Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Students walk around the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 5, 2009.

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Commerce Department announced that the University of Utah will receive $200,000 as part of the first round of funding for the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.”

The partnership is an Obama administration initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of manufacturing nationwide and creating jobs in cities across the country.

The U. and 43 other award recipients are among the first to receive funding through the partnership, a major reform effort to reward communities for creating globally competitive environments that attract, retain and expand investment in manufacturing and spur international trade and exports, a news release stated.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding 26 grants, with additional grants and investments being made by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration.

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The first phase of the program provides 44 planning grants and investments totaling $7 million to support the creation of economic development strategies that recognize the community’s comparative advantages as a place to do business, invest in public goods and encourage collaboration between multiple different entities to expand the area’s commercial appeal to investors, Pritzker explained.

“The IMCP is a program that challenges communities around the country to coordinate their resources for strategies on economic development,” said Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “These planning grants and investments provide an opportunity for communities to design plans that help revitalize American manufacturing, attract investment and strengthen our economy."