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Obama announces new textile manufacturing innovation competition

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-03-19 11:00:00 – New York

President Barack Obama announced a competition called the “Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute” for a $150 million public-private investment in a new textile manufacturing innovation institute on Wednesday to strengthen U.S. manufacturing by investing in new technology.

It is the ninth manufacturing innovation institute competition launched by the Obama administration. The institute aims to ensure that America remains at the leading edge of fiber science, according to The White House. It will be open to leading manufacturers, universities and nonprofit organizations.

The Obama administration has put aside a $75 million public investment that will be matched by more than $75 million of private investment for researching, prototyping and commercializing fibers with "extraordinary properties."

According to the National Council of Textile Organizations, between 1997 and 2009 about 650 textile plants closed in the U.S., which cost thousands of Americans jobs,

After a decade of decline in U.S. manufacturing during the 2000s, the American textile industry is adding jobs for the first time in two decades, increasing shipments by nearly a fifth since the recession and winning globally with a 45 percent increase in exports since 2009, the White House said, according to WWD.

The announcement builds on momentum in American textile manufacturing and lays the foundation for future leadership in the production of sophisticated fibers and textile technologies.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment at the country's textile mills went up to 233,900 in February from 230,700 a year before.

According to NCTO, almost 65 U.S. textile-related projects are in the works with an investment value in excess of $1.39 billion. This includes 32 projects worth $999 million in just Georgia and North Carolina alone.

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