The program is noteworthy for its two-phase focus on strengthening the local and regional ecosystems that support vibrant American manufacturing and advanced industries.
Available now through a competition are as many as 25 $200,000 competitive planning grants to help regions develop strategies to strengthen the local manufacturing commons. Coming next year if Congress can see its way to it are five or six grants of up to $25 million to help communities execute high-quality manufacturing strategies. All of this very much comports with our focus at the Metro Program on the local and regional underpinnings of U.S. industrial competitiveness.
For more information about the partnership see the program announcement at http://www.eda.gov/news/pressreleases/2013/05/09/obama_imcp.htm, a fact sheet at http://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2013/04/17/fact-sheet-investing..., and a solicitation of applications at http://www.eda.gov/pdf/imcp.pdf.
One final note: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-1) have also introduced the Made In America Manufacturing Act, (S.63 and H.R.375) which proposes a similar concept to the IMCP and would invest up to $20 million in federal funds per award for implementing regional manufacturing strategies. You can find the bill text for the Senate version at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas and the House version at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:HR00375:%7C/home/Legislativ....
Senior Fellow and Policy Director
Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings