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updated: 5/28/2014 6:22 PM

Region to get manufacturing help from federal government

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Daily Herald report

The Chicago area has been designated one of 12 "Manufacturing Communities" by the U.S. Department of Commerce, entitling it to $1.3 billion in future federal funding in such areas as workforce development, officials said.

Cook County led a partnership of more than 20 organizations, cities and counties in applying as the "Chicago Metro Metal Consortium" for the designation.

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The program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies to attract private investment and increase exports.

There are more than 3,700 metal and machining firms in the region employing more than 100,000 people and generating $30 billion in annual revenue, officials said in a news release.

"The Chicago Metro Metal Consortium will build on the region's metal and transportation assets to create well-paying jobs while accelerating the resurgence of manufacturing in our area," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

The designation will expand access to federal funding and resources, Sen. Dick Durbin said. The area will receive coordinated support from 11 federal agencies, including a designated liaison at each agency, officials said.

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