White House Designates ADVANCE MICHIGAN for Major Funding Award

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Ford manufacturing robot control panel. (credit: George Fox/CBS Detroit)

Ford manufacturing robot control panel. (credit: George Fox/CBS Detroit)

DETROIT – The Obama administration announced that Advance Michigan, a 13-county Michigan region anchored by the cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Pontiac, has been designated to receive major federal investments aimed at revitalizing manufacturing through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Program (IMCP).

The Advance Michigan region was one of roughly a dozen communities designated nationally.  All IMCP communities will be eligible for a combined $1.3 billion in federal funding from 16 federal departments and agencies.  Some of these funds will be made available to the regions on a competitive basis.

The Advance Michigan initiative, led by Wayne County EDGE, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) will focus on innovations that support increased efficiency and enhanced safety in the automotive and mobility sector, including:

  • Connected and automated vehicle technologies
  • Lightweight and multi-material vehicles
  • Advanced powertrain and propulsion systems
  • World class manufacturing
  • Supply chain and logistics systems

Partners are tasked with the development and implementation of a fully-integrated set of strategies to ensure a ready workforce; support for business development; innovation and job creation; and technical and other support for firms, including improvements in site development and infrastructure, access to capital, and process improvement strategies.

“We are thrilled with this tremendous opportunity to foster collaboration, advance innovation and create jobs in our region,” said Robert Ficano, Wayne County Executive. “This initiative is exactly what our state needs to keep our economic growth strong and our workforce ready.”

“Today’s announcement is validation of not only Michigan’s manufacturing prowess, but also the strength of true collaboration,” said Nigel Francis, Senior Vice President, Automotive Industry Office for Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Senior Automotive Adviser to the State of Michigan. “The initiative being recognized through this designation is in complete alignment with the state’s automotive strategy to ensure Michigan’s long-term manufacturing leadership to benefit the entire industrial ecosystem. Success will come through sustained collaboration, and this is a great first step.”

A central focus of the investment will be growing talent that will support future manufacturing growth. “Partners presented a truly integrated set of strategies that will ensure our region leads the next generation of automotive and other manufacturing innovation,” noted Lisa Katz, executive director for WIN. “Underpinning this capability is people, so we are very excited about the potential for new investments in education and training that the designation will make possible.”

Other partners involved in the IMCP initiative include Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, the United Automobile Workers (UAW), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), colleges and universities, economic development agencies, and numerous elected officials including Governor Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan (Detroit), Mayor Dayne Walling (Flint), Mayor Virg Bernero (Lansing), both U.S. Senators and all 10 members of congress who represent the 13-county region. Over 170 community and business leaders supported the Advance Michigan bid for IMCP designation.

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