Today, the Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the second round of ‘manufacturing communities’ as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership (IMCP) initiative. The Oregon and Southwest Washington Regional Manufacturing Partnership, known as the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership (PNMP), was one of the communities selected.
The IMCP program is an initiative designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds by encouraging communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments.
“We are very excited about this announcement. This is recognition that our region will continue to lead the way in the future of advanced manufacturing. I believe this designation strongly reflects the efforts of the hard work of the citizens of Oregon and Washington in the manufacturing industry” said Representative Val Hoyle.
The region selected includes the Eugene and Springfield Metropolitan region, north to the Portland-Vancouver region, and east to the Hood River in the Columbia River gorge. The application was sponsored locally by State Senators Chris Edwards and Lee Beyer and Representatives Nancy Nathanson and Val Hoyle. It also received overwhelming support from Oregon’s congressional delegation including Representative Peter DeFazio, and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.
To best address the goals of the IMCP initiative, the Oregon-SW Washington region created PNMP, which aims to enhance workforce development, link rural and urban economies, and strengthen opportunities for manufacturing job creation. The Department of Commerce designation recognizes the region’s efforts and innovative accomplishments in the manufacturing industry and gives the region preferred status when applying for a portion of the $1.3 billion in funding under the initiative.
“While this designation does not explicitly give the region federal funding, we are now in a preferential position to receive funding” said City of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. “It will be an important tool to address economic prosperity in the region.”
In conjunction with the IMCP designation, PNMP is committed to evolving the manufacturing ecosystem to grow businesses and increase jobs in the manufacturing industry, which has been the backbone of the Pacific Northwest economy for more than 150 years. By bringing together the many entities that support manufacturing in Oregon, PNMP can further capitalize on opportunities, leverage investments, coordinate research and commercialization, collaborate on developing infrastructure, and accelerate innovation, training, and research.
“With this designation, Eugene and Springfield will continue to become a destination employment area for creative industries and emerging employment. Our local objectives are greatly supported by this federal initiative and will bolster the enormous progress that’s already been made,” said the City of Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg.
The region will now have a dedicated federal liaison at each of the participating federal agencies who will help them navigate available funding and resources. Oregon and Southwest Washington will also be officially recognized on a government website that markets to prospective private foreign and domestic investors interested in learning more about the community’s competitive attributes.