Youngstown's shout-out applauded
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama, for the second year in a row, mentioned then-National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute - rebranded recently as America Makes - in Youngstown in his State of the Union address.
Millions of Americans watching and listening, this is what the president said: "My administration has launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh, N.C. and Youngstown, Ohio, where we've connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies."
He went on to say, "Tonight, I'm announcing we'll launch six more this year. Bipartisan bills in both houses could double the number of these hubs and jobs they create.''
The president also gave a shout out to the flagship facility in Youngstown and the rebirth of manufacturing there in a speech about two weeks ago when he announced a similar initiative in North Carolina.
Here was some of the reaction following the president's speech Tuesday night:
Ed Morris, American Makes director: "We are very appreciative of the president's continued support of the innovative work that America Makes is leading right here in Youngstown and the groundbreaking role America Makes has played in the president's vision for the creation of an expansive network of manufacturing innovation institutes."
U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, who represents Youngstown in the 13th Congressional District: "I applaud the president's call for more investments in infrastructure, his commitment to high-tech manufacturing in Youngstown, and his call to replicate the success there in six more places around the country. That our region is once again being held up as an example for the nation to follow should make every Ohioan proud."
I sent Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras a text Thursday evening asking him to comment on the significance of Obama's back-to-back State of the Union mentions of Youngstown.
He sent me a link to the Mahoning County Democrats Facebook page, which has Uncle Sam exclaiming and inviting Obama to Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
One poster asked, "Why?"
Another responded, to thank the president for his efforts to bring the investment dollars for America Makes.
One of the bills Obama references is sponsored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat.
Brown's bill, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, would establish a network for manufacturing innovation, designed to accelerate manufacturing growth by joining industry, universities and community colleges and government in public-private institutes.
Brown is a co-sponsor on the bill with Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri. A similar House version is sponsored by Republican Tom Reed of New York and Democrat Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts.