and innovation to create the best possible environment for investment.” - Jon Ross