CLEVELAND, OH – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined President Barack Obama in announcing a nearly $500 million manufacturing investment, including $150 million for a textiles-focused manufacturing innovation hub. Leading manufacturers, universities, and non-profits will be able to compete for the $150 million in public and private funding to form a manufacturing hub specifically dedicated to fibers and textiles technologies. The Department of Defense will lead the new competition, which is the ninth manufacturing innovation institute competition launched by the Obama Administration and the first of several new institutes that President Obama called for in his FY 2016 Budget. Brown is the author of bipartisan legislation signed into law last year that would create more manufacturing innovation hubs.

“Our bipartisan manufacturing jobs bill passed last year will help create more manufacturing innovation hubs across the nation. Today’s investment in the growing textiles industry will create jobs and allow America’s manufacturing sector to compete and lead in textiles technology,” said Brown. “We know that investing in manufacturing hubs helps grow the middle class and strengthen the competitiveness of American manufacturing. There is no better location than Ohio – home of the first National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institute – for this exciting announcement.”

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is the result of a bipartisan bill that Brown authored and passed into law. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act created the first-ever national network of manufacturing hubs. The first hub is in Youngstown. President Obama’s FY 2016 Budget dedicated more than $350 million to supporting existing hubs and creating new ones across the country.

President Obama also announced a $320 million investment in the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to strengthen small manufacturers. Non-profits in 12 states, including Ohio, will have an opportunity to compete for cooperative agreements to operate MEP centers and expand services for small manufacturers who need help getting their products to market. While in Cleveland, President Obama will tour the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) manufacturing center, an Ohio MEP affiliate. Brown has partnered with MAGNET to host manufacturing and jobs summits in Ohio.