As one response to help American manufacturing recover following the Great Recession, 13 federal agencies created the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Model, which required interested communities who applied for a federal designation to self organize, carry out a rigorous analysis of their regional strengths and weaknesses and create a metrics-based manufacturing strategy that would help its region thrive. The pilot program forged new levels of coordination among public and private actors. For example, through the Greater Peoria Workforce Development Initiative, IMCP coalesced the workforce strategy for the heavy equipment industry and for employer relationships with public schools.
Federal IMCP designated communities were provided a federal point of contact that helped each region tap into existing federal funding and technical assistance from multiple agencies (Including the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Commerce) to support small businesses, infrastructure development, defense-related economic adjustment, environmental remediation, and jobs training. For example, the Chicago Metal Manufacturing Community created historic collaborations between all of the counties around Chicago and leveraged $55 million for new programs, including a DOD-funded program with the University of Illinois dedicated to mapping and growing DOD use of the regional supply chain.
As IMCP applicants, the communities had to demonstrate that they could build private sector, state and local governments, and other relevant stakeholder support. Now, as IMCP designees and practitioners of five years, AMCC communities have a demonstrated track record of building access and contributing to a better trained workforce, technology infrastructure, innovation pipelines, and sources of early-stage capital.