WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced the creation of two Pentagon-led institutes to boost advanced high-tech manufacturing, with the eventual goal of creating jobs that have been lost to global competition.
As part of his year-old promise to expand public-private manufacturing partnerships across the country, Obama announced a new center in his hometown of Chicago, concentrating on high-tech digital manufacturing and design. The other new hub will be located in Canton, Mich., outside Detroit, and specialize in light metal manufacturing.
The President referred to the manufacturing hub pilot program here in Youngstown and recognized Congressman Tim Ryan and Senator Sherrod Brown who were in the audience during the announcement at the White House.
The two newest hubs are built off the momentum of “America Makes,” formally the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in downtown Youngstown and another hub in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“If we stay focused on winning this race, we will make sure the next revolution in manufacturing is an American revolution,” said Ryan. “We will make sure that opportunity for all is something that’s made in the U.S.A.”
Obama announced during his State of the Union address last year that he would spend $200 million to create the manufacturing hubs that bring together companies and universities for research and development of products. Obama said Tuesday that he could envision the creation of a sheet a metal as thin as paper and strong as steel that would be in demand by the military and private sector.
Obama made the announcement from a dais in the East Room that also held a supporting frame for a fighter jet, a helicopter engine, a robotic arm used by the Navy for underwater explosive disposal and a 3D printer. Obama joked that it seemed like he was standing among all that “cool stuff” to announce the creation of Iron Man.
“This has been a secret project we’ve been working on for a while,” he said with a chuckle. “Not really … ”
Obama encouraged Congress to approve funding for even more manufacturing hubs to keep up with global competition.
“I’m really excited about these four hubs. The only problem is Germany has 60 of them,” Obama said. “I don’t want the next big job-creating discovery to come from Germany or China or Japan. I want it to be made here in America.”
Obama said even without Congress, his administration would create four additional hubs this year, through a competition by the Department of Energy.
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