President Barack Obama is launching three manufacturing hubs and is asking Congress to create 15 more that can create locations with partnerships between the private sector and the federal government to create high-tech jobs.
The proposal is a central element of Obama's plan to spur manufacturing, which has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy. Manufacturing expanded at a much faster pace in January compared with December.
Obama said the government could help accelerate that trend.
He specifically cited companies that are creating jobs in the U.S. that had been overseas, including Caterpillar, Ford, Intel and Apple.
He called for continued spending on science and innovation.