USC secures designation for federal funding

Due to the joint efforts of USC and the city of Los Angeles, Southern California has been designated a “Manufacturing Community” by the federal government and will receive priority access to $1.3 billion in funds for local aerospace and advanced manufacturing. USC President C.L. Max Nikias and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti made a joint announcement at a press conference on May 28.

“The Manufacturing Community designation has profound implications for Southern California, especially in aerospace and defense,” Nikias said in a press release. “For the past 50 years, USC has enjoyed very close ties with these industries and has educated some of the brightest talent in their ranks.”

The effort, led by Garcetti and USC, brought together academic institutions, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, government agencies and the aerospace industry to create the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California. The USC Center for Economic Development at USC Price was the lead co-applicant.

“My top priority is to leave the recession in the rearview mirror by making sure Los Angeles is ready for the jobs and industries of tomorrow,” Garcetti said at the press conference.

Southern California was one of 12 communities selected for the designation from a pool of 70 applicants. The economic plan, potential for impact and the depth of public-private partnership were all factors in the decision.

“It’s a very great day, I’m glad we won,” said Leonard Mitchell, executive director of the USC Center for Economic Development at the press conference. “Now we can really get on with the work that will be beneficial to the southern region of California and in fact, the whole state of California.”