Obama to announce two new manufacturing hubs Tuesday
February 22nd, 2014
07:01 PM ET
7 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. FedUpwithLA

    It's about time that government/industry/academia does something like this!

    February 22, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Metlman

    I for one hope this can spur development in Detroit, and push the city back from bankruptcy and into prosperity.

    February 22, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. termlimits

    Will this partnership be value for value, as professed by ayn rand?

    February 22, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Bmike

    Great for country...great idea...thanks President of the UNITED STATES.....Barack Obama....keep up the good work..

    February 22, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. YoonYoungJo

    Wow!! Nice!! This is action. Its time to bring good manufacturing jobs back home. Its time to stamp "Made in America" again. Its time America be #1 at everything again including manufacturing. This will be great for the economy and great for the US.

    February 22, 2014 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. banlarson

    I wonder how much of the $140,000,0000 in ax dollars is going to campaign contributors from the most corrupt city in America, Chicago. I'm sure his former chief of staff (mayor of Chicago) isn't getting any kickbacks from that...at all. Wink..wink.

    February 22, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. VJ

    Good for Chicago and Detroit...

    February 22, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. banlarson

    I'm sure none of his cronies in Chicago, the most corrupt city in America are going to see a penny of the $140,000,000 in U.S. tax dollars; not even his buddy the major.

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

    Of course he will spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to help out his hometown of Chicago. He must owe someone there a favor.

    February 22, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  10. GTS58

    Just more nonsense from the "Fraud in Chief" -what little (in any) employment gains are made won't be a drop in the bucket to what is needed! If Obama had a brain – he would "get out of the way of the private sector" but he can't help himself – he is a dyed in wool Socialist/Marxist hell bent on fundamentally changing America! And he is – but not for the better!

    February 22, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. UriNation

    The "half" paid by the Government means we tax payers are providing the subsidy.

    February 22, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  12. Willie

    Why in the world would we invest ten-cents in either of those failing cities? Detroit is in the throws of the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the country and the good people are fleeing at a record rate. Chicago has become the murder capitol of the nation thanks to Obama's former right hand man who is now mayor of Chicago. Makes no sense whatsoever and it will turn out to be another Solyndra debacle times-two that the "middle class working people" will once again pay for.. When does the Obama give-away madness end?

    February 22, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. Sandra

    LOVE this!

    February 22, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Newell London

    Does anybody know what a "Public private partnership" is. It's something like the YMCA. The construction of a facility or facilities without any property taxes attached.

    But wait, wait Democrats are always saying that taxes do not stunt economic growth and that in fact taxes spur economic growth.

    So why build a "public private partnership" manufacturing zone if your taxes spur economic growth.

    Maybe you Democrats can explain this one.

    February 22, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. davecu

    Why has this taken so long to formulate?
    Creating better jobs while he had the super majority would have gone a long way in financing his more ambitious goals like ACA.

    February 22, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  16. iloatheaol

    Tesla's new battery plant?

    February 22, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. FreedomStorm

    If you want your boondoggle busts, you can keep your boondoggle busts. Period.

    February 22, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. Greg Clapton

    Oh how did CHICAGO get on this list of two? Talk about a politically driven BS announcement! There are much more deserving and economically viable hubs than CHICAGO! Emails going out to my congressman and Senators to oppose this shame!

    February 22, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Scott D. Gussin

    We do not need any more GOVERNMENT! We need less!

    February 22, 2014 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. bccrean

    applaud on this one, certainly a positive move, it will have great impact on reducing crime in Detroit and Chicago. Finding a real life motive should be easier than committing a crime

    February 22, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. DH

    Thanks President Obama, despite the Repubs doing zero, having zero plans and standing on your neck you are continuing to move forward.

    February 22, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. independant jim

    the congress wont create the jobs they promised in 2010 so the president has no choice ..Its a shame when people elected to serve the public state their only goal is to see the president fail .. I believe if both sides would have worked together our country would be so much better off .. It isn't ideology it is much more .. there is a war on the middle class and the congress wants to blame the poor and middle class for the countries hardships

    February 22, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. spike

    More "shovel ready" projects like Solyndra?

    February 22, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. Crampon

    Why not support existing industry, instead of attacking it, in favor of chasing unicorns.

    February 22, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  25. James

    Where are the SKILLED workers going to come from?

    February 22, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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