WASHINGTON Feb 25 President Barack Obama
planned to announce on Tuesday that two new manufacturing
institutes aimed at creating quality jobs would be located in
Chicago and Detroit and be supported by $140 million in federal
funds, the White House said in a statement.
In an afternoon event, Obama will say that both of the
institutes will be led by the Defense Department. The Detroit
institute will focus on lightweight and modern metals
manufacturing, while the Chicago-based hub will be based around
digital manufacturing and design technologies.
Obama, whose calls Chicago his home town, is seeking ways to
find jobs for middle-class Americans and raise their incomes. In
the absence of a consensus in Congress on how to proceed, he is
acting on his own where he can.
Part of that push is an effort to expand manufacturing jobs,
many of which were lost in preceding decades as U.S. companies
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.
Obama will also announce a competition for the next
manufacturing institute, this one on advanced composites, as
part of his pledge to launch four institutes this year.
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.