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

    During Bush's presidency, over 50,000 manufacturing facilities were sent overseas or to Mexico – many of the owners receiving generous tax breaks as well to do so. And we don't even need get into the trillions of taxpayer dollars spent unnecessarily on failed military misadventures or how the deficits exploded as Cheney et al, told us all that "Deficits don't matter."
    Who even listens to these hypocritical rightwingers anymore? They are pitiful in their attempts at legitimate criticism. They have hated this president from day one – and we all know why.

    February 23, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Just sayin too....

    Someone has to do something...the tea party led congress and the filibustering is my middle name senate minority has left the President few options. I for one hope that these businesses succeed. For those of you who see a boogeyman around every corner, what's your plan to help your fellow citizens who desparately need jobs???? Tax cuts perhaps???

    February 23, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Wazzup

    Can any Obama supporter name one start up investments Obama has his hands into, which took off rather tan go bankrupt. At least one...

    February 23, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. RahmEmanuelThanksObamaHisQuarterBillion

    "They have hated this president from day one – and we all know why."

    Because he is hopelessly incompetent? Because he lies? Because he will have the IRS audit us? Because he wants the FCC in newsrooms? Because he violates his oath of office to support the C O N S T I T U T I O N?

    It isn't really all that clear to me.

    February 23, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Ralph - Seattle

    Please "Mr. President", do not continue trying to pick America's winners and losers. Your track record has been abysmal.

    And why did you choose your adopted home town? This smells like Chicago politics on steroids.

    February 23, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Jim

    This is just another money hole that will do nothing but provided money to obama cronies and add the debt. If obama wanted to increase jobs, he should stop obamacare, remove the fanatics form the EPA, and push to cut business killing unions.

    February 23, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. jboh

    Without new manufacturing jobs, all we will get is more minimum wage jobs. I do see the professional President Obama haters have earned their Koch roach paychecks here.

    February 23, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Put America First

    At least he knows how to get things done for his supporters and cronies. Maybe he will get around to helping the middle class some day......just maybe.

    February 23, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. NCIndependent

    DCharles - those jobs being sent overseas started happening before Bush - try Clinton – the 90s. Under presidents of both parties.

    February 23, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Nodack

    Republicans- If Obama is for it, we are against it. We don't care what it is or who it helps.

    February 23, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. OnTheRoad

    Five years from now, this program will be over budget and will not have produced one job for the middle class!

    February 23, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. VEW2012

    Well Wazzup...if you are talking about Solyndra then I suggest you look up the DOE Timeline for the Solyndra loan guarnatee. You will find it was started under the Bush administration and was approved for a final go-ahead during the Bush administration 5 days before President Obama took office in 2009. For successes I would look to Sapphire Energy, Tesla, and even the General Motors loan guarantees...all of which have been paid back.

    February 23, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Why is it Obama only supports creating unionized manufacturing jobs. Every time a company opens in a non-union area, without assistance from the federal government, his administration starts pushing union rights. He's creating jobs for his friends with our tax dollars.

    February 23, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8