The US Department of Commerce Designates Memphis a Manufacturing Community Under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership

Release date: 7/8/2015

Memphis, Tenn. – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Memphis as one of 12 communities that have received designations under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.  This program, which the Greater Memphis Chamber applied for, is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies. The 12 designated communities will have access to coordinated support for their strategies from eleven federal agencies with more than $1 billion available in federal economic development assistance.

“We are pleased to receive this designation by the U.S. Department of Commerce which recognizes that Memphis has a strong network of public-private collaboration,” said Phil Trenary, President & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber. “We have seen major investment by manufacturing companies who are choosing Memphis because of our workforce capabilities and world-class assets such as our high quality, low cost water and competitive infrastructure.  Attracting more manufacturing investment to Memphis is a top priority for the Chamber.”

One of the criteria for receiving this designation and federal funding is the strength of each community’s public-private partnership. 

“This award recognizes our region’s ability to come together and focus on our shared economic future, and builds on the work of our Regional Economic Development Plan,” A C Wharton, Jr., City of Memphis Mayor. “This focus on our core manufacturing strengths, enhanced by a preference for future federal grants and programs, will help us create good jobs in the City and surrounding communities. We applaud all the partners who helped bring this program to the Memphis region. Now the real work begins.”

A critical partner in the growth of the Memphis region’s manufacturing industry is the biomedical industry led by Memphis Bioworks, a partner in the Made in the Mid-South Manufacturing Alliance. The other Alliance partners include the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, the Memphis Medical Device Council of the Bartlett Chamber of Commerce and the University of Memphis.

“The medical device research, innovation and expertise in this region are unparalleled, and we believe that Memphis is the best place to start and grow a medical device company,” Steve Bares, PhD, president and executive director, Memphis Bioworks Foundation. “This designation demonstrates an opportunity to leverage that strength to develop even more resources for medical device inventors and entrepreneurs through initiatives like EPIcenter and the ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator.

To find out more, visit: http://www.eda.gov/challenges/imcp/

For more than 175 years, the Greater Memphis Chamber has been the lead economic development organization for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.