The Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance
What is the IMCP Designation?
The Economic Development Administration's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) program is an initiative designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development related funding to encourage investment in manufacturing. Communities are tasked to design plans within six strategic focus areas that will strengthen their ability to retain and attract investments in the manufacturing sector and their overall supply chain. Through the IMCP designation the EDA is coordinating federal aid to support community plans and focus grant programs across multiple departments and agencies. The six strategies are outlined below.
The Six IMCP Strategies
Workforce and Training
The Memphis MSA has a number of community colleges and technical colleges, as well as several four-year institutions that support the manufacturing industrial sector through the introduction of custom and general production focused skills training. Potential workers need to know about these programs, making marketing the available training programs a prioroity within the IMCP strategy.
Memphis companies engage in knowledge transfer through an experienced workforce trained in precision manufacturing, engineering, industrial machinery maintenance, management, and operational positions. However, long-term challenges for the primary industry are economic fluctuations that impact the costs of raw material purchases from foreign markets and the costs associated with the delays of goods shipped via container vessel to busy coastal ports. Other long-term challenges include finding suppliers that can support emerging products and technologies and maintaining the supply chain through unexpected events. The more pressing challenge, however, is a shortage of workers in manufacturing skilled trades. To address these challenges, the region will seek to attract investment from China and seek grant funding to provide training to address the gaps in the local economy.
Research and Innovation
Memphis is home to nationally recognized research institutions as well as an innovative and evolving entrepreneurship support ecosystem. However, this region needs a strategy to provide greater awareness of existing services among both small business owners and other service providers. The Memphis MSA region proposes an integrated ecosystem of services via The EPICenter, in addition to expanding services in rural areas by ensuring closer coordination among existing research entities and entrepreneurship support organizations. This implementation plan will focus on strategies to create, develop, fund, and grow new startup companies.
Infrastructure and Site Development
Memphis’ geographic location benefits the region’s companies that rely on the strategic location and physical infrastructure to ensure their products will be manufactured, shipped, and received on time at extremely low costs. Continuous updates to physical infrastructure systems (roads, bridges and utilities) are required to bloster more efficient and technologically advanced manufacturing operations. These plans will help ensure competitiveness across the globe.
Trade and Investment
In order to capitalize on opportunities for increased foreign exports from the region’s businesses, the Memphis MSA needs to secure funding for additional resources to further attract additional foreign investment and expand the manufacturing ecosystem within the region.
Operational Improvement and Capital Access
To help connect startups and small businesses with the necessary funding and experienced mentors, the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center (EPICenter) will provide financing, physical space for product development, and mentorship programs by combining the services of all local entrepreneurial organizations. Other consortium members propose similar changes to increase and encourage opportunities for growing businesses in the region.
What is The Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance?
The Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance (MMMA) is one of 12 communities designated as a 2-year IMCP community in July 2015. The designation was awarded based on our competitive advantages in the Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing sector. These 52 medical device companies employ more than 6,200 people and pay an average annual wage of $82,888.
The MMMA is led by the Greater Memphis Chamber in partnership via an MOU with the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), Memphis BioWorks Foundation, the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce, Memphis Medical Device Council, University of Memphis and the Memphis & Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE). The designation covers the entire nine-county Memphis metro area: Crittenden County in Arkansas; Benton, DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Tunica counties in Mississippi; and Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties in Tennessee.
How does the Memphis community benefit?
The IMCP designation ensures public and private grant applicants in the within the IMCP communities (i.e., the 9-county Memphis metro area) receive extra points and/or special priority related to competitive grants from the following agencies (click the title for grant opportunities):
To inquire about utilizing the IMCP designation with your grant application please send an email to Jean Reid, firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, please include the following information at least 5 business days before the grant deadline:
Title of the grants or grants
Funding Opportunity Number
Partner organizations, if any
Economic Development Administratoin’s IMCP Website