- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker says 12 communities across the U.S. will receive special attention and access for federal funding to help attract manufacturing companies and create jobs.

Pritzker made the announcement Wednesday at Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The selected communities are in California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Each received designations under the Obama administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative. Pritzker says the designations help potential investors know that the communities are good places to spend their money.

Each community will receive support from 11 federal agencies with more than $1 billion available in federal economic development assistance.

Wednesdays’ announcement marks the second round of designated areas. The first 12 communities were announced in May 2014.

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