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Administration makes awards to encourage U.S. investment

11.05.12

NOVEMBER 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Administration makes awards to encourage U.S. investment

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 16th- The Obama administration recently announced that 10 public-private partnerships will receive $20 million in total awards to help manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States.

The 10 partnerships were selected through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, which is a competitive multi-agency grant process announced in early 2012 to support initiatives that strengthen advanced manufacturing at the local level.

The partnerships consist of small and large businesses, colleges, nonprofits, and other local stakeholders that “cluster” in a particular area. The funds will help the winning clusters support local efforts to spur job creation through a variety of projects, including initiatives that connect innovative small suppliers with large companies, link research with the startups that can commercialize new ideas, and train workers with skills that firms need to capitalize on business opportunities.

“By partnering across the federal government, these grants will help us leverage resources and ensure that training programs for advanced manufacturing careers provide the skills, certifications and credentials that employers want to see from day one,” stated Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor.

She added that in order to create an economy built to last, America needs to make more things the rest of the world wants to buy. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the deep recession, the economy has added nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010, the strongest period of sustained job growth since the 1990’s.

“A strong manufacturing base in America is critical to the health of the United States economy, and these awards further demonstrate the Obama administration’s commitment to keeping this country on the cutting edge of innovation in manufacturing. This investment will help accelerate and unleash the most promising ideas in advanced manufacturing, and bring those ideas to market. This will lead to good jobs for American workers, increase the nation’s competitiveness, and strengthen an economy that’s built to last,” stated Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank.

In Pennsylvania those that received awards were:

•The Greater Philadelphia Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Skills Accelerator, a project of the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center ($1,892,000); and

•The Agile Electro-Mechancial Product Accelerator, a project of Innovation Works, the Catalyst Connection, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the Westmoreland Workforce Investment Board ($1,862,150).

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