US Announces $20.5M in Make It In America Challenge Grants

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) together announced $20.5 million in grant awards for the ten winners of the Make it in America Challenge.

Make it in America

Make it in America (photo –

The grantees, spread across nine states, are getting these funds from Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and from the DRA.

The funding is being provided for economic development projects, increased supply chain access, advanced skills training, and other enhancements.

Under the Make it in America Challenge issued on March 18, 2013, applicants were allowed to submit a single application for securing funding for a project from multiple federal agencies.

The EDA’s investments in these projects are aimed at helping distressed regions create jobs by building on their existing assets to create a conductive environment that helps businesses establish and grow their operations.

Labor’s ETA is focusing on investments that will help develop a skilled labor pool for specific industries.

Next year, Commerce’s NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) will make additional awards aimed at developing greater connectivity in regional supply chains.

Listed below are the 10 grantees and the grant amounts:-

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority of Brunswick, Maine – $2,050,000

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan – $1,471,800

The Mississippi State University (MSU) of Starkville, Mississippi – $1,931,935

The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri – $1,842,977

N.E.O. Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio – $1,796,867

The Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District of Reno, Ohio – $1,700,844

The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments of Salem, Oregon – $1,714,376

The SEDA Council of Governments of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania – $1,800,000

Clemson University of Clemson, South Carolina (two projects) – $3,549,610

The Innovate Washington Foundation of Spokane, Washington – $2,675,000

Details about each project and breakdowns of the grant amounts can be found on the website. All of the programs are designed to entice foreign companies to make investments and build their production facilities in America, and to help U.S. companies keep, expand or reshore their manufacturing operations and jobs in America.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that given the competitive advantages in labor productivity, R&D, energy costs and intellectual property protection, there is no better place to do business than the United States. She added that the Make it in America Challenge grants support innovative regional strategies that will encourage businesses to capitalize on these advantages.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said that in an increasingly sophisticated economy, providing workers with the skills required for succeeding on the job is not just a workforce development issue. He said it’s also an economic development issue where these partnerships were helping lead the way.

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