U.S. Department of Commerce Awards Pittsburgh Manufacturing Community Designation
Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership leverages extra federal support for region's metals and materials sector; Winning Pittsburgh application result of government, university, industry and economic development organization cooperation.
PITTSBURGH, PA (July 8, 2015) U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today awarded the Pittsburgh region a designation under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, making it one of 12 cities this year to receive unique federal support for long-term economic development growth in regional manufacturing.
"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," Secretary Pritzker announced today. "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."
The Greater Pittsburgh Metals Manufacturing Community -- a partnership of government, university, industry, workforce and economic development organizations -- submitted its application for the competitive designation earlier this year. The lead organization was Catalyst Connection in Oakland.
"In Pittsburgh, manufacturing is both part of our history and our future. Our strong history as a center of metals continues today with exceptional supplier networks, world class research facilities, rich and abundant energy resources, a robust system of river, rail and road infrastructure, and demonstrated success in public-private partnerships," said Catalyst president and CEO Petra Mitchell. "With IMCP support, we will remind the world that Greater Pittsburgh makes metals, and metals make American manufacturing."
"I pushed for this designation with top officials at the Commerce Department because it is a key element for the city of Pittsburgh and the region in taking the next step in its resurgence," Senator Bob Casey said. "Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania has always been a place that creates its own future. This collaborative effort will bring together federal resources and the region's innovators to create more economic growth."
"I'm very pleased that Pittsburgh was designated as a Manufacturing Community, but I'm not very surprised," Congressman Mike Doyle said. "Metals production and advanced manufacturing continue to make up a major part of southwestern Pennsylvania's economy, and we're well on our way to becoming a world leader in this field. Moreover, we've had a lot of experience in putting together effective public-private partnerships, and we know how to do it right. This designation recognizes both the region's accomplishments and our potential, and it provides new federal support for our continued growth in this important sector. That's why I strongly supported our application."
"We are extremely excited to have the Greater Pittsburgh Metals Manufacturing Community announced as one of 12 in the nation to receive support for the development of long-term economic development strategies," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "This region has long been a hub for manufacturing, and its resurgence is an important part of our community's vitality because it brings new, family-sustaining jobs and continues to fuel our economy."
"Our story as a world-recognized hub of innovation keeps getting better. Far and wide, people know Pittsburgh is poised to become an international leader in sustainable, equitable and smart 21st Century manufacturing," Mayor William Peduto said.
The first 12 IMCP communities were selected last year. According to the Department of Commerce, the 12 communities added today 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. Applicant groups had to work together to identify a manufacturing sector that had an advantage over others, and draft a strategic plan to support it.
The Pittsburgh metals manufacturing application contained strategies for regional workforce development and training; supplier networks; research and innovation; infrastructure and site development; trade and international investment; and operational improvement and capital access.
There were 15 co-applicants and more than 75 supportive partners on the Pittsburgh region's bid. In addition to lead organizers at Catalyst, they included: the City of Pittsburgh; Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh; Bridgeway Capital; Allegheny Conference on Community Development; Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission; Innovation Works; Johnstown Area Regional Industries; Westmoreland Fayette Workforce Investment Board; Carnegie Mellon University; University of Pittsburgh; West Virginia University; DMI Companies; and JWF Industries.
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
The 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.