10 Locations in the U.S. Ideal for Accelerating Infrastructure with Advanced Manufacturing

By Taj Shorter Published on Apr. 18, 2023

As the US progresses through a new era of infrastructure development, we’ve identified 10 areas as particularly advantageous for accelerating infrastructure through modern manufacturing. Due to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, billions of dollars will be allocated to fund initiatives targeting these urban centers—allowing them to become innovation hubs for manufacturing and utilize some of their most groundbreaking technologies and resources. With an eye on building more resilient communities and creating greater economic opportunities, we’ll explore the benefits each city brings to the table and analyze what kind of advancements are possible.

First, what is advanced manufacturing?

Advanced manufacturing refers to the use of cutting-edge technologies, innovative processes, and highly skilled labor to create high-quality products in an efficient and sustainable manner. It involves the integration of advanced technologies such as robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and data analytics into the manufacturing process. This is to optimize production, improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance product performance.

sustainable infrastructure

This modern type of manufacturing leverages interdisciplinary approaches, including materials science, engineering, computer science, and business management, to enable the creation of complex and customized products with high precision, speed, and flexibility. It also emphasizes sustainability, with a focus on minimizing environmental impact, optimizing resource utilization, and promoting circular economy principles.

US locations primed for advanced manufacturing

1. Fresno, California

Fresno has long needed improved infrastructure, and accelerated funding for these projects could bring many benefits. California’s Central Valley produces 25% of the nation’s food supply yet has one of the highest food insecurity rates among low-income farmers. The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation (F3) coalition, led by the Central Valley Community Foundation, will use EDA funding to accelerate technology integration in the agriculture industry, improving productivity and job quality for farmworkers while promoting sustainability. The launch of iCREATE, an agtech hub, will facilitate technology transfer between universities and local farmers, with a focus on serving BIPOC and underserved small farmers. Community colleges in the Central Valley will also receive training and access to new technology to equip workers with skills for higher-paying jobs in ag-tech, benefiting both farm productivity and wages.

2. Osceola County, Florida

The local economy of Osceola County heavily relies on tourism and agriculture, as demonstrated by the county's high unemployment rate of 31% during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the third highest in the US at the time. In an effort to diversify its economy, Osceola County made a long-term investment in creating NeoCity, a 500-acre technology district. NeoCity aims to become the center of Central Florida's growing semiconductor industry and has received investments from Osceola County, the State of Florida, and regional partners. Also operated by Osceola County is the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, or FAMRC, which is a cutting-edge facility that focuses on research and development in advanced manufacturing technologies. This state-of-the-art center is equipped with advanced machinery, laboratories, and resources to support innovation and collaboration among academia, industry, and government entities.

3. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis has a rich manufacturing history, and the city is ready to capitalize on its expertise in the industry. The city has already attracted companies such as Boeing, and with new infrastructure funding, St. Louis is poised to become an epicenter for advanced manufacturing in the Midwest. The St. Louis metro area, facing long-term distress and racial disparities exacerbated by the pandemic, aims to strengthen its industries and distribute economic benefits more equitably. Other projects will support startups, including those owned by historically excluded populations, provide equipment for workforce training, and invest in pharmaceutical research.

4. Seattle, Washington

Seattle is already home to advanced manufacturing companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, and the city has a strong engineering, design, and manufacturing workforce. Seattle will soon address other pressing infrastructure needs, create jobs, boost economic growth, and attract new businesses. The funding will also support innovative transportation technologies, making Seattle a sustainable and accessible city. Challenges posed by the city's unique geography and housing affordability issues will also be targeted in infrastructure projects. Seattle's position as a hub for manufacturing innovation and advanced technology will also accelerate development.

5. Washington, DC

Washington, DC, has numerous federal agencies and organizations needing advanced manufacturing technologies. The city also invests in public transportation, such as its bus system. Washington, DC, is poised to significantly improve its infrastructure as a hub for federal agencies and a growing advanced manufacturing industry.

what is advanced manufacturing

6. Frisco, Texas

Located in the heart of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Frisco has a vibrant business community ripe for accelerating infrastructure. The city already heavily invests in economic development and infrastructure, making it an attractive location for companies looking to establish themselves. This area is rapidly improving the quality of life for locals and attracting new residents.

7. New York

New York is driving advancements in battery technology and revitalizing its southern region into a global center for energy storage manufacturing. Despite facing challenges from deindustrialization, the launch of the state's first lithium-ion gigafactory in Endicott marks a turning point. With funding, the Battery-NY Center, a lithium-based battery development manufacturing facility, will be established in collaboration with SUNY Binghamton's research expertise. This center will provide testing, certification, and scale-up capabilities for new products and companies. Additionally, existing manufacturers will be supported to become eligible suppliers for energy products, workforce training programs will be expanded to meet the needs of the growing industry, and community organizations will be engaged to ensure equitable distribution of economic benefits. The success of this cluster will not only create jobs and revive the region but also accelerate the clean energy transition in the country.

8. San Diego, California

Due to its close proximity to major transportation hubs, access to a thriving technology sector, and highly educated workforce, San Diego is ideal for infrastructure projects. The mild climate and pleasant environment make it a great place for employees who are looking for quality of life while living more affordably compared to other cities. Additionally, San Diego boasts one of the most competitive business climates in the country due to lower taxes and incentives available for manufacturing, logistics, and innovation and technology industries.

9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is home to numerous universities and research institutions, making it an ideal location for advanced manufacturing companies looking to collaborate with these organizations. Philadelphia's investments in public transportation infrastructure, such as regional rail system improvements, will enhance connectivity within the city and neighboring regions. Philadelphia also has a rich history in manufacturing and has been recognized as a leader in industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace.

10. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa is a growing city with over 400,000 people, making it the second-largest city in Oklahoma. The city aims to shift from its traditional oil and gas and manufacturing industries to advanced mobility, automation, and self-operating aerial systems. Oklahoma State University will partner with the Osage Nation to establish a flight test range for aerial mobility technologies and a research center in Tulsa's Greenwood neighborhood, the historic site of Black Wall Street. Partnerships with community organizations such as Black Tech Street will ensure equitable access to the research center’s programs, benefiting Greenwood's Black residents.

NEXT: Building Future Infrastructure: the Next Generation of Airports

These are just a few of many US locations well-positioned to take advantage of innovative infrastructure. To learn more about all the regional and global locations we innovate in here at Plug and Play, check out our 50+ locations.