The National Institute of Standards and Technology will obligate $36 million in annual funds to 12 organizations to run Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers that will support small- and medium-sized manufacturers.
NIST said Thursday the organizations will operate the MEP facilities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Puerto Rico under cooperative agreements that will run for up to five years.
“The Department of Commerce supports these public-private partnerships that improve this sector's global competitiveness, strengthen our economy and create jobs in communities across the nation,“ said Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
Willie May, director of NIST and commerce undersecretary for standards and technology, added the funds will support the continuation and expansion of outreach, educational and collaborative efforts that aid thousands of manufacturers each year.
The recipients of MEP funds are:
- Alabama Technology Network
- Arkansas Economic Development Commission
- California Manufacturing Technology Consulting
- Georgia Tech Research
- Louisiana Community and Technical College System
- Missouri IncuTech Foundation
- Montana State University
- State of Ohio, Development Services Agency
- Pennsylvania IRC Network Foundation
- Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension
- University of Utah
- Vermont State Colleges
A group of government and independent experts evaluated the organizations’ proposals based on criteria such as demonstration of an understanding of market needs and the role of proposed service offerings as well as business models, performance measurements, program management and staff qualifications.
MEP clients generate almost $17 in sales for every dollar of investment which leads to an annual $2.3 billion in new sales as well as creates or retains a U.S. manufacturing job for every $1,900 in federal investments.