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Region earns 'Manufacturing Communities' designation

Rochester Business Journal
May 28, 2014

The Rochester-Finger Lakes region was accepted Wednesday as one of 12 manufacturing communities nationwide, giving the area preferential status for federal economic development grants, officials announced.

“This distinction puts Rochester on the map as one of the nation’s most vibrant, skilled and innovative cities to do business,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement released by the office of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Rochester and the Finger Lakes will be part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, a $1.3 billion program to spur economic development and job creation.

Grants from 11 federal agencies are available to fund the creation of shovel-ready sites, to train workers for available manufacturing jobs and to help local manufacturers expand, officials said.

The other areas named are Southwest Alabama, Southern California, Northwest Georgia, Chicago Metro, South Kansas, Greater Portland (Maine), Southeastern Michigan, Southwestern Ohio Aerospace, Tennessee Valley, Washington-Puget Sound and Milwaukee 7, information from the U.S. Economic Development Administration said.

The 12 were selected from 70 applicants, the EDA information said.

The applicants were required to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region, and to develop strategies to make investments in six areas, EDA information stated.

The six areas are workforce and training, advanced research, infrastructure and site development, supply chain support, trade and international investment, and operational improvement and capital access.

Schumer cited the Rochester-Finger Lakes region’s next-generation manufacturing strengths, particularly in optics and photonics, in lobbying for Rochester’s acceptance.

“This designation will give our communities the tools and resources we need to expand manufacturing,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in the statement. “The Rochester-Finger Lakes region is well-aligned to compete for funding that would spark more growth in manufacturing sectors, start new businesses and create more good-paying jobs right here at home.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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