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ARC to Participate in Next Phase of IMCP Competition Supporting “Manufacturing Communities;” Applications Due April 1

January 2015


Updated February 20, 2015

To help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States, the Obama administration has opened the application process for the next phase of competition under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), which encourages American communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that strengthen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains. In this phase of the partnership, communities will have an opportunity once again to compete for designation as "Manufacturing Communities," which would give them priority in consideration for $1.3 billion in federal funding and coordinated assistance from 10 cabinet departments and agencies, including ARC. Designated communities could also potentially receive additional federal investments, as well as coordinated assistance from four other agencies, to further support their economic development strategies.

Led by the White House National Economic Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the IMCP brings together the resources of multiple agencies and departments involved in economic development to help communities focus not only on attracting individual investments but also on creating globally competitive environments that grow, retain, and expand manufacturing investment and spur international trade.

The first 12 Manufacturing Communities—including the Northwest Georgia Region and the Tennessee Valley in the Appalachian Region—were announced in May 2014. In this next phase of the competition, the partnership seeks to double the number of IMCP-designated communities across the country. In order to earn the designation, communities must demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region and develop strategies to make investments in six areas: 1) workforce and training, 2) advanced research, 3) infrastructure and site development, 4) supply chain support, 5) export promotion, 6) and capital access.

The Federal Register notice outlining the application process was published on Thursday, January 29, 2015. (See the link below for a PDF of the notice.) Applications will be due on April 1 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

On February 20, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the International Economic Development Council held a webinar to provide guidance to communities applying for the special designation. A recording of the webinar is available on the EDA Web site.

Updates on the IMCP and links to additional IMCP-related resources are available on the EDA Web site at Materials available through the site include an IMCP "playbook" that identifies existing planning grant and technical assistance resources and catalogs best practices in creating economic development strategies.

Federal Register notice (PDF): Announcement of Federal Interagency Competition, Fiscal Year 2015 Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership