Preview: President Obama to announce two new manufacturing hubs today

Posted by LDonia on 02/25/2014

Today, at 3 pm (give or take a few minutes), President Obama will be announcing another two manufacturing institutes. Avid readers of ManufactureThis are certainly up-to-speed on this initiative, but for those just tuning in here’s the gist:

During his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he would launch a string of public-private manufacturing hubs around the country to spur industrial R&D, each with a different focus. And to his credit, the president has made good on that promise. To date he has announced an additive manufacturing institute in Youngstown, Ohio,* and a North Carolina hub focused on the manufacture of high-powered electronics.

As far as today’s announcements are concerned: We’ll be hearing about a new institute in Chicago aimed at digital manufacturing processes and one in Detroit where the Department of Defense will work with manufacturers to develop lightweight metals and alloys.

Lest we kick an already bruised horse … suffice it to say, at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) we love the idea of these manufacturing hubs. We’re thrilled to know that there are new places for Americans to both innovate and manufacture, because for too long have we watched the former happen in the States and the latter happen overseas. Furthermore, these hubs are a great way for new manufacturers to train and learn best practices and processes.

Are you sensing a “but” coming up? Man, good instincts. But this alone will not rebuild the American manufacturing sector. Of course, at the time of this writing, President Obama hasn’t yet spoken on the new hubs. For all we know, he'll announce the two new hubs, declare China a currency manipulator, and unfurl a scroll on which he had handwritten a national manufacturing strategy, at which point any pre-emptive critiques will have been null and void.

So we’ll refrain from delving into the details of what will rebuild the American manufacturing sector.

But if he doesn’t do those things, check back here after the speech and we’ll give you the straight dope.

Cool? Cool.


*To be fair, the Youngstown hub was announced before the 2013 State of the Union but was part of the same initiative.

AAM file photo from January 30, 2014 at McGavock High School in Nashville, TN by William Jones.

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