USA, Mobile Part of Announcement Designating 12 New Manufacturing Communities


Posted on July 9, 2015 by Jeb Schrenk
Jeb Schrenk


Dr. Tony Waldrop, USA president, center, talks with Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, right, and Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson at Wednesday's news conference to announce the designation of 12 new Manufacturing Communities. Southwest Alabama received the designation last year.  data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Tony Waldrop, USA president, center, talks with Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, right, and Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson at Wednesday's news conference to announce the designation of 12 new Manufacturing Communities. Southwest Alabama received the designation last year.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced Wednesday the designation of 12 new Manufacturing Communities, and Mobile was picked as one of the locations to make the announcement.

Southwest Alabama was chosen last year as a Manufacturing Community, the first year of the initiative, spotlighting a growth in manufacturing and regional collaboration. The University of South Alabama submitted the application on behalf of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partners for Growth consortium.

“One of the things universities have to do is engage the community. We’re no longer ivory towers,” Dr. Tony Waldrop, USA president, said at a news conference at the AIDT Maritime Training Center.

Waldrop said a successful model is being “able to partner together, to recruit industries – even global industries – to help with job training” and to improve the economic environment across the region.

In introducing Waldrop, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Sisson called USA a “powerhouse and great partner in economic development.”

The U.S. Commerce Department-led Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies that help communities attract and expand private investment in the manufacturing sector and increase international trade and exports.

“Our focus regionally includes identifying manufacturing workforce needs and creating a manufacturing innovation ecosystem that will benefit our entire area, both along the Alabama coast and in our inland gateway counties,” said Lynne Chronister, USA vice president for research and economic development.

Wednesday’s announcement of 12 new Manufacturing Communities, made in Mobile by Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, was followed by a roundtable discussion that included local stakeholders and federal representatives. The discussion focused on enhancing regional workforce development, education and economic impact.


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