Today, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank joined White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall, and other Obama administration officials to announce the launch of a new public-private institute for manufacturing innovation in Youngstown, Ohio as part of ongoing efforts to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States. This new partnership, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), was selected through a competitive process, led by the Department of Defense, to award an initial $30 million in federal funding, matched by $40 million from the winning consortium, which includes manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations from the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia "Tech Belt." The institute focuses on additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3-D printing, which will have implications in a wide range of industries including defense, aerospace, automotive, and metals manufacturing. In her remarks, Acting Secretary Blank discussed the role of American manufacturing in driving economic growth and creating good jobs in the United States.
Youngstown, Ohio and the surrounding region knows what happens when manufacturing production declines. But in this area once known as the "rust belt," investments like this new pilot institute demonstrate the potential within a region to bring together the capabilities of America’s companies and universities, in partnership with the federal government, to invest in the cutting-edge technologies and skills our manufacturers need to compete. With this initiative, Youngstown is poised to become the epicenter of burgeoning new industries from its leadership in additive manufacturing or 3-D printing.
In order to create an economy built to last, America needs to make more things the rest of the world wants to buy. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the deep recession, the economy has added over 530,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010—the strongest growth for any 30-month period since 1989. Companies are also increasingly choosing to invest in the U.S. and bring jobs back. While there’s more work to be done, steps like today’s announcement build on this momentum.
The president’s proposal for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) was endorsed by his Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee (AMPS). The AMP’s final recommendations, released last month in the report Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, outlined a set of actions to enable innovation, strengthen our workforce, and accelerate investment in America.
The president’s proposal for a NNMI is part of his comprehensive plan to revitalize American manufacturing, which includes providing tax incentives to encourage manufacturers to invest in America, eliminating of tax breaks for manufacturing firms that ship jobs abroad, investing in community colleges and workforce training, supporting innovation in cross-cutting manufacturing technologies, investing in the 21st century infrastructure our manufacturers need, and leveling the playing field so American workers can compete on the merit of their hard work.