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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces Expansion of Manufacturing Initiative in Ohio


Tuesday, June 23, 2009



Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces Expansion of Manufacturing Initiative in Ohio

White House Task Force on Middle Class Convened in Perrysburg, Ohio to Discuss 21st Century Manufacturing

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the expansion of the National Innovation Marketplace program, an initiative that will help revitalize supply chains and equip manufacturers to use emerging technology and find new market opportunities. Locke joined Biden, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and Auto Recovery Director Ed Montgomery at the vice president’s fifth meeting of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, reinforcing the administration’s commitment to innovation in American manufacturing.

“American manufacturers have sophisticated technologies and systems and some of the most skilled workforces in the entire world,” Locke said. “By expanding the National Innovation Marketplace, the Commerce Department is bringing together in one place the ideas, products and future opportunities businesses need to identify new markets, diversify and create new jobs.”

The National Innovation Marketplace is a program run by the department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership. With the vice president’s commitment to fully funding the Innovation Marketplace, the program is expected to generate new manufacturing activity and increase funding for key training and safety programs in support of workers.

For example, there are smaller manufacturers whose main customers are automotive companies. But as the GM's and Chryslers of the world have suffered, so too have their suppliers. These suppliers have valuable, advanced equipment and some of the most skilled manufacturing workforces in the world.In some cases, all they need is information.

The National Innovation Marketplace can help them discover new opportunities to make similar products for companies that are growing—wind turbine manufacturers, for instance. Ultimately, the program is about making small and midsize manufacturers more agile and more able to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

By expanding the Innovation Marketplace and investing in manufacturing, the Obama Administration is helping to ensure that workers and communities have the tools, technology and capital needed to survive the economic downturn and prepare for the future.

“There are far too many valuable resources, too much valuable capital and especially too much human skill and know-how embedded in America’s manufacturing sector to allow it to go to waste,” Biden said. “The President and I are committed to doing everything we can to prepare the manufacturing sector for the future and to protect families and communities hurt by recent job losses.”

Today’s meeting also included leading manufacturing experts: Michael Greenstone from the White House Council of Economic Advisors; John Colm, President and Executive Director of WIRE-Net, a manufacturing industry group and economic development organization dedicated to helping manufacturers and strengthening the business climate for manufacturing; Sue Helper, an economics professor from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; Amy Hanauer, the founding executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, a non-profit, non-partisan policy research institute dedicated to examining issues that matter to working families in Ohio; and Bill Mitchell, President and CEO of Willard & Kelsey.

To read more about the National Innovation Marketplace program, click here:

Vice President Biden’s Press Release: