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Manufacturers’ Council Of The I.E. Signs Letter Of Support To Designate The Area As A “Manufacturing Community”

Author – Karen Carr-Crawford

Dr. Imran Angelov Farooq (left), director of CEDI, and Wallace Brithinee (right), Chairman of MCIE, meet to discuss letter of support for federal initiative that could potentially give area manufacturers access to a national pool of funding.

Inland Empire, CA – The Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) has signed a letter of commitment to support the new federal initiative, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).  The Inland Empire proposal, which could give the region priority access to a national pool of federal funding that total $1.3 billion, was first publicly announced at the 3rd annual Manufacturers’ Summit on February 21st.

The IMCP is a federal initiative first launched in December 2013 that will help communities cultivate an environment for businesses to create well-paying manufacturing jobs in regions across the country and thereby accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing.    A total of 12 communities will be selected and they will have priority access to specific grants representing 9 federal agencies. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is the lead agency; however, 13 federal agencies are actively participating.

Dr. Imran Angelov Farooq, Director of the Center for Economic Development and Innovation (CEDI) for the University of California, Riverside is serving as the Principal Investigator for the proposal and collaborating with industry, government, nonprofit and academic institutions throughout the region.

Pearl Virgen, president of The Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire, welcomes the partnership. “The MCIE is supportive of the initiative and certainly welcomes the much needed focus on growth in this region. If awarded, the collaboration between manufacturers, the University of California Riverside and the various federal agencies will only strengthen what the MCIE provides through its work. This letter is to show our collective support as manufacturers in the region.”

Dr. Farooq noted that, “The focus is on the entire manufacturing eco-system – from workforce training, to infrastructure development and access to capital. We are dynamically evaluating and identifying strategies that assess all of these components to the industry’s overall vitality. This type of funding will be a platform for the region to be branded nationally and attract additional private investor interest.”

Local manufacturer and president of Brithinee Electric, Wallace Brithinee agrees that a manufacturing partnership presents strong endorsement. The Colton firm, which remanufactures industrial electric motors and generators, and  manufactures motor controls for water purveyors and other industrial applications, has agreed to participate in future activity as it relates to Inland Empire manufacturing, and will be a key industry partner.

The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) is an Obama Administration initiative that will help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in regions across the country. The letter of support signed by the MCIE is only one of many needed by the manufacturing community in order for the federal government to consider the Inland area a manufacturing hub. For more information about the IMCP, please see

The Center for Economic Development and Innovation (CEDI) at the University of California, Riverside is a cross-disciplinary approach designed to harness University innovation and apply it toward public/private initiatives that expand prosperity in the community. To reach Dr. Imran Angelov Farooq, Director of CEDI please e-mail him at –

The Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire was formed in 2005 as an innovative resource for manufacturers’ in the Inland Region of Southern California. The Council has grown into a unique collaborative between industry, government, and higher education focusing on training and economic competitiveness for manufacturers’ in the area. The MCIE recently held its’ annual Summit event with over 400 in attendance at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California.  Manufacturers interested in supporting the proposal should contact Dr. Farooq. For more information on the Manufacturers’ Council of The Inland Empire, please visit

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