WASHINGTON, DC – The President today will announce new steps with the private sector to strengthen the manufacturing sector, boost advanced manufacturing, and attract the good paying jobs that a growing middle class requires. The President will announce the selection of a North Carolina headquartered consortium of businesses and universities, led by North Carolina State University, to lead a manufacturing innovation institute for next generation power electronics.
President Obama has declared 2014 a year of action, and while he will continue to work with Congress on new measures to create jobs and grow the economy, he will also use his executive authority to get things done. After shedding jobs for a decade, our manufacturers have added 568,000 over the past nearly four years, including 80,000 over the past five months. Manufacturing production has grown since the end of the recession at its fastest pace in over a decade. The President is committed to building on that progress.
In last year's State of the Union address, the President proposed a series of three new manufacturing institutes that the Administration can create using existing resources—this is the first of those institutes. In May, President Obama launched a competition for these three new manufacturing innovation institutes with a Federal commitment of $200 million across five Federal agencies—Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation, building off the success of a pilot institute headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. The additional two institutes led by the Department of Defense—focused on Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation and Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing—are still in the selection process and will be awarded in the coming weeks.
Each institute is designed to serve as a regional hub designed to bridge the gap between applied research and product development, bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S. This type of "teaching factory" provides a unique opportunity for education and training of students and workers at all levels, while providing the shared assets to help companies, most importantly small manufacturers, access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.