The White House unveiled new executive actions on Monday
directing federal money toward new technologies, apprenticeship programs and competitions designed to assist small manufacturers. The idea is to make the U.S. a magnet for new jobs and investment.
The new executive action will:
- Allow the Pentagon, NASA, and the Energy and Agriculture departments to spend $300 million to develop advanced materials and new technology for sensors and digital manufacturing.
- Direct $100 million in Labor Department funds for apprenticeship programs aimed at advanced manufacturing.
- Authorize the Commerce Department to spend $150 million over five years in 10 states to help manufacturers adopt and market new technologies.
- Give manufacturers access to state-of-the-art facilities like those at national labs – to connect industry and universities on research and development and develop ‘technology testbeds’ where companies can design, prototype and test new products and processes.
President Obama began the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in June 2011. The administration so far has launched four manufacturing innovation institutes – “hubs” – and there are four more on the way. They have also invested nearly $1 billion for community colleges to train workers for advanced manufacturing jobs.
There is expanded investment in applied research for emerging manufacturing technologies, and a new initiative to get returning veterans into jobs in advanced manufacturing.