BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker says 12 communities, including the Magic Valley, 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 other selected communities are in California, Connecticut,  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.

“Both new and existing companies have taken notice that Idaho – and specifically the Magic Valley – is feeding the world, and we are now proud to have this official designation that truly puts Idaho on the map as a Manufacturing Community, capturing Idaho’s rich heritage of world class raw materials and a robust food processing workforce,” said Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

“This is a defining moment for our small region and validates our All Things Food brand,” said Jan Rogers, executive director, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization.  “Our region of approximately 160,000 is now on the global map as a major food manufacturing destination, a recognition we’ve been working toward for nearly a decade.  This designation will help the numerous food industries here and put us on the radar for potential new interest,” she said.