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Commerce Department Names First 12 Communities for Manufacturing Support Initiative

May 29, 2014

This week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the first 12 communities to participate in the federal government’s multi-agency Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative. The initiative will concentrate federal economic development spending across agencies and departments on key manufacturing regions with strong economic strategies in place. Eleven federal agencies and programs, managing  $1.3 billion in federal economic development assistance, will coordinate their efforts to support the strategies developed by the 12 designated communities. Federal agencies will use the local plans to make targeted investments in public-private partnerships to strengthen regional manufacturing and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

Though this is the first round of the Manufacturing Communities effort, the IMCP kicked off in September of 2013 when 44 communities were awarded $7 million in planning grants for local strategies. The current phase of the initiative continues that work by recognizing strong manufacturing strategic plans and regional partnerships. Each designee was required to show strong public-private collaboration, an optimal geographic scope for cooperation and a focus on its region’s comparative advantages.

The first round of designated manufacturing communities includes:

The 11 agencies offering support and coordinated grant opportunities through the initiative include: the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Transportation. In addition to this support, each community will receive a federal liaison, along with branding and promotional opportunities in line with their status as designated Manufacturing Communities in order to attract private investment and partnerships. This round of communities will keep their designation for two years, and then must reapply.

A second IMCP competition will be held later this year. Communities that have participated in the 2013 planning grants competition and the IMCP process will be convened by the White House to share best practices in economic development planning and stimulating the manufacturing economy. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) plans to hold a webinar in the coming weeks to offer feedback on the application process and opportunities for non-designated applicants to receive individual feedback.

Read the announcement…

dept of commerce, manufacturing