Southwest Ohio selected as one of 12 regions in $1.3B manufacturing initiative

Thursday Jun 05, 2014

Dayton and Cincinnati have been selected as one of 12 regions in the United States in a new manufacturing initiative making them eligible for a share of $1.3 billion in federal assistance.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will announce the regions today, but the press release announcing the designations was posted early on the Department of Commerce Web site. The 12 communities are part of the Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative, which is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing.

“I’m super excited about it,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “It shows what happens when you build on your strengths as we have with aerospace manufacturing, and when you partner with other communities you can be rewarded.”

Whaley and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced earlier this year they were collaborating to apply for the Manufacturing Community designation along with Montgomery County, the Dayton Development Coalition, and their Cincinnati counterparts.

The regions will be eligible to receive federal economic development funds from a $1.3 billion pot. The communities will be able to apply for those funds for manufacturing projects locally.

“The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a statement.

The funding will come from eleven federal agencies, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Commerce, and Labor.

The communities will each receive a dedicated federal liaison to navigate the federal resources and their competitive attributes will be publicized to foreign and domestic investors.

In a release, the department said the 12 designated Manufacturing Communities were selected out of a group of 70 for their competitive workforce training programs, as well as public-private partnerships among economic development groups, government and industry in their regions.

The City of Cincinnati leads the local initiative, which will be named the Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region. Applying jointly increased the chances for funding, Whaley told me, adding the effort plays into building supply chain for local manufacturers, noting the work Airbus is doing at the National Composite Center.

The first 12 Manufacturing Communities include:

1. Southwest Alabama, led by the University of South Alabama

2. Southern California, led by the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development

3. Northwest Georgia, led by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission

4. The Chicago metro region, led by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

5. South Kansas, led by Wichita State University

6. Greater Portland region in Maine, led by the Great Portland Council of Governments

7. Southeastern Michigan, led by the Wayne County Economic Development Growth Engine

8. The New York Finger Lakes region, led by the City of Rochester

9. Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region, led by the City of Cincinnati

10. The Tennessee Valley, led by the University of Tennessee

11. The Washington Puget Sound region, led by the Puget Sound Regional Council

12. The Milwaukee 7 region, led by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee


Tristan Navera

Staff Reporter-

Dayton Business Journal


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