The NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has awarded the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Alaska Anchorage funding to shore up manufacturing support in both states.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been awarded $600,000 and authorized to establish an MEP center.
The $600,000 represents half of the MEP center‚Äôs annual operating funding needs. The University is required to come up with matching funds from non-federal sources for the remaining half.
The second grant announced by MEP was a $150,000 funding award to the University of Alaska Anchorage, provided as a State Technology Extension Assistance Project.
This funding will assist the University assess the technical needs of small and mid-sized manufacturers in the state, as Alaska looks towards diversifying its manufacturing base.
This effort is being undertaken by the University on behalf of MEP, and may lead to the establishment of an MEP center in Alaska.
MEP is a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, housed under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
MEP works with small and medium-sized manufacturers, helping them with innovation strategies, improvements, implementation of green practices, etc. that help the manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase sales, and save time and money.
In FY 2013 alone, MEP served 30,131 manufacturers. Manufacturers receiving MEP services reported 62,703 increased and retained jobs, cost savings of $1.2 billion and new client investments worth $2.6 billion. Not to mention $6.2 billion in retailed sales and another $2.2 billion in new sales.
MEP has worked with more than 76,000 manufacturers in the past 25 years, helping them rack up sales worth $79 billion and savings worth $12.8 billion.
MEP was first established in 1988, and has since helped create 636,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in investments in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Every dollar invested by the federal government through MEP generates $19 in new sales growth and $21 in new client investments. MEP helps create or retain one manufacturing job for every $1,978 of federal investment.
The new MEP center in Nebraska and another one possibly in the pipeline in Alaska will join a national network of 400 centers and field offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with a staff that includes more than 1,200 technical experts.