In what appears to be a move to bolster the U.S.'s manufacturing industries and create new jobs, the Obama administration has designated a dozen different regions of the country to receive special attention under a new federal program designed to help make them more attractive to manufacturing companies eager to establish operations.
The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership was enacted last fall in an effort to motivate
communities to develop long-term plans to atrract manufacuturers for the jobs and economic boost they would bring.
This new partnership would draw the resources of nearly a dozen federal departments and agencies which have $1.3 billion in economic development funds. These agencies and departments include the departments of Commerce, Labor, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Small Business Administration.
The partnership marks another attempt to lift to the U.S. manufacturing industry, which has suffered as the U.S. economy has lost manufacturing jobs to other countries with cheaper labor costs. President Barack Obama has worked to increase manufacturing jobs. The White House reports nearly 650,000 jobs in the past five years.
Competition for the limited spots was stiff. The final 12 were chosen from more than 70 that applied. Finalists include:
- The Milwaukee 7 Region, led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee
- The Chicago metro region, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
- Southwest Alabama, the University of South Alabama
- Northwest Georgia, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
- Southern California, University of Southern California Center for Economic Development
- South Kansas, Wichita State University
- Greater Portland region in Maine, Greater Portland Council of Governments
- Southeastern Michigan, Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine
- The New York Finger Lakes region, City of Rochester
- Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region, City of Cincinnati
- The Tennessee Valley, University of Tennessee
- The Washington Puget Sound region, Puget Sound Regional Council