U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank today announced the launch of the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership,” an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and create jobs in cities across the country.
This effort rewards communities that demonstrate their plans to attract and expand manufacturing in their area, using targeted investments in workforce training, infrastructure, research, and other key assets.
Deputy Secretary Blank unveiled the initiative at the new, 200,000-square foot Able Engineering facility in Mesa, Arizona, a community that has leveraged the resources of the public sector, private firms and educational institutions to achieve a successful model of economic development. Mesa was hard-hit when Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993, leaving many aerospace engineers unemployed. The city took over the site, converted it to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, and came up with a plan to attract aerospace companies to the area, where they could capitalize on the existing workforce and benefit from being located near similar firms and nearby colleges. In just fifteen years, Able has grown into a multi-million dollar conglomerate, servicing aircraft from around the world. Its continued growth and support for its workforce demonstrate the benefits of operating within a community like Mesa’s.