Competitions designed to assist small manufacturers

Competitions designed to assist small manufacturers

President Barack Obama on Monday expanded his push for increased manufacturing in the United States by directing federal money toward new technologies, apprenticeship programs and competitions designed to assist small manufacturers.

The White House announced the executive actions Monday as part of the day's focus on manufacturing, which administration officials consider one of the bright spots of the economic recovery. Obama met with a panel of labor, academic and industry officials who have offered advice on how to boost the manufacturing sector.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the three executive measures "represent substantial investment by the federal government into research and technology that could boost the advanced manufacturing sector moving forward."

The measures would:

- Allow the Pentagon, NASA and the Energy and Agriculture departments to collectively spend $300 million to develop advanced materials and new technology for sensors and digital manufacturing.

- Direct $100 million in Labor Department funds for apprenticeship programs aimed at advanced manufacturing.

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