May 28, 2014




(Washington, DC) -- Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Southern California was one of the first twelve Manufacturing Communities designated as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).

The effort to bring the IMCP to Southern California was championed by U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) and other area U.S. Representatives.

In April, Cárdenas led several of his fellow Southern California Representatives in support for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California (AMP SoCal). AMP SoCal is made up of industry, local and regional government, economic development organizations, community colleges, universities, workforce investment boards and philanthropy spanning four counties with the common goal of investing in American manufacturing and bringing jobs to Southern California.

The IMCP designation allows AMP SoCal to utilize a pool of $1.3 billion in federal economic development assistance, along with receiving customized support from nearly a dozen federal government agencies. Only 12 IMCP designations were awarded in 2014, allowing a unique opportunity for the region to prove itself as a leader in the aerospace and defense industry.

California is home to 17 percent of United States aerospace production, with 80 percent of aerospace workers living in the Southern California region. In 2011, the aerospace industry in Southern California produced more than $31 billion in goods. With its broad talent pool and diverse supplier base, the region has long been home to the aerospace industry and is positioned for future leadership with emerging companies such as SpaceX. 

“I am excited that the Department of Commerce chose Southern California for one of the Partnerships,” said Cárdenas. “California is the hub of innovation in the United States, and our manufacturing workers are second-to-none. I look forward to seeing that ingenuity combine with federal funding and support to create a wave of great, American jobs.”

“Southern California’s manufacturing workers are men and women of tremendous talent and determination,” said U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles).  “I am very pleased that the Commerce Department recognized their skill and potential by awarding one of its Manufacturing Communities designations to Southern California.  Backed by this new source of federal funding and the promise of added assistance from government agencies, I am certain that our region’s best manufacturing days lie ahead of us.”

Southern California is home to 22.6 million people and 60 percent of California’s population. The letter to Secretary Pritzker, to encourage the selection of Southern California, emphasized the wide range of people and businesses that would benefit from the IMCP designation. The letter was signed by a total of twenty Representatives from four different counties – Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura.

According to the Department of Commerce:

“These communities will also receive a dedicated federal liaison at each of these agencies that will help them navigate available federal resources. They will also be recognized on a government website, accessible to prospective private foreign and domestic investors, looking for information on communities’ competitive attributes.

In order to earn the designation, communities had to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region and develop strategies to make investments in six areas: 1) workforce and training, 2) advanced research, 3) infrastructure and site development, 4) supply chain support, 5) trade and international investment, 6) operational improvement and capital access.”