President Barack Obama’s top economic aides are meeting with chief executives from Honeywell International Inc., Alcoa Inc. and others to spotlight U.S. gains in manufacturing as a path to creating jobs.
Manufacturing in the U.S. accelerated in November at the fastest pace in more than two years, suggesting factories may be a source of economic strength heading into 2014. The Institute for Supply Management’s index rose to 57.3, the highest since April 2011, from 56.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report said yesterday. A reading of 50 indicates growth.
The report “underscores that America’s manufacturing sector is helping to lead our recovery,” Gene Sperling, head of the White House National Economic Council, said in a message on the White House blog today.
Sperling, joined by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, were hosting meetings today at the White House with representatives of companies to promote Obama’s manufacturing agenda, which includes spending $3 billion to support as many as 45 new manufacturing innovation institutes.
Obama has announced almost $250 million in federal commitments for four manufacturing centers of innovation.
“The benefits from a stronger manufacturing sector go far beyond factory jobs and include the production capabilities needed in design and innovation for many technologies, the high-skill talent that enable our services industries, and the dense web of suppliers that employ millions outside of the manufacturing sector,” Sperling wrote in the blog.
The chief executives included Wes Bush, chairman of Northrop Grumman Corp.; David Cote, chairman of Honeywell International Inc., Eric Kelly, president and chief executive of Overland Storage Inc., Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman of Alcoa Inc., Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens Corp., and Christie Wong Barrett, CEO, of Mac Arthur Corp.
The group also includes representatives from colleges and universities and Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers union.
Obama will announce three more winners of three new manufacturing innovation institutes in the next several weeks, Sperling said. On Dec. 5, White House officials plan to meet with more than 20 U.S. mayors to spotlight local manufacturing.
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