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Educated Workforces Spur Manufacturing Innovation

Cities tell us how an educated workforce is helping to grow the advanced manufacturing economy in their communities.

Ed. Note: At 11:00 AM EDT today, the President will deliver remarks on the need to focus on cross-cutting technologies that will enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and speed up ideas from the drawing board to the manufacturing floor. Watch live on

While President Obama is talking about manufacturing in Pittsburgh today, cities around the country are working to link education and industry to create innovative products and high-tech jobs. This week, we heard from several cities about how an educated workforce is helping to grow the advanced manufacturing economy in their communities.

Cincinnati, Ohio Mayor Mark Mallory tells us about the importance of manufacturing in the local economy:

Advanced manufacturing is significant to Cincinnati's economy. GE aircraft engines are designed and built in the Cincinnati area and Cincinnatians created the cutting edge manufacturing techniques involved in the creation of Procter and Gamble paper products found in homes throughout the world. The advanced manufacturing sector will continue to be a key job creator for Cincinnati and I am encouraged by the President's continued focus on jobs.

In Atlanta, Georgia, Mayor Kasim Reed says:

Advanced manufacturing is a vital part of the Atlanta economy through its contribution to our tax base and creation of jobs for our citizens. A recent Georgia Tech study found that industrial employment accounted for about 15% of jobs inside the city of Atlanta. The cross sector partnership between Atlanta’s manufacturing industries and educational institutions provides Atlanta with a competitive advantage for economic investment and growth. Investment in cutting edge emerging sectors is critical for expanding jobs and wages as well as preserving the competitive future of our national economy.

Greenville, South Carolina lets us know:

Greenville has one of the highest number of engineers per capita in the United States. This engineering pool coupled with one of the top technical schools, Greenville Technical College, along with Clemson graduates, allows our local industry to innovate at a faster rate. "Education and advanced manufacturing go hand in hand. A strong, linked education system is creating tomorrow’s innovators, which is essential to the stability and growth of advanced manufacturing," says Mayor Knox White. "This has been proven in Greenville where the manufacturing sector led income growth during this year's first quarter."

In Huntsville, Alabama, Mayor Tommy Battle shares news of local manufacturing growth:

Raytheon will break ground soon on a new missile production facility. Another Huntsville company, Dynetics, is nearing completion of a new facility for the production of micro-satellites. This growth is happening in Huntsville, Alabama right now thanks to a highly-skilled, highly educated workforce – illustrating the importance that innovation and advanced manufacturing will always play in the growth of our local and national economy.

David Agnew is the Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.