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In December 2013, the Obama Administration launched a national competition to designate “manufacturing communities.” The Federal Register notice announcing the competition was issued by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The designation offers up to 12 selected communities preferential consideration for up to $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 federal agencies. The Federal Register notice lists the nine agencies offering the preferential consideration for grant funding. One additional agency is offering technical assistance and is expected to provide preferential consideration for funding in the near future.
The deadline to apply is April 14, 2014. Decisions will be made later in 2014.
What is the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership?
The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) is an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in regions across the country. The IMCP will reward communities that best highlight their strengths and demonstrate they can combine their efforts around workforce training, infrastructure and research centers to implement an economic development plan that will attract, retain and expand manufacturing investment.
By combining many of the elements companies seek when deciding where to locate their firms, this approach will help communities capitalize on the industrial growth taking place nationwide due to the United States’ competitive advantages in areas like energy, worker productivity, and intellectual property protection.
IMCP is led by the Department of Commerce and is an important part of the Department’s Open for Business agenda which prioritizes trade and investment.
Through IMCP, thirteen agencies are working together to coordinate how the federal government supports manufacturing regions.
What are the 13 participating agencies?
IMCP Participating Agencies will coordinate with each other to align complementary activities while also preventing duplication of efforts.
The participating agencies are:
Is this the first time the federal government is announcing the IMCP?
The IMCP has several components:
Will the applicants for the Manufacturing Community” designations be limited to the pool of communities that were involved in the fiscal year 2013 planning grant competition?
No. Any community may compete for designation as a consortium that includes at least one or more of these eligible organizations:
In order to earn the designation, communities must present strategies that identify technologies or industries in which they would be competitive in the future and in which they would make investments in the following areas:
How does a community earn the designation?
In order to earn the designation, communities must demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their communities and develop strategies to make investments in the following areas:
Will EDA funding be guaranteed to each designated manufacturing community?
This is not a grant competition. Rather, designated manufacturing communities will receive:
Subject to funding availability, challenge grants may become available to some awardees from the pool of designated manufacturing communities from EDA and other agencies.
Which nine agencies are currently offering the preferential consideration for funding?
One additional agency is expected to offer preferential consideration in the near future.
What kind of help will designated communities receive and how much funding will be made available to them?
The selected manufacturing communities will receive:
Do I have to have a local match to compete for the designation?
No. This is not a grant competition.
How do you define “preferential consideration”?
Preferential consideration (or supplemental awards for existing grantees) will be available for funding streams identified by the IMCP Participating Agencies as furthering IMCP goals and thereby assisting Manufacturing Communities in bolstering their economic development plans. Please refer to the Federal Register notice to see the list of participating agencies and the preferential consideration they each are making available. Manufacturing Communities will only receive preference when applying for grants and projects consistent with the community’s economic development strategy.
Are there any resources available to communities that do not win or apply?
Yes, as part of IMCP, there are several online resources that any community may access, including:
These resources are available through www.eda.gov/challenges/imcp/.
What is the deadline to apply?
March 14, 2014. Please see the Federal Register notice for details on what to include in your application and for additional submission information.
Applications can be submitted in three ways:
Who do I contact with questions?
Ryan Hedgepeth, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Suite 78006, Washington, DC 20230 or via email at email@example.com. Only emails sent to this address will receive a response.
How can a community provide evidence that it ranks in the top third in the nation for their key manufacturing technology or supply chain (KTS)?
The purpose of a top-third ranking requirement for a community’s KTS is to ensure that regions are building on existing strengths (rather than starting from scratch). Thus, we encourage applicants to provide as much evidence as possible that points to the importance and growth of their KTS compared to other similar regions and the nation. This enables reviewers to better understand the strength and growth of your community’s KTS and assess whether it is a national leader. Communities may measure their top-third status either by using the absolute scale of activity (such as employment or sales) in their KTS, or by using location quotients (LQs).
The following sections offer guidance that may be of use to applicants. While communities may find this material helpful for demonstrating that the community ranks in the top-third nationally in their KTS, it is not required that applicants use the data we offer. However, applicants that choose not to use the guidance below should provide clear details on data and methods used to demonstrate that your community ranks in the top-third in your defined region and KTS.
Information and guidance on LQs and top-third rankings
Location quotients (LQ) compare an area's business composition to that of a larger area (i.e., nation or a state). Economic development opportunities may exist for additional growth of the exporting or related industries because of the presence of an existing skilled labor pool or other resources such as suppliers, facilities or transportation hubs in the region.
The LQ is a measure of an industry's level of concentration within a location compared to a larger region, with an LQ greater than 1 (LQ>1) indicating a higher than average concentration in that location. An LQ greater than 1 indicates that an area has proportionately more workers or firms than the larger comparison area in a specific industry sector.
Calculating a LQ for employment is based on the following formula:
For LQs based on firms, use the number of establishments in that particular KTS rather than number of employees.
The following is an example of how applicants would calculate an LQ for a 4-county region that had employment in Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (NAICS = 3254). Note that this same method can be applied to one or more counties. The example uses hypothetical data for the 4 county region and actual national data for Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing using the 2011 County Business Patterns data (http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/):
4 county Region’s Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing = 600 employees
4 county Region’s Total Employment = 250,000 employees
Nation’s Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing = 227,894 employees
Nation’s Total Employment = 113,425,965
Then, the LQ based on employment would be:
(600/250,000)/( 227,894/113,425,965) = 0.002400/.002009 = 1.19
From this example, the applicant’s LQ is 1.19.
To determine if their community is ranked in the top-third nationally, use the linked table that provides manufacturing employment and establishment LQ cutoff numbers for states. That is, the numbers in the table provide the LQ for each 4-digit NAICS manufacturing industry for the 17th-ranked state (including the District of Columbia) (Table: Top-Third Ranked Location Quotients for Establishments and Employment by 4-digit Manufacturing NAICS Codes (xls)).
Following the example given above and referring to the table, the LQ for the top third in employment in Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing is 1.05. Therefore, this region, with an LQ of 1.19, has demonstrated its eligibility to be considered for IMCP funding based on LQ. Also, for simplicity, even those communities whose regional boundaries do not conform to state borders can compare themselves to the state LQ rankings in the table provided.