Since 1988, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing, continually evolving to meet the changing needs of manufacturers. Through its services and partnerships it has had a profound impact on the growth of well-paying jobs, the development of dynamic manufacturing communities, and the enhancement of American innovation and global competitiveness.
MEP’s strength is in its partnerships. Through its collaborations at the federal, state and local level, MEP puts manufacturers in position to develop new products and customers, expand into global markets, adopt new technology, reshore production, and more. And because of its direct contact with manufacturers, MEP serves as a valuable bridge to other organizations that share a passion for enhancing the manufacturing community.
MEP’s strategic objective is to create value for all manufacturers, with a particular focus on small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs represent nearly 99% of manufacturing firms in the U.S. and form the essential fabric of the U.S. manufacturing infrastructure. MEP is able to provide this support to individual manufacturers through its nationwide network of local centers made up of teams of experts and business professionals.
As a public/private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every dollar of federal investment, MEP clients generate nearly $19 in new sales, which translates into $2.2 billion annually. And for every $1,978 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one U.S. manufacturing job. Since 1988, MEP has worked with nearly 76,000 manufacturers, leading to $79 billion in sales and $12.8 billion in cost savings, and it has helped create more than 636,000 jobs.
After more than 25 years, MEP continues to innovate, meeting the challenge of developing new programs, services, and partnerships to help manufacturers flourish in the 21st century. MEP is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency.