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Washington, D.C.—Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced Wednesday that 12 new communities have received designations under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative, and Utah is part of the group.
“This designation stems from the strength of Utah’s composites industry and world-class manufacturing community,” said Dr. Greg Jones, associate director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah, and team lead for the application process. “Utah has earned the designation through collaboration between business, education, government and community. The fact that we’ve received the designation in an early round proves we are manufacturing leaders, and we will band together to propel the industry even further.”
Secretary Pritzker announced in May 2014 the first 12 communities to receive the designation under the U.S. Commerce Department-led program. The program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies.
The 12 communities are selected based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sectors to carry out their plans. Designees worked to identify a sector of manufacturing where their community has a comparative advantage and drafted a strategic plan that addresses: workforce and supply chain challenges; infrastructure; research and innovation; trade and investment; capital access; and operational improvement for manufacturing companies.
The 12 new manufacturing communities were chosen from all over the country and include everything from metals to agricultural products manufacturing. The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative led by the University of Utah in the Wasatch Front region is one of the 12 to earn the IMCP designation and will lead the state in creating more opportunities and advancing the manufacturing industry.
The designated manufacturing communities will receive coordinated support for their strategies from 11 federal agencies including the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor.
The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative will receive a dedicated federal liaison at each of these supporting agencies to help Utah manufacturing representatives navigate available federal resources. Utah will also be recognized on a government website that is accessible to prospective private foreign and domestic investors looking for information on communities’ competitive attributes and assistance in the production of manufactured products which should help the state successfully promote new export sales internationally.