Midwest Memo: President Obama launches program to spur manufacturing innovation

Here are three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. McCormick Place mulls making workers public employees. Should an appeals court uphold a ruling that protects collective-bargaining agreements with private employers, officials for the Chicago convention complex may try to turn its private contractors into public employees. “It’s the only alternative to achieve the same reforms,” Jim Reilly, the executive in charge, told the Chicago Tribune.

2. Obama pushes high-tech innovation. Speaking at a robotics lab at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on Friday, President Obama launched a $500 million program designed to spur innovation and create new high-tech products. “If we want a robust, growing economy, we need a robust, growing manufacturing sector,” he said while introducing the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. The money will be allocated toward projects that include batteries, composites, biotechnology and more.

3. Tough talk for Detroit’s teachers’ unions. Roy Roberts, the emergency financial manger appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to run Detroit Public Schools, submitted a budget plan that calls for 10 percent wage cuts to help deal with a $327 million deficit. He said he wants union input. “We need it and want it,” our partner station Michigan Radio reported. “But if they don’t, I’m not putting up with crap.”

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