U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that Wichita State University in Kansas will receive $200,000 as part of the first round of funding for the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP). The IMCP is an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and create jobs in cities across the country.
Wichita State University and the other 43 award recipients being announced today are the first to receive funding through IMCP, a major reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain, and expand investment in manufacturing and spur international trade and exports. Descriptions of each project can be found at www.commerce.gov/IMCP. The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding 26 grants, and additional grants and investments are being made by the Environmental Protection Agency (7), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (6), and the Small Business Administration (5). These grants and investments will help communities develop plans to build strengths in specific industries through:
· Workforce training
· Specialized research
· Strengthened supply chains
· Improved transportation and energy infrastructure
· Export promotion
· Better access to capital
“The IMCP is a program that challenges communities around the country to coordinate their resources for strategies on economic development,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “These planning grants and investments provide an opportunity for communities to design plans that help revitalize American manufacturing, attract investment, and strengthen our economy.
The grant being awarded to Wichita State University will be used to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy to identify, verify, refine, and prioritize key tactical manufacturing ecosystem investments and strategically align resources to support the region’s advanced manufacturing sector.
This first phase of the program provides 44 planning grants and investments totaling $7 million to support the creation of economic development strategies that recognize the community’s comparative advantages as a place to do business, invest in public goods, and encourage collaboration between multiple different entities to expand the area’s commercial appeal to investors.
Grants and investments awarded in 2013 will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched in fall 2013 and awarded in the spring of 2014. In the 2014 Challenge competition, the Administration will designate stand-out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grant money through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government. Moreover, top “Manufacturing Communities” may receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance – in partnership with industry and localities – substantial economic development investments such as workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.
IMCP was first announced in April 2013.
More information on the FY14 IMCP Challenge will be available in the Federal Register in fall 2013.