Obama to announce two new manufacturing hubs Tuesday
February 22nd, 2014
07:01 PM ET
5 months ago

Obama to announce two new manufacturing hubs Tuesday

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday two new private-public partnerships meant to spur high-quality manufacturing jobs in Chicago and Detroit.

A White House official told CNN that the announcement will pave the way for two "innovation institutes" led by the Defense Department and supported by $280 million - half from the federal government and half from private partners.


The move is the latest announcement in Obama's "year of action," in which he promised to use executive authority to circumvent congressional gridlock to get things done. Critics have questioned the constitutionality of some of those initiatives.

Using existing funds, these innovation institutes bring together universities and academic institutions, private companies and federal agencies to "co-invest in key technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S.," according to the White House.

The program also focuses on students, hoping to expose them to unique training opportunities and men and women in the business world.

One institute will be based in the Detroit area and led by the manufacturing giant EWI. Its 60 partners - " the world’s leading aluminum, titanium, and high strength steel manufacturers" and "universities and laboratories pioneering new technology development and research" - will work to develop new lightweight and high-performing metals and alloys.

The other, based in Obama's hometown of Chicago, will be led by UI Labs and focused on so-called digital manufacturing. With 73 different partners, the goal is to create a "novel partnership between world-leading manufacturing experts and cutting-edge software companies to enable interoperability across the supply chain, develop enhanced digital capabilities to design and test new products, and reduce costs in manufacturing processes across multiple industries."

A full list of involved organizations will be unveiled at Tuesday's announcement.

The White House official highlighted the recent growth in American manufacturing jobs and promised these collaborative projects would bring more. Some 622,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since early 2010, the official said - although manufacturing employment has been on a downward trend since its peak in 1979, with more than 2 million Americans losing their jobs between December 2007 and June 2009 alone.

The new projects mirror a similar one in North Carolina that Obama unveiled last month and promised in his 2013 State of the Union. The project in Raleigh, which is just taking off, focused on making electronic devices of all sorts, from motors to mobile phones, faster, smaller and more efficient. When that project was announced, the White House previewed the Detroit and Chicago initiatives.

In total, the White House is looking to create up to 45 "institutes," but the official blamed Congress for standing in the way.

"The President will continue to work with Congress to get legislation passed while continuing to make progress where he can to boost these partnerships that are important to revitalizing our manufacturing sector," said the official.

– CNN's Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.


Filed under: Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Spgfld Tom

    What will Obama manufacture at his manufacturing hubs? File this boondoggle with his MyRA program and ObamaCare.....another waste of taxpayer money! Thank goodness those nice Chinese people loan us 42 cents of every dollar we spend!

    February 22, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. jon

    Corporations gave away millions of our good paying middle class manufacturing jobs over the past couple of decades. Thanks corporations. Don't blame any Presidents for this debacle.

    February 22, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. donald quick

    It is about time that somebody did something

    February 22, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Dwayne

    This is why I voted for him.

    February 22, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. InfinitusMax

    Good idea. Hope it pans out and spreads.

    February 22, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. wellty

    well if this doesnt spell Military Industrial Complex I dont know what does.

    February 22, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    IS this more taxpayer money going down the drain? Sounds like the "green" projects he "invested our tax money in once before.

    February 22, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. john doe

    Taking care of his "own" in chicago first.., are we surprised?

    Cronyism at the highest levels of government.

    February 22, 2014 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. dan milburn

    nothing fishy about that...his home town and the folks he bailed out..........I thought Detroit didnt have aany money> Where the heck did 140-million bucks come from? something fishy about this.............

    February 22, 2014 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. CM

    If you want to keep your old manufacturer, you can. You don't have to switch to this new manufacturing hub. I promise.

    February 22, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. nuclear mike

    Who is kidding who here...as the manufacturing industrialists clearly know that robotics is continously reducing "human jobs" across the board and with no end in sight...fewer & fewer jobs for humans...

    February 22, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Sandy

    "Year of action?" LMAO. It's more like O's swan song of his dismal second term. Good riddance. See ya and thanks for 6 years of nothing.

    February 22, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. dave

    Throwing good money after bad... Barry trying to prop up his sorry voter base

    February 22, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. Bismarck

    Just one more reason why I love this President.

    February 22, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. GOP Sux

    America does not manufacture anything anymore. Even dog poop is made in china.

    February 22, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. Truck

    This should fly like a lead zepplin.....

    February 22, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. Dave

    Obama invests in America – again.

    February 22, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Just

    Please, I hope there is no government website with this.

    February 22, 2014 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. Name Uche Agonsi

    This sounds exciting as is challenging. The question is why the GOPers dont support these initiatives. Could CNN please reveal to Americans their companies that have huge investments abroad and the money these companies pushed outside US shores since this Administration started off. Also, is the need to do something on offshore funds. To make America great the more every hand deserves to be on deck......the initiative, funding, political and making patronages.

    February 22, 2014 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Oh ya Detroit that will work out just great

    February 22, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. huey

    "...using existing funds..." What existing funds?? You're 17 trillion dollars in the hole!!

    February 22, 2014 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. oharris30

    No Mr. Boehner and all the other GOP. The president is breaking no laws. But you are. You and the rest of the GOP congress who are not doing your jobs while taking our tax monies. The president is doing his job. As for breaking any laws, let us leave that up to the supreme courts. I would just like to see how far you will get bringing charges against a president whose only concern is getting the American people back to work. Something that you are suppose to be doing. Stop your complaining and your disrespect of the POTUS and get back to work before we bring charges against all of you for not doing what we are paying you to do.,

    February 22, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. Bill village

    It is a good initiative. But manufacturing is too expensive in the us, which is why most of what the US consumes is made elsewhere. When the government money runs dry, or the product is created, the production stops in the US and moves over seas.

    February 22, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  24. wigglwagon

    The only way for American manufacturing to compete is to lower living standards in America to match those of countries we are competing with.

    February 22, 2014 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. JG3

    I <3 fascism.

    February 22, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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