DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The new Detroit headquarters for a federally funded metals research program will be opening this fall.
The $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is expected to help move cutting-edge metals from research into vehicles, planes and ships used commercially and by the U.S. military.
President Barack Obama had announced in February the creation of the hub and one in Chicago that would concentrate on high-tech digital manufacturing and design. The eventual goal of the Pentagon-led institutes is creating jobs that have been lost to foreign competition.
Two dozen people will work at the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation – or LM3I – Institute in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. City residents will receive training from the nonprofit Focus: HOPE and other institute partners for the high-tech manufacturing jobs expected to be created when the lightweight metals go into production.
The public-private partnership includes companies, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and research institutions. The institute will contribute to economic development in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky over the next five years, according to officials, and bring up to 10,000 new jobs.
Most of the jobs will be in the metal stamping, metalworking, machining and casting industries.
“Detroit’s renewed energy and revitalization efforts mesh perfectly with the goals of ALMMII, making the city an ideal spot for its headquarters,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel. “I look forward to seeing the innovations that will come out of the institute that will transform American manufacturing.”
The government says the institute will continue the work that many manufacturers are doing in lightweight and modern metals — including making cars nearly 40 percent lighter without sacrificing strength. There are also defense applications, like armored vehicles strong enough to withstand a roadside bomb but light enough for helicopter transport.
Obama says the hubs will keep America at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. He says that will help ensure the steady creation of good-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing that will help expand the middle class.
The institutes fulfill a 2013 promise by Obama to create three manufacturing hubs with a federal infusion of $200 million.
The third hub is an Energy Department-led project in Raleigh, N.C.
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