At the Cusp of U.S.-Led Regional Innovation: Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership

Post by Jay Williams 

IMCP Communities after the White House Executive Session and Best Practices Session with Industry Leaders
IMCP Communities after the White House Executive Session and Best Practices Session with Industry Leaders


Since taking office, protecting and growing our country’s critical manufacturing sector has been a key focus of the Obama administration.

Early on, there was doubt if the U.S. manufacturing sector would ever begin to grow again.

But today, even in the face of global headwinds, there are 828,000 more American jobs in manufacturing than six years ago, and companies are looking to fill more than 350,000 jobs.

On October 20, we welcomed more than 200 U.S. manufacturing representatives to the 2016 Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Summit in Washington, DC. For this administration’s third Summit, representatives from each of the 24 IMCP-designated communities were present to connect with federal partners and learn best practices.

In their keynote addresses, John McElligott, President of the Fortress Initiative; and Doug Clark, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Under Armour; shared their insight on the future of manufacturing and issued a call to action for manufacturing communities to be the country’s uniting force to meet future challenges.

The fact is, it really does take a village to succeed. You need local and county governments, local businesses, NGOs, nonprofits, and educational institutions to all come together in order to truly grow and strengthen a local economy.

One of the greatest assets that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) brings is our convening power and we are proud that the IMCP program has not only helped the 24 designated communities get all of the right people in their regions together, but that other communities can and have learned from their examples and have started to organize and convene themselves.

We have an opportunity to sustain the growth we have seen in the manufacturing sector. EDA and the White House share a vision for the continuation of IMCP’s successful and impactful new way of doing business. We are committed to solidifying our IMCP program as part of our ongoing efforts to modernize the way economic development is done in the 21st century.

Through increased collaboration and a focus on the future, we will strengthen our regional economies together and in turn, our national economy.

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