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. Mopery

    In other news, Congress to announce its continuation of the "Decade of Inaction" stalling all legal traffic by allowing no new bills to pass, until they can at least get Chris Christie into the White House...

    February 22, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Al Bell

    Solyndra part 2. More government waste.

    February 22, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. NK

    More military spending?

    February 22, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Pete

    We sure could have used those Honda car factories that popped up in mexico here eh? Still, any movement to shovel ready jobs is a big plus for motor city

    February 22, 2014 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  5. Chris-E...al

    Great ! 0bama and ted can haue a summit maybe ? And share a beer! At a local motel or maybe a short hunt with joe and dick chaney??

    February 22, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. hatchetgames

    Should have known anything about obama is posted in this stupid section of the web site.

    February 22, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. 2kmaro

    Sounds good – I just wonder about the wisdom, reasoning, or just plain favoritism in picking two cities in his home state to pour federal funds into. Especially since one is already bankrupt and the other ranks near the top as an example of failure of gun control legislation to do much more than occupy shelf space.
    Of course, regardless of how good they sound, and how much potential good they might have eventually done, somehow I feel the curse of Obama will touch them and like the money sunk into 'alternative energy sources', 'laughable health care', HealthScare.gov with it's 1000% cost overruns and taint of WH favoritism then these hubs will just be two more entries in the long list of his miserable failures to produce.

    February 22, 2014 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Wade

    They will result as everything Obama has done in ZERO jobs being created.

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

    This is just diverting limited capital and labor to non productive uses to serve political means. This is what impoverishes societies. Detroit is a prime example of this. For years the American people have been telling GM and Ford that they produce an inferior product by not buying their vehicles and choosing to buy a better vehicle by another manufacturer. For political reasons, the Federal government has been funneling tax-payer dollars to prop up these dying companies thus not allowing the limited capital and labor to flow naturally to more efficient auto manufacturers. All those poor people who flocked to where the Federal funds were diverted to, Detroit, are now scratching their heads wondering why their city is in shambles. This applies to all other Ghost cities that were once thriving due to unnatural growth due to Federal funding and not natural market laws.

    This is crony capitalism at it's finest. Think of this next time you want to blame the "free market" for our woes...

    February 22, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. colonialfiend

    This is just diverting limited capital and labor to non productive uses to serve political means. This is what impoverishes societies. Detroit is a prime example of this. For years the American people have been telling GM and Ford that they produce an inferior product by not buying their vehicles and choosing to buy a better vehicle by another manufacturer. For political reasons, the Federal government has been funneling tax-payer dollars to prop up these dying companies thus not allowing the limited capital and labor to flow naturally to more efficient auto manufacturers. All those poor people who flocked to where the Federal funds were diverted to, Detroit, are now scratching their heads wondering why their city is in shambles. This applies to all other Ghost cities that were once thriving due to unnatural growth due to Federal funding and not natural market laws.

    This is crony capitalism at it's finest. Think of this next time you want to blame the "free market" for our woes...

    February 22, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. iski

    financial wizard, CEO, Health care expert, and now manufacturing wizard. Is there anything this progressive cannot do------–WAIT LEAD!!!

    February 22, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. Phillip

    These programs will be immensely over budget, unfinished, and still contracted out to overseas suppliers and subcontractors.

    The "private" companies running the show are huge DOD insiders with questionable practices of "earning" those contracts.

    Nothing good will come of it. Detroit and Chicago will still suffer, and our country will still be bankrupt.

    February 22, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. chuck bowen

    Republicans are America's Public Enemy No.1 Especially this Congress of Disrespect.....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    February 22, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. meki60

    great 2 places where the Unions have destroyed everything. What a great choice.

    February 22, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. John

    King Barry has not learned that capitalism works. The King is a central planner.

    February 22, 2014 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. Guest

    You didn't build that.

    February 22, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  17. John

    Who is Jon Galt?

    February 23, 2014 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  18. Bill Davis

    Many houses for sale cheap in Detroit Cuty...

    February 23, 2014 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  19. Vegas Smitty

    More failures for Obama, but what does he care, its not his money he throws away.

    February 23, 2014 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. Jolat

    The government and labor unions. A guaranteed expensive, failure in the making

    February 23, 2014 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  21. Robin Jones

    The President can claim he is "doing something" about American manufacturing. Whether it actually accomplishes anything or is just another political ploy remains to be seen. But by then, the next election will be over. If it does any good, he will take credit. If it fails, he will say nothing and hope that voters have their usual short attention span and forget it ever happened.

    February 23, 2014 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  22. Carl

    Glad to see jobs BUT creating jobs in the Detroit Area is very different than creating jobs in Detroit. The Detroit area already has many well paying jobs since they left Detroit decades ago. I certainly won't complain about more jobs coming to Michigan but this won't do anything to help downtown Detroit unless the Detroit area is the same thing as downtown Detroit. Given these jobs seem to be electircal engineering related jobs, I believe this is just more jobs for suburban Detroit.

    February 23, 2014 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. world currencies devalued against chinese

    so the devaluation war against china has succeeded, the unemployed in north america and europe now willing to take pay at 10 times less than before the war began 6 years ago....unemployed for 3 or 4 years and unemployed willing to take cut pay jobs

    February 23, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. OldSchool

    If congress won't help with jobs he'll do it without em!

    February 23, 2014 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  25. Steven Seibold

    So, 280 million worth of what is already happening, to call it 'action'. That dude is a kook.

    February 23, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
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