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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

What fiendish scheme will they think up next?

The Department of Commerce hosted a monster mash of sorts today in Washington, DC … only instead of ghosts and goblins, it was a collection of academics, business leaders, elected officials, and labor leaders gathered for the first-ever Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Summit.

What’s that all about? IMCP is an Obama administration initiative, run through the Department of Commerce, to push coordination between the federal government and localities that are trying to bring new, long-term industry to their communities. It’s very similar to the way Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster teamed up to unleash terror in that one movie. But instead of ghoulish mayhem, Commerce and these communities are trying to unleash economic collaboration!

Here’s how it works: Essentially, IMCP takes applications for federal funding, wherein applicants make their case for grant money. Do you have a good research university in your area? Access to natural resources? A workforce proficient in a certain manufacturing process? IMCP wants to hear about it, and hear about it they did: Back in May, the partnership selected 12 applicants out of 80 to be the first round of designated “manufacturing communities.”

Just as these two guys once worked together, so can the federal government and local communities to plan for long-term industry.

So, what's next in this devilish scheme?

Today, at his lair in the nation’s capital, U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Bruce Andrews touted some of the fiendish plans these manufacturing communities have laid after a summer of toil in their dungeon laboratories. One, in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, will develop an advanced manufacturing competency program to offer credentials and degree programs for students at varying skill levels.

Another will install a “state-of-the-art multi-robotic advanced manufacturing lab” at Wichita State University in Kansas.

And a third, in the Tennessee Valley region, will go toward the study of black magic and arcane runes so that the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service can raise an evil army of the undead.

… Just kidding! The funds will go toward improving the auto and auto parts manufacturing sector that’s prevalent in that part of the country.

But the big news from Dark Lord Andrews, though, is that IMCP will soon be posting a notice for another selection round for more manufacturing communities. That is positively good news, not scary at all, and totally out of place on Halloween. But it’s no mind: Learn more about IMCP here, and stay tuned for that next notice.