WASHINGTON, DC – Conover Mayor Lee Moritz, Jr. is one of only 20 mayors across the nation invited to join President Barack Obama on June 18 for the first-ever Maker Faire to be held at the White House. Moritz will also join a policy discussion with senior Obama Administration officials to discuss support for manufacturing communities on economic, infrastructure and community revitalization.
Conover, N.C. is a town of fewer than 10,000 people which was devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs. However, the city is rebuilding its heritage by creating a new economy based upon the manufacturing industry.
The commitment to growing manufacturing and the Maker Movement in Conover has caught the attention of the Obama Administration, which is trying to promote manufacturing growth, the Maker Movement, and local community revitalization through its policies and resources. That is why, on June 18, Pres. Obama will host Mayor Moritz along with other mayors, private sector leaders, educational and non-profit officials, and technology entrepreneurs at the first-ever White House Maker Faire.
The Conover mayor will use this June 18 event to help boost advanced manufacturing, innovative technology and the “Maker Movement” in the Catawba Valley. The manufacturing sector is coming back in America and in communities like Conover, the industry remains a source of good jobs and economic innovation.
The Catawba Valley is engaged in many initiatives to boost manufacturing in the region, including, but not limited to – building reuse grants; building demolition incentives; expedited plan review and permitting; STEM tours for middle school students; apprenticeship programs and the Innovation Fund N.C. One emerging driver of manufacturing innovation is the “Maker Movement”, which is an effort to provide access to high-tech tools and new approaches for businesses, entrepreneurs, and students. In North Carolina, the local Maker Movement includes efforts such as Manufacturing Solutions Center, in Conover.
The facility is a small business accelerator through the local community college, which helps budding and existing business owners develop and refine their product and get it to market.
The day’s events will also include a policy discussion between Mayor Moritz and approximately 20 other mayors with senior Administration officials including Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary for Commerce for Economic Development; David Agnew, White House Director of Intergovernmental Relations; and Jason Miller, Senior Advisor to the President on Manufacturing.
The mayors that were invited to the June 18 events at the White House are part of a group of more than 80 mayors nationwide who took part in the “Mayors Maker Challenge”, an effort to recruit innovative mayors to take new actions to boost the Maker Movement in their own communities.
This Challenge is led by a national coalition of local officials called the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities (MAC), which seeks to boost national policies and resources to support manufacturing communities. MAC has issued a new “Maker Mayors Action Report” that describes the efforts of mayors and local communities to use the Maker Movement to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and advanced manufacturing, in the same way the Internet and cloud computing lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups. The City of Conover is featured in MAC’s Maker Mayors Action Report for the efforts underway in our community.
Mayor Moritz states “I am honored to be part of this exciting event with our Federal Government partners to spur access to cutting-edge tools for our entrepreneurs of all ages, and I pledge to collaborate with anyone who is committed to support our makers and advanced manufacturing, together with local businesses, colleges, universities, cultural organizations, schools, and community development organizations.”
For more information on the White House Maker Faire and the National Day of Making, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/makerfaire and follow #NationOfMakers on Twitter.
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