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EDA: Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership

EDA IMCP Grant

The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley (Partnership), through its Secretariat the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State, was awarded an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) grant by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the amount of $178,750. The award, one of only four in California, will support the development of a San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Manufacturing Investment Strategy and Sustainability Plan (The Plan). This will allow the region to undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for future IMCP Challenge grants.

The first phase of the IMCP program supports a three-stage process that will help the San Joaquin Valley create an economic development strategy that recognizes the region’s comparative advantage in agriculture while capitalizing on existing value-added opportunities. The goal is to create a globally competitive regional environment that attracts, retains, and expands investment in manufacturing, spurs international trade and exports, and supports innovation and entrepreneurship.

Stage 1 will consist of conducting a diagnostic of the region’s current agriculture manufacturing ecosystem. The project continues on to Stage 2 meetings with regional manufacturing employers aimed at identifying priorities for advancing the industry in the region. The Plan, produced during Stage 3, will serve as the strategy used for positioning the region for IMCP Phase II funding.

With the 2014 IMCP Challenge competition, the Obama Administration will designate stand-out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies across the government. Moreover, top “Manufacturing Communities” may receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance – in partnership with industry and localities – substantial economic development investments such as workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.

Partners on this grant include the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation; Central California Workforce Collaborative; Kern Community College District and Merced College (on behalf of the California Community Colleges Central Region Consortium) and San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization. The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) is a new Obama Administration-wide initiative that will accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and help cultivate an environment for businesses to create well-paying manufacturing jobs in regions across the country.