President Obama visited the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe manufacturing facility in Petersburg, Virginia today to highlight the company’s commitment to insourcing and announce a new initiative to support American manufacturing:
I’m laying out my plans for a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation—and these are going to be institutes of manufacturing excellence where some of our most advanced engineering schools and our most innovative manufacturers collaborate on new ideas, new technology, new methods, new processes.
Later this summer, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing will open its doors. And it’s a partnership between manufacturers, including this one, UVA, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University … the Commonwealth and the federal government. So think of this as a place where companies can share access to cutting-edge capabilities. At the same time, students and workers are picking up new skills, they’re training on state-of-the-art equipment; they’re solving some of the most important challenges facing our manufacturers.
You just got all this brain power and skill and experience coming together in this hub, and that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. It allows everybody to learn from each other and figure out how we’re going to do things even better. It’s going to help get that next great idea from a paper or a computer to the lab, to the factory, to the global marketplace. And that’s especially important for the one in three Americans in manufacturing who work for a small business that doesn’t always have access to resources like these.
Obviously, big companies—the Boeings, the Intels, the Rolls-Royces—they’ve got the resources, the capital, to be able to create these platforms. But some of the small- to medium-sized businesses, it’s a little bit harder. So this gives them access and allows them to take part in this new renaissance of American inventiveness. And we’ve got to build these institutes all across the country … I don’t want it just here at Crosspointe, I want it everywhere.
Read the President’s full remarks on the White House website.