East Bay Coming Together as a “Manufacturing Community”
Last week, the East Bay Region submitted the an application for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The IMCP is an Obama Administration initiative designed to “accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in regions across the country. The IMCP will reward communities that 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. 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.”
Manufacturing and industrial job creation have been a consistent focus point for the Obama administration. Changes in manufacturing technologies, and the rise of advanced manufacturing, have led to a new sector of industrial jobs that are far less susceptible to off-shoring than the assembly line jobs of the early 20th Century. Today’s manufacturing also creates quality jobs for a broad sector of the workforce – from scientists and computer programmers to workers with only a high school degree.
This federal initiative also coincides with San Leandro’s current work to revitalize our industrial areas. With the ongoing implementation of the Next Generation Workforce District, the re-positioning of The Gate, and the newly opened Kaiser Medical Center, our industrial area is undergoing an exciting transformation.
In response to the call for IMCP applications, San Leandro has partnered with a broad consortium of stakeholders (as shown in the chart below) to form the East Bay Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which is seeking this coveted and competitive IMCP designation. We expect to hear the results of the application process later this summer and believe that we have put forth a very compelling story. Regardless of the outcome, the effort and collaboration that went into preparing the application has strengthened regional coordination around manufacturing. Ultimately, an industry cluster is bigger than any one City. We’re excited about the East Bay’s ability to compete in the growing field of advanced manufacturing – and San Leandro is certain to play a major role in that process.