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Brookings Institution: The Federal Role in Supporting Urban Manufacturing

A third of all U.S. manufacturers are located in the 10 largest cities, the Brookings Institution says. Here's how the federal government can work more effectively with these small urban manufacturers (SUMs).

The Brookings Institution examines the relationship between urban manufacturing and the federal government in a recent paper. Brookings says America's current manufacturing climate is one of decentralized, small, and specialized companies, a third of which are located in the 10 largest U.S. cities. These small urban manufacturers, or SUMs, are helping to build strengthened urban economies.

But the federal government has overlooked SUMs and their importance to urban economies, Brookings says, and instead relies on outdated information on manufacturing. Some federal policies may have even inadvertently undermined programs intended to spur other local economic development.

The report looks at ways the federal government can work with state and city leaders to support urban manufacturing. It includes case studies of manufacturing in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle, and New York City.

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