Since his first inauguration, this iconic part of our economy has been a top priority for President Obama and this Administration.

Today, this sector supports an estimated 17.6 million jobs in the United States—about 1 in 6 private-sector jobs. Manufacturers in the United States are driving innovation and are responsible for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development.

Connecting workers

At the Department of Commerce, we work every day to connect manufacturers with the resources they need to succeed and thrive, through a number of initiatives.

For example, located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a national network with hundreds of specialists who understand the needs of America's small manufacturers. Our experts connect them with the resources and services they need to become more competitive, meet a new market challenge, improve their production processes, adopt a new technology or take a new good to market.

"From coast to coast, America’s manufacturers are the backbone of our economy, and our country’s prosperity is closely linked to their success."

For every dollar of federal investment, MEP clients generate nearly $19 in new sales. This is an exciting example of smart and effective government working specifically on behalf of America’s businesses.

Taking note

Another smart government program created in collaboration with industry is Manufacturing Day. Too many people view manufacturers as outdated factories filled with line jobs – not as innovative, inventive businesses, where workers develop and use the latest technology and build lasting, middle class careers.

We are changing this perception by inviting students, career guidance counselors, parents and workers to open houses, public tours and career workshops at plants and factories across the country. On October 2, we want to hold more than 2,000 events across all 50 states. Manufacturers can click here to sign up to host events and others can find events in their area.

Celebrating our craft

We are also supporting the Make It in America renaissance through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, run by our Economic Development Administration. The program encourages regional collaboration by bringing together the private sector, local government, and nonprofits to create comprehensive plans that identify the region’s manufacturing advantage and attract investment. The Department of Commerce selects the best plans and supports their implementation by coordinating federal aid from 11 agencies and providing additional services. In one year, the first 11 designated communities have already created more than 2,500 new jobs and attracted new private sector commitments totaling $529 million in the region’s manufacturing base.

From coast to coast, America’s manufacturers are the backbone of our economy, and our country’s prosperity is closely linked to their success. The Department of Commerce is committed to working together to ensure America’s manufacturers remain at the center of our nation’s prosperity and keep America open for your businesses.