Kauffman Foundation Awards Urban Manufacturing Alliance $150,000 for Support of Manufacturing Sector in the U.S.

Oakland, CA, September 30, 2013 – As dozens of domestic manufacturing leaders from across the country convene in the city of Oakland this week, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced its award of $150,000 to the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA).

A national collaborative supporting local manufacturing in cities, the UMA is the only organization of its kind focused exclusively on urban manufacturing. The UMA aims to boost the growth of urban manufacturing across the U.S. and to capitalize on the sector’s ability to create stable, living-­‐ wage jobs. In addition to supporting the UMA’s Second National Convening in Oakland this week, the Kauffman grant will accelerate the organization’s capacity to strategically support domestic manufacturing.

“The UMA, comprised of leaders in industry, public policy and economic development from 40 different cities, is injecting a new energy and potential for the re-­‐birth of manufacturing in the United States,” said Kauffman Foundation Vice President of Innovation and Networks, Lesa Mitchell. “The Kauffman Foundation is supporting the UMA because we believe that urban manufacturing offers a new opportunity to marry the vibrancy and innovative capacity of cities with the potential for ‘maker-­‐fueled’ job growth at a large scale.”

At this week’s UMA Convening, over 60 attendees will come together to exchange ideas on how urban manufacturing can reduce chronic unemployment and regain its foothold in urban areas. The Kauffman award also supports the UMA’s efforts to deepen the engagement of the UMA member cities and to broaden the Alliance’s reach to include new cities not yet represented.

“On the eve of our convening, the UMA is delighted that the leading entrepreneurship organization in the country is backing our efforts to grow local manufacturing,” said Kate Sofis, Executive Director of San Francisco-­‐based SFMade, co-­‐founder of the UMA. “The Alliance has received support from Citi Community Development and the Surdna Foundation and, now, this award from the Kauffman Foundation puts a powerful wind in our sails.”

The UMA’s Convening takes place October 2-­‐4 in Oakland, CA, and includes tours of Oakland manufacturers; conference sessions focused on land-­‐use, workforce development, innovation districts and the future of urban manufacturing; and a celebration at The Crucible, a nonprofit center for arts, industry and community in Oakland.

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About Urban Manufacturing Alliance
Formed in 2011 by San Francisco-­‐based SFMade and the Pratt Center for Community Development in New York City, the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) is a national collaborative of non-­‐profit, for-­‐profit and governmental stakeholders across major US cities, working together to grow manufacturing businesses, create living wage jobs and catalyze sustainable localized economies. For more information, visit: urbanmfg.org.