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. srcactus

    Let me put this in perspective.
    It is estimated that you must have $300,000 free cash to start a McDonalds franchise. These two programs combined have a 280 million investment and hope to get more from outside of government. Like asking doctors to invest in Obamacare! The liberal politicians mind gets boggled making change for a quarter and this guy is putting 280 million of our money into Detriot and Chicago?

    February 23, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. luvUamerica

    I like it.

    February 23, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Lizzie

    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.
    You don't seriously believe they use the money to fix their problems.

    February 23, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. TimeToLootTheTreasury

    I heard a cheer from the jailed Illinois Governors as Obama is giving kickbacks to his friends in Chicago. He may lie, and this may be stealing, but he does pay back his friends. I bet $200 million of that is for Rahm Emanuel covering something up for him.

    February 23, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Lizzie

    Pete, get a grip, Kerry's wife head of Heinz sent jobs to Mexico, our Job Tsar GE president Immelt sent GE jobs overseas and refuses to pay taxes, Detroit filed for bankruptcy and now needs money to bail them out.

    February 23, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. dubrats

    you just can't fix stupid...pitiful.

    February 23, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. radar8

    I just love how the Obama-hating crowd picks and chooses items to complain about. A few of them on this site have been throwing about "Solyndra" to highlight an Obama. They choose to ignore all of the successes, like Tesla.
    Tesla is an American car company that greatly benefited from the same program that gave money to Solyndra.

    Some of that money went to companies that didn't make it, but many did and are now employing thousands of workers...... American workers in the United States, not in China.

    February 23, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. liberal disease

    because he is an expert on Healthcare and Green energy why not take a shot at manufacturing?

    February 23, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Jodo

    $280m is less than president laughing stock spent on his two trips to Africa and his trip to Hawaii. Not impressed

    February 23, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. JB

    Government has no place in business. There job should be to protect private ownership of property not use tax payer funds to take part in enterprise. Bad news and philosophically incorrect.

    February 23, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Robert

    This is exactly the way industry in China works today. The only question is whether it will work with American people with their narcissistic, self centered tendencies.

    February 23, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. PhilG.

    This has definitely been done before.

    The true irony of the 'peace loving sixties" is that while the people in California were running around talking peace and love, their entire economy was supported by the defense industry supplying planes ,jets ,helicopters ,bombs and bullets to kill Vietnamese people we were at war with.

    When the defense industry had had enough of California tax rates and started leaving, California started hemorrhaging tax base and it has not stopped since.

    I hope the Defense industry gets a great foothold in these new locations because I'd bet the people who live there will appreciate the jobs way more then the Californians ever did.

    February 23, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Bob

    I think more people would benefit if the money were to be spent on ifrastructure improvements around the country.... Whatever happened to that promise?? Last JUne he pledged $7 billion to help Africa upgrade their infrastructure.

    February 23, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. joe

    Another distraction by Obama and his admin. Cant wait for 2016.

    February 23, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Grego

    Here we go again....

    February 23, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. swatguy

    Obama and jobs....two words that don't belong in the same sentence.

    February 23, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. AS

    More money poorly spent on lost causes. Would have been more efficent if Solyndra had been located in Detroit. When are we going to get a president that knows how to run a business and make a profit?

    February 23, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. KCRick

    Who would want to come to Illinois and Michigan, two of the most expensive states to do business in. Do you know where State Farm (who was in Bloomington, IL forever) is building their new office complex the size of a small city? Plano, TX, need I say more.

    February 23, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Me

    More of our money wasted, it will end up totaling over a billion tax payer dollars, the unions are definitely are getting in on the action. What could go wrong

    February 23, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. ItLooksLikeObamaChangedTheRules

    When did the President get the power of the purse to give a Quarter-Billion dollars to Rahm as 'mad money'?

    February 23, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. ariel

    Ah, he has done so well at healthcare. And so well at green energy. And let's not forget foreign policy. So - why not dabble in business? Just one more arena to stumble in.

    February 23, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. American Hearted

    This is great, just what the republicans needed. Another Obama victory. Hahaha. I wonder how many jobs republicans have created in the last 8 years? Oh that's right, they have a net loss. Damn Fools.

    February 23, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. ItLooksLikeObamaChangedTheRules

    What ever happened to the C O N S T I T U T I O N? And why does CNN filter any reference to the word? Liberals?

    February 23, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Gary713

    More government waste of tax payers money. Silicon Valley is a great success not because of government, but a lack of it. I see these hubs as ways for Obama to reward his cronies. Shades of Solyndra and Fisker Automotive.

    February 23, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Wake me when we get to the same amount of money republicans wasted with their $24 billion shutdown of government.

    February 23, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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