In a major victory for the region, Los Angeles on Wednesday was named as one of 12 metropolitan areas nationwide eligible for $1.3 billion in federal manufacturing assistance.

This program gives manufacturing companies in the region preferential access to a pool of $1.3 billion in federal assistance through the Small Business Administration or federal research grant money.

“This will allow us to stay the nation’s number one manufacturing region,” said Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Arleta. “It’s not just that our aerospace manufacturers and other manufacturers will have a greater likelihood of getting federal money. But they will also save lots of time and time is money.”

To help speed the access to the federal money, each of the 12 metropolitan areas that received the designation will have a dedicated federal ombudsman at participating agencies.

Los Angeles was the only California community to receive the federal manufacturing designation. Other regions include: Chicago; Seattle-Tacoma; southern Kansas; northwestern Georgia and Portland, Maine.

“My top priority is to leave the recession in the rearview mirror by making sure Los Angeles is ready for the jobs and industries of tomorrow,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who co-led with USC the region’s bid for the designation. “We’ve been aggressive—today’s announcement is the result of us being loud and clear in Washington that we’re serious about investing in jobs here in California.”