Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) is now Manufacturing USA.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which bills itself as America’s largest manufacturing show, opened its doors in Chicago today. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is among the 2,000 organizations taking part — more than 114,000 people were registered to attend — and there’s plenty for attendees to do, from checking out new machinery and equipment to gaining insight from fellow exhibitors.

And this year, a bit of news kicked off the big conference.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker delivered the keynote address to kick things off on Monday morning, and she announced that the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) will be rebranded as Manufacturing USA.  

As Pritzker noted in her remarks, NNMI is a national network that consists of nine advanced manufacturing institutes that bring government, the private sector and academia together to collaborate on bringing technologies to the market. It now has 1,300 members who are working on 240 technology development projects, including two-thirds of Fortunate 50 U.S. manufacturers and eight of the 10 top-ranked research and engineering universities. More than a third of member companies are small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

The mural begins at AAM's IMTS booth.

But there’s been a problem, Pritzker admitted. “It deserves better branding. I don’t know about you, but as far as acronyms go, NNMI is not the catchiest,” she said.

Manufacturing USA is designed to capture “the geographic reach of a network that spans our country and is positioned to benefit companies of all sizes.” She added that it “embodies our vision for a unified American manufacturing sector.”

“Ultimately, our work to make Manufacturing USA successful is about ensuring ‘Made in America’ is not just one of the world’s best brands but the hallmark of an innovative, constantly evolving industry that builds lasting careers and stronger communities,” she said.

What Will You Do to Keep it Made in USA?

As we noted above, AAM is on-hand for IMTS once again this year, where we’re chatting with conference-goers about the policy changes needed to position American manufacturing for a competitive future.

AAM President Scott Paul and Harry Moser from the Reshoring Initiative signed copies of Remaking America on Monday, and there’s a lounge area at our booth at NC-273 where guests can recharge and learn about some of the myths impacting manufacturing.

Throughout the week, visitors can also share their own ideas for manufacturing with the help of graphic recorder Greg Gersch, who is creating a special mural from guests’ answers to questions such as “Made in USA — What does it mean to you?” and “What will you do to keep it Made in USA.”