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

    So now the President can pick and choose which cities receive Federal funds for economic growth?!?! ... and Chicago is one. I never would have guessed.

    February 23, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. plain and simple

    Working in conjunction with big business to find more jobs for Americans.....no wonder republicans and tea- babies cry about this president!!! They can't stand to see America brought into the 21st century. You know paying a decent wage and all. Having people being able to pay bills,have health insurance,put a roof over their heads. Radical stuff like that!!!!

    February 23, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Jerry Schull

    1979 is a critical year. It was the year that China got most favored trade status and we started buying in bulk Chinese junk. All the while degrading our own manufacturing capability.

    February 23, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. fidel

    as usual, a president on his way out pays back the cronies

    February 23, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. William R. Hill

    What Obama is doing is called leadership and innovation, which usually come from one or a few people. (ie: the founding fathers, Thomas Edison, Nicolas Tesla, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Rockefeller, Carnegie and a relatively small number of others.) Committees seldom get anything done, and Congress is a big committee, members of which happened to get elected for a variety of reasons which make them mostly ineffective. Most of them also are primarily interested in getting re-elected rather than acting for the good of the nation.

    February 23, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Kev

    $280 million – half from the federal government and half from private partners.< Big whoop, $140M from the Feds is, TENTHS of PENNIES on the dollar compared to what he ALREADY gave his Campaign Bundlers for MULTIPLE FAILED green & solar projects. Solyndra ALONE was $527M!. This is just a Dog & Pony for the Low Infos. Has to do SOMETHING (Recovery Summer #4?) to DISTRACT, now that the Olympics are over and Kiev is still on fire.

    February 23, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. jimstaro

    The minimum wage once was a start point, and not that long ago, not to have labor be slaves to extreme business greed, past recent decades reagan capitalim greed, for mostly younger new workers, in the labor market, sadly also for many women entering so called traditional women's jobs, few though would be hired at but would be at a buck or two or more higher then minimum.

    Few stayed at that wage as employers would give time lines in interviews etc., often only a couple of months from hiring, if the new hire absorbed the job needs and then with regular, annually or semi-annually, though small, hourly increases, along with adding benefits possibly, months apart and experience and quality of labor return increased for the businesses. Called 'Capitalism', sharing in the labors from creating the successful business!

    Only ones who would keep wages at or only slightly above were those not worried about constant turn over and frankly bad at business as they never understood the costs to keep retraining new hires.

    Now it's a standard in the greed, hire at or low wages and those wages stagnate there or only slightly higher for the long term employee if they stay. They will mainly because they can't, or there isn't openings, find other jobs at better pay and 'respect' for quickly learning and doing the labor needed to enhance those bottom lines!!

    February 23, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. FreedomStorm

    Remember that US Senator who was paid-off big-time to be the deciding vote for the "Obama Genocide Act"? (you may know it as Obama"care"). He was one of the two US Senators from ... you guessed it ... Nebraska. Not to worry. Absolutely no chance that anyone, certainly not a federal judge, would also be paid-off by tyranny in this case. Not a chance.

    February 23, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  9. Organic1

    Hope they are successful, both of those areas need serious rebirth.

    February 23, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. The other guy

    I hope this program will be successful.

    February 23, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Troy

    So government is involved in businesses now in which they are in charge. Sounds like a socialist republic. When will we be able to impeach and put Obama in prison??

    February 23, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. TimeToLootTheTreasury

    Looks like it is time to loot the treasury to pay back political supporters...again! He gets away with lying, so now it is time to steal.

    February 23, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. loser president

    a pathetic president....6 yrs later and the economy and jobs still stink....

    February 23, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    -he is not loser president, he is a WINNER, SOLE LOSERS ARE YOUR HORRIBLE CONGRESS, THE MOST IDIOTIC CONGRESS IN USA HISTORY–and people that voted for rethuglicans congress based on color are the losers. Yes, raise minimum wage to 12/.

    February 23, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Sam M

    get your shovels ready

    February 23, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Randyk

    This seems like a very sort of old-school Republican idea. Of course today's 'conservatives' will scream that it's Soshulism and Nazism all rolled in to one because, well, I think they've gone crazy and they don't seem interested in doing anything to try to actually help the country. Burn untold billions on the streets of Baghdad? Patriotic! Spend money getting American cities working? America-hating, Black Muslim, communism. Or something.

    GOP, please get out of the way. The grownups are trying to have a civilization.

    February 23, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Wazzup

    Great. More Solyndra!

    February 23, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. jack

    Many on here complain about the president but yet their Republican congressional leaders have no plans or solutions, they only know how to block progress......

    February 23, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. srcactus

    Lord knows Detroit and Chicago need help but will academic "pie in the sky" start ups make a difference to the huge number of un employed in every State? Solyndra and Fisker projects are politically peachy but where is the beef? Where are the schools to train heavy equipment mechanics, technicians, machinists, computer repair personnel? We need people trained for good paying down to earth real jobs?

    February 23, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. VET-2

    "as usual, a president on his way out pays back the cronies", do you not realize that people stand to be homeless in some of these communities and pensions being renegotiated with the intention of reducing them. Do we want senior citizens to not be able to support themselves on there already fixed income? You are a fool, uneducated, self centered and only care about yourself since you don't understand the world...let alone your own insecurities

    February 23, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. VET-2

    Great. More Solyndra! Where is your idea for tomorrow

    February 23, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Dan

    Democrats run both of these cities for 60 plus years and now are using everyone else's tax dollars to fix their screw up

    Typical

    February 23, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Anonymous

    I love these laughable l&bby comments. Your guy has spent 5 years blaming Republicans because he is incapable of leading. And to those who squawk "if it wasn't for Republicans, we'd get things done," get used, then, to getting nothing done. We are a huge percentage of this population and we're not going anywhere.

    February 23, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. bob

    These two cities are now broke due to the unions and democratic leaches that now rule. More money into cities riddled with graft and corruption. This current democratic administration is a embarassment of miss management and incompetent people. All agencies post office (who literally have a monopoly) bankrupt. Social security, medicare medicade all broke to fraud and mismanagement. IM FED UP WITH PAYING TAXES FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT DESERVE NOR APPRECIATE ADVANCEMENT THRU HONEST HARD WORK AND GOOD FAMILY VALUES.

    February 23, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Aloysious Farquart

    So... how much did the cities pay NWI and UI Labs in... "tax incentives"...? Corporations do not conspire to create a single job merely because their goals require another another employee.

    February 23, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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