New Federal “Make it in America Challenge”

Dave Johnson

The Department of Labor has announced a new “Make it in America Challenge” to American businesses, to “to accelerate the trend of insourcing, where companies are bringing jobs back and making additional investments here in America.” The challenge is a national competition, funded with $40 million, that will distribute approx 15 awards to companies that meet the challenge and bring jobs home.

To be eligible for an award, projects must encourage insourcing through onshoring of productive activity by U.S. firms, fostering increased foreign direct investment or incentivizing U.S. companies to keep their businesses and jobs here at home, as well as train local workers to meet the needs of those businesses.

Announcing the Challenge, Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said,

“This administration’s top priority is creating American jobs, and through the Make it in America Challenge, we will be supporting business’ efforts to expand here at home,” Blank said. “By making competitive investments, the Challenge will help communities across the U.S. accelerate economic growth, attract business investment, and create jobs.”

In the White House Blog post, Administration Teams Up to Bring Jobs Back to America, Commerce and Labor Secretaries Rebecca Blank and Hilda Solis wrote,

Beginning next year, three-year grants will be available to states, cities, nonprofits, colleges and economic development districts that develop plans to help attract companies that want to build in the U.S. but might need a few more resources.

… This is going to be a coordinated, multi-agency effort to promote job creation and expand domestic production. The fact is, when we travel here and abroad, we are hearing from business owners that now is the right time to invest in America. It’s the right time because with both foreign labor costs and international shipping costs on the rise, it makes sense for the company’s bottom line. But it’s also the right time because our workforce remains the most skilled and most dedicated there is. And the U.S. energy outlook has never been brighter, with growing supply and falling prices.

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