Magic Valley Region Receives a Boost With “Manufacturing Community” Designation

TechHelp Executive Director, Steve Hatten

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced 12 new communities that have received designations under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative which is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies.

Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jay Williams,  contacted Mayor Don Hall of Twin Falls to break the news that the Magic Valley region has received designation as a “Manufacturing Community”. 

This represents an incredible opportunity to place southern Idaho’s economic dominance in food production, processing, and science into the global spotlight – and bring some additional federal, state, and local resources to bear on our goals for the future.

A BIG THANKS and CONGRATULATIONS goes to Idaho’s Economic Development Team in Southern Idaho who pulled together to submit a winning proposal to the U.S. Economic Development Administration back in April.

The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) aims to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and create a competitive climate for communities to attract manufacturing jobs and investment. The IMCP encourages communities to devise comprehensive economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains.
In order to earn the designation, communities must present strategies that identify technologies or industries in which they would be competitive in the future and would make investments in the following areas:

  • workforce and training;
  • advanced research;
  • infrastructure and site development;
  • supply chain support;
  • export promotion;
  • and capital access

The selected communities will receive:

  • Elevated consideration for federal dollars and assistance across 10 cabinet departments/agencies, totaling $1.3 billion;
  • A dedicated federal liaison at these agencies who can act as their concierge to the specific services they need;
  • Subject to funding availability, challenge grants may become available to some awardees from the pool of designated manufacturing communities;
  • Recognition on a government website, accessible to prospective private investors (foreign and domestic alike) looking for information on communities’ competitive attributes;
  • Assistance with marketing and branding the region to promote recruitment efforts for supply chain and employment opportunities

“An IMCP designation is an important signal to potential investors that these communities are a good place to spend their money, and this is smart government at work,”  said Secretary Pritzker. “By breaking down silos and encouraging communities to take a more thoughtful, comprehensive approach to their strategic plans, we are ensuring that precious federal dollars are used on the most high impact projects and in a way that maximizes return on investment.”

From the communities that applied this round, 12 were selected by an interagency panel, based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sectors to carry out their plans. As demonstrated by this year’s designees, leaders from the private sector, local government, higher education, local economic development organizations, and other nonprofits worked together to identify a sector of manufacturing where their community has a comparative advantage and drafted a strategic plan that addresses: workforce and supply chain challenges; infrastructure; research and innovation; trade and investment; capital access; and operational improvement for manufacturing companies.

The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today include:

  1. The Greater Pittsburgh Metals Manufacturing Community led by Catalyst Connection in Pittsburgh, PA.
  2. The Alamo Manufacturing Partnership, led by the University of Texas at San Antonio in the San Antonio, TX metro area.
  3. The Louisiana Chemical Corridor led by Louisiana State University, stretching from New Orleans, LA to Baton Rouge, LA.
  4. The Madison Regional Economic Partnership (MadREP) in the Madison, WI region.
  5. The Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance led by the Greater Memphis Chamber spanning five counties in surrounding Memphis, TN.
  6. The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council leading a five county region in central Illinois.
  7. The Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership led by GREATER MSP in Minneapolis, MN.
  8. The South Central Idaho region led by the Region IV Development Association in Twin Falls, ID.
  9. The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative led by the University of Utah in the Wasatch Front region.
  10. The Pacific Northwest Partnership Region, led by Business Oregon in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  11. The Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Communities Region, an eight county area centered on Hartford, Connecticut, is led by the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
  12. The Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium led by California State University in Fresno.

The 12 designated Manufacturing Communities will receive coordinated support for their strategies from the following eleven federal agencies with more than $1 billion available in federal economic development assistance:

  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Science Foundation
  • Small Business Administration
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Transportation

These communities will receive a dedicated federal liaison at each of these agencies who will help them navigate available federal resources. They will also be recognized on a government website, accessible to prospective private foreign and domestic investors, looking for information on communities’ competitive attributes.

“The first 12 IMCP designated communities are making incredible strides in workforce development, advanced manufacturing innovation, and building partnerships,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “I applaud the University of Southern California and all of the members of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California for their efforts to transform the region’s aerospace and defense industry through advanced manufacturing. I look forward to seeing their progress.”

For more information on IMCP, please visit: http://www.eda.gov/challenges/imcp/index.htm.