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PORTLAND A Portland woman has been appointed by the Obama administration to a post in the U.S. Commerce Department.

Chandra Brown, the head of Oregon-based United Streetcar, will be the new deputy assistant secretary of manufacturing.

The appointment comes as some companies are seeing increased demand for manufactured goods in the U.S. and others are bringing products made off-shore back home.

United Street Car is one example of the renewed interest in American-made products. Eight street cars are now under construction, two of which are heading to the Capitol.

What I'm hoping to be able to do is increase domestic manufacturing, hopefully we'll be exporting more, making more product here, Brown told KGW. I want to implement whatever the President's vision is for how we create a more vibrant middle class, and I think a lot of that will be done through an increase in manufacturing jobs right here at home.

Brown started as a temp at parent company Oregon Iron Works 19 years ago and has worked her way up to vice president, as well as CEO at United Streetcar.

She was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change in November, 2011.

More: Portland businesswoman honored at White House

Brown will begin her new post March 18. About six months later, Brown will be riding one of her former company s streetcars to her new job.

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KGWReporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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