[Image above] Credit: Canadian Pacific; Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0


Creating and retaining jobs, turning losses to profits, and implementing processes that improve the efficiency and output of American manufacturers isn’t something that can be done overnight. It’s also not something that can be done without the backing of both the private and public sectors.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently reaffirmed its commitment to small- and mid-sized manufacturers through the awarding of cooperative agreements to 10 nonprofit organizations and universities who oversee Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers located throughout the U.S. (Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia).

The 10 will receive a 60% bump in funding—$26 million total—to design new services and increase the number of manufacturers served by MEP programs.

“We are excited to award new agreements that bring increased funding levels to better meet the needs of manufacturers in these 10 states,” says acting under secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and acting NIST director Willie May in a NIST press release. “These awards will allow the centers to help more manufacturers reach their goals in growth and innovation, which will have a positive impact on both their communities and the U.S. economy.”

(It should be noted that these funds do have a pretty impressive ROI for U.S. taxpayers. According to NIST, MEP generates $19 in new sales for every federal dollar that’s invested—an annual increase of $2.5 billion—and each federal investment of $2,001 creates one manufacturing job.)

Congratulations to the award recipients.

  • Colorado: Manufacturer’s Edge (Boulder) – $1,668,359

  • Connecticut: CONNSTEP Inc. (Rocky Hill) – $1,476,247

  • Indiana: Purdue University/Indiana MEP (Indianapolis) – $2,758,688

  • Michigan: Industrial Technology Institute/Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (Plymouth) – $4,299,175

  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Concord) – $628,176

  • North Carolina: North Carolina State University/North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Raleigh) – $3,036,183

  • Oregon: Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Tigard) – $1,792,029

  • Tennessee: University of Tennessee, Center for Industrial Services/Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Nashville) – $1,976,348

  • Texas: The University of Texas at Arlington/Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (Arlington) – $6,700,881

  • Virginia: A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Extension Partnership/GENEDGE Alliance (Martinsville) – $1,722,571

To learn more about the centers or the awards, click here.