from UMA and the City of Oakland:  Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced that Oakland will be the host of the Second National Convening of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) this fall.

Each year, the UMA convenes member organizations from across the country for a two-day conference and collaboration session. This meeting enables manufacturers and economic development professionals from all over the U.S. to come together to share best practices, learn from each other’s efforts, innovate and amplify their voice in the national policy discussion. Exchanging ideas on how urban manufacturing can reduce chronic unemployment and regain its foothold in dense urban areas are key goals of the UMA. Through this annual collaboration, the participants seek to strengthen their local economies, create jobs and revitalize their cities.

“Oakland is home to a growing array of urban manufacturers, ranging from individual artisan workshops all the way up to state-of-the-art aircraft engine production,” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said. “These businesses spark new ideas and create high-quality jobs. Our city’s renaissance makes it a perfect host for the UMA, and we welcome the innovation and excitement they will bring.”

Kate Sofis, executive director of SFMade and co-founder of the UMA says “SFMade is pleased to co-host, with the City of Oakland, the Second National Convening of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, which will bring together organizations from around the country, all working on growing their own local manufacturing communities.”

This year’s convening is sponsored by Citi Community Development and The Kauffman Foundation and will take place on October 3-4. Oakland was selected out of a number of cities because according to Bethany Betzler, UMA Advisory Board Member and Project Manager at the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, “Oakland demonstrates the variety of assets and challenges existent across the varying U.S. cities that our members represent. Convening in Oakland means that we can marvel in the city’s urban manufacturing successes while simultaneously putting our heads together to develop solutions to challenges many cities share.”

At the UMA convening last October, more than 50 representatives of public agencies, industrial development corporations, and nonprofit research and policy advocates from 13 cities, including Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago, met in New York City to share best practices and explore a range of public policy topics of pressing need to urban manufacturers.  The UMA expects 70 participants to attend this year’s convening in Oakland.

The UMA’s formation in 2011 came at a crucial moment; manufacturing job growth was leading the nation’s economic recovery, large and small companies started “re-shoring” production, and small manufacturing start-ups began bringing new products to market at an unprecedented pace.

About the Urban Manufacturing Alliance: UMA is a national collaborative of non-profit, for-profit and governmental stakeholders working together to grow urban manufacturing, create living-wage jobs and catalyze sustainable local economies. More information about the 2013 Convening will be available in the coming months on the UMA website,www.urbanmfg.org.

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