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. Steve

    "Obama's hometown of Chicago..."

    ...and hometown of the most corrupt politicians in America.

    February 23, 2014 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  2. Harold Read

    With Obama's solid and proven track record, the hubs will be:
    – outsourced to be built by Canadians
    – bid out to a company associated to one of Michelle's college buddies
    – millions over budget
    – months behind schedule
    – never really working right and consultants will have to be brought in to fix them
    – never really working right so another company has to be brought in to do the job
    – tied to deadlines thar are freely moved to prevent "failure"

    February 23, 2014 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  3. SixDegrees

    $280 million? Seriously? That's chickenfeed. The Defense Department spends more than that on urinal cakes every year.

    February 23, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  4. JD

    $140 million for Detroit and Chicago? What about the rest of us? Looks like trying to buy votes for the Dems to me. Smells like pork.

    February 23, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  5. Shadd H

    So basically a scrap metal recycling plant and a radio shack if I understand it correctly. All at the expense of 280 million. Hmm when will it need a bail out?

    February 23, 2014 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  6. JRJ

    The military industrial complex is fully in control. Beware America.

    February 23, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  7. Toto-ks

    Way to GOBAMA! ! ! Please give something big to us Kansans, this starving red state. I'm a straight DEMOCRAT voting freedom fighter.

    February 23, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  8. John C

    Interesting choice of locations, Detroit and Chicago. Why would the President select these two locations when manufacturing has all but abandoned theses areas for the south? Did the President make this choice to give unions a there a boost? Is it pay off to the party loyal? The article makes no mention of why these locations were chosen, the age of journalistic authority is over. No doubt this is what the White House press release said or what the FCC political officer allowed them to report.

    February 23, 2014 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  9. Dan

    Republicans will whine and throw tantrums over this then they'll return to their stellar job plan of crushing gay marriage and stopping women from making their own health decisions.

    February 23, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  10. NameJC

    Money magnets to funnel kickbacks to Obama cronies. Clever but very transparent.

    February 23, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  11. Farrok

    The President is a good one and his heart is right.

    February 23, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  12. bluesjordan

    Folks have been sounding off about the lack of jobs and the economy since Obama's election. Six years later the president now attemts to make good on a 2007 campaign promise. But the most pressing issue of the hour is all about Obamacare, the non-affordable health care law with new across the board tax increases. Before anything else, take care of your laundry-list of broken promises before introducing any new ones Mr. president.

    February 23, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  13. Jim

    A perfect example of corporate welfare, except this time it is not the Pentagon handing over the cash to business it is the POTUS.

    February 23, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  14. snowdogg

    Let's hope that there is a pre-qualified workforce in place, ready to make this a successful venture.

    February 23, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  15. what?

    too little too late.
    1.5 years to go and still nothing done in 6.5 years EXCEPT FAIL.

    February 23, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  16. Lucky Us

    Sounds Like the Wind Energy and Solar Cell Industry all over again...

    February 23, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  17. saywhat??

    goverment + business = corrupt business!

    February 23, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  18. Peter M Sandford

    As a Independent I have but one question. What has the Republican Party proposed in job creation other then tax cuts for the rich ? Remember their campaign mantra of 2010 ? Jobs, Jobs , Jobs !!! Well?

    February 23, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. PtBarnumBoy

    I bet the Tea Party controlled GOP will have a thing or two to say about this. FOX will be ranting and raving for days.

    February 23, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  20. Jerry

    Mr. 0-Bama, PLEASE, from now on, simply stay at your "temporary" home with Moochie and the girls. Just ride out your lame duck status. PLEASE DON'T DO absolutely anything for the next two years!

    Stop blowing our hard earned money on your "fantasy/giveaway" projects.

    Because of your actions and your indifference to the Américan populace and Congress, your so-called "legacy" has already been cemented (re-barred?).

    Thank you!

    PS: PLEASE instruct (order?) Bobble Head Pelosi and Senile Reed other Democratic un-patriotics to join you.

    February 23, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Losers

    I wonder how much this boondoggle is going to cost the taxpayers.....?

    February 23, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. idb

    Chicago and Detroit? Why waste money on those hopeless causes?

    February 23, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  23. JJ

    Is he going to award more medals too?

    February 23, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. Pete

    Thanks Pres Obama for trying to bring back what McConnells wife Chao sent overseas while she was Bushs labor secretary,jobs ,manufacturing...Maybe when people finally see through the forest to see the trees this presidents legacy won't be as bad as republicans would want it considering how republicans have been obstructing everything that's progressive for our people ,country in fighting against jobs,infastructure bills and republicans that's recorded facts ...

    February 23, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Roberto

    And there goes more of our money, straight down the tubes. What's that other little venture he sunk cash into that went bankrupt a while back?????????????????

    February 23, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
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