fresh voices from the front lines of change







President Obama is in Texas to launch a “Middle-Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour” that focuses on manufacturing.

The president announced an executive order creating three “manufacturing hubs” — Manufacturing Innovation Institutes — with $200 million from the Departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce, and the National Science Foundation and NASA budgets. The president is asking Congress to invest an additional $1 billion to create a nationwide network of 15 such institutes. (For more information on manufacturing hubs see my posts, Sen. Sherrod Brown Proposes National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, Ohio 3D-Printing Manufacturing Hub Initiative and Obama’s Four Steps For Manufacturing.)

According to the NY Times, “These steps are not a substitute for the bold Congressional action we need to create jobs and grow the economy, but they’ll make a difference,” a White House official said, speaking on background ahead of the president’s official announcement.

Open Data Policy

Another executive order declares an “Open Data Policy” that requires government data be put into open and machine-readable formats and made available to the public and entrepreneurs. The project will help “achieve the goal of making troves of previously inaccessible or unmanageable data easily available to entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, and others who can use those data to generate new products and services, build businesses, and create jobs.”

The idea is that individuals, researchers and businesses will be able to use the newly-available open and free data in new products and services. Along with the Open Data Policy the executive order creates a new Data.Gov website for government data with an open API; a new Project Open Data that provids tools and best practices for agencies to use to improve the management and release of open data; and other open data initiatives — details are available at

The President announced these initiatives in the January State of the Union address, and is now pushing to build public support to help get this going.

Public Wants Jobs

A Gallup poll released Tuesday shows what all polls show, Americans want their government focused on jobs and the economy, not on hurting jobs and the economy by focusing on deficits. The poll found that 86 percent ranked creating jobs as their top priority for action by Congress and Obama, tied at 86 percent with helping the economy grow.

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