As San Francisco’s manufacturing sector continues to mature, so it now goes in cities across the US. This is evidenced by membership in the national the Urban Manufacturing Alliance – which was founded in 2011 by SFMade and the Pratt Center for Community Development in New York, in partnership with Citi Community Development, SFMade’s longest standing corporate partner.

Read the full article here.


Philadelphia was once known as the “Workshop of the World.” It recently lived up to its old name when it hosted the 3rd Annual Convening of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA).

The event was held so that UMA members and likeminded manufacturers and enthusiasts could trade ideas on how best to support and promote the urban manufacturing sector.

Here’s why: While domestic manufacturing everywhere has shown signs of growth and added jobs, the urban manufacturing sector has shown a particularly vigorous resurgence in many U.S. cities. A big part of this revival is not in the plants and mills that once housed thousands of workers and large production lines and machining, but in small sites with 20 to 30 employees.

Read the full article here.


Through individual municipalities can face unique challenges depending on everything from regional economic booms to climate change, more often than not, cities can learn important lessons from one another. (After all, one of the reasons I write this column is to bring you stories about smart urban innovations that your city can copy.) A good example of putting this mutually beneficial approach to work is the new Equitable Innovation Economies, an initiative by the Pratt Center for Community Development and Policy Link to offer a supportive framework for cities to share strategies for equitable job creation.

Read the full article here.


When people visit this historic East Coast city, the southwest side isn’t usually one of their first stops. Or any stop, for that matter. The rundown neighborhood stocked with dead manufacturing plants, scrap yards and strip clubs isn’t exactly a tourist attraction.

But it’s the area Indianapolis officials wanted to see.

Here for the Urban Manufacturing Alliance conference, the contingent of city employees and community development types got off a plane and wanted to know one thing: What can Philly teach Indy about finding new ways to reuse old manufacturing plants?

Get the full story here.


National Alliance focused on Urban Manufacturing to gather in Philadelphia for multi-day convening to discuss emerging trends in manufacturing and share solutions on supporting the sector

Philadelphia, PA – Today, the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) announced that Philadelphia will host its prestigious National Convening – the only collaborative conference of its kind, which brings together economic development professionals focused exclusively on the manufacturing sector. The Convening is expected to draw more than 100 people from over 30 cities – from the non-profit, government, university and private sectors – 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 UMA seeks to rebuild and amplify the collective power of American urban manufacturing to sustain and create diverse jobs in our most populous cities.

“I am delighted to welcome the Urban Manufacturing Alliance to Philadelphia, the original ‘Workshop of the World’”, said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.   “I have seen firsthand how cities benefit from strong manufacturing sectors, it creates economic activity as well as good job creation. As our nation continues to push the importance of American manufacturing and plan for its long-term growth, our cities must remain at the forefront of this conversation.  I look forward to seeing everyone in October and hearing more about this group’s important work.”

Michael Cooper, Director of the Office of Manufacturing and Industry for the City of Philadelphia says “The City of Philadelphia is pleased to host the Third 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.”

Philadelphia was selected out of a number of cities because according to Kate Sofis, UMA Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member, “Philadelphia demonstrates the vibrancy of local urban manufacturing with a robust sector ranging from small manufacturers to larger, established companies. At the same time, Philadelphia faces many of the same issues and concerns other cities face in supporting manufacturers, which will make it a great backdrop for our national gathering to discuss best practices for moving the sector forward.”

This year’s Convening is sponsored by The Kauffman Foundation, Surdna Foundation and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and will take place on October 15-17 at Le Meridien in downtown Philadelphia.

At the UMA Convening last October, more than 80 representatives of public agencies, industrial development corporations, and nonprofit research and policy advocates from 25 cities, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago, met in Oakland, California to share best practices and explore a range of public policy topics of pressing need to urban manufacturers.

About the Urban Manufacturing Alliance: Launched at the first Clinton Global Initiative on the US Economy in 2011, the UMA is a national collaborative of non-profit, for-profit and governmental stakeholders working together to promote, stimulate, and grow manufacturing in cities, creating high-quality jobs—with pathways for economic and skill advancement for individuals from diverse urban communities. More information about the 2014 National Convening is available on the UMA website,

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please call Abbie at 415.408-5605×4 or e-mail at



OCTOBER 26TH, 2013
Urban Manufacturers delight in Oakland’s industrial arts

By Howard Dyckoff, Oakland Local

A gathering of Maker Movement mavens and advocates of urban re-industrialization called Oakland home and celebrated our city’s diverse and growing arts and maker scene.

The Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) Convening included tours of Oakland manufacturers like Linden Brewery and Rolls Royce Engine Services and conference sessions at Preservation Park and OACC focused on land use, workforce development, innovation districts and the future of urban manufacturing. The Convening kicked off with a celebration at The Crucible, a non-profit center for arts and industry…

Read more here