The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative is unprecedented in its goal to not only recognize prominent manufacturing communities nationwide, but also encourage regional collaboration so manufacturing as a whole is strengthened throughout the country. On October 19 and 20, that collaborative effort manifested itself in a series of meetings attended and facilitated by the manufacturing communities at the third annual IMCP National Summit, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).
More than 200 were in attendance, including representatives from IMCP designated communities, non-designated manufacturing communities and those interested or involved in the manufacturing industry. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California (AMP SoCal) was represented at the summit by Leonard Mitchell, Dion Jackson, Deepak Bahl, Libby Williams and Emily Tjaden Sylvester, each from the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development, and Grace Williams from March Joint Powers Authority.
The 24 federally designated manufacturing communities each have a unique regional manufacturing focus, ranging from carpets and textiles in Northwest Georgia to timber in the Pacific Northwest. California has two federally designated IMCP manufacturing communities: AMP SoCal, which supports aerospace and defense manufacturing in the southern 10 counties, and AgPLUS, which encompasses the 28 counties within the state’s Central Valley and supports its food and beverage manufacturing industry.
During the plenary sessions, community representatives converged to learn of successful programs addressing common challenges affecting the strength of manufacturing across the country. Breakout sessions facilitated conversations between representatives from different regional industrial concentrations. Manufacturing challenges affecting companies were discussed, in addition to innovative solutions being initiated by communities, including the trials and successes of these approaches. Federal partners were also able to connect directly with representatives to speak of funding opportunities and the U.S. government’s ongoing support of American manufacturing.
- At the Cusp of U.S.-Led Regional Innovation: Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, by Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, EDA
- EDA Website: IMCP Summit