Obama to unveil manufacturing institutes in Detroit, Chicago

WASHINGTON Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:42pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama gives a speech during a news conference next to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (both not pictured) at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca near Mexico City, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Henry Romero

U.S. President Barack Obama gives a speech during a news conference next to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (both not pictured) at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca near Mexico City, February 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Henry Romero

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce two new manufacturing institutes aimed at attracting and nurturing businesses that will hire workers for highly paid jobs in the United States, a White House official said on Saturday.

One institute, to be located in Detroit, will focus on lightweight and modern metals. The other, in Chicago, will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies, the official said.

The Department of Defense will lead the effort with $140 million in government money. The president is due to make the announcement Tuesday, the official said.

The president has made a central focus of his second term efforts to make life better for middle-class and lower-income families whose fortunes have not fully recovered from the deep 2007-2009 recession. Part of that push is an effort to expand manufacturing jobs, many of which were lost in preceding decades as U.S. firms searched for cheaper labor abroad.

With a Republican-led House of Representatives focused on cutting federal spending and reducing the size of government, the president has been forced to scale back his plans for the institutes, finding money from savings within existing programs rather than securing a big chunk of new spending for them.

The aim of the manufacturing institutes is to take advantage of the U.S. abundance of world-class universities to attract companies interested in being close to research and pools of skilled workers. The institutes are intended to bring together firms that are competitors to share ideas in the intermediate stage between invention and commercialization.

"Manufacturing production is growing at the fastest pace in over a decade, and the president is committed to building on that progress," the White House official said.

Obama introduced the manufacturing innovation institute idea in 2013. It is based on a German model and draws on a pilot program in Youngstown, Ohio. The president's goal is for there to be 45 such institutes in all.

The administration in January announced the first one in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is focused on spurring development of energy-efficient, high-power electronic chips that will make electronic devices such as motors and consumer electronics smaller and faster.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (18)
Vegashopp1n wrote:
Good job Mr. President and D.O.D . Good start .

Feb 23, 2014 12:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
Vegashopp1n wrote:
Good job Mr. President and D.O.D . Good start .

Feb 23, 2014 12:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
lag46 wrote:
Where’s the logic? Isn’t that the purpose of the National Laborarories? Why is DoD funding the institutes while DoD is reducing the TriCare (military health insurance)formulary to save money.

Feb 23, 2014 12:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus