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  About MEP

Partnerships

MEP’s mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing, in partnership with other organizations. Its strength is in its collaborations with partners that share its passion: a commitment to fostering the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. As the U.S. adapts to rapidly changing global dynamics, MEP’s partnerships expand to meet evolving needs.

MEP partners with a diverse array of individual organizations. It works with federal agencies to inform small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMEs) and provide them access to technology and resources. It collaborates with professional and trade associations to create training programs and share resources. And it has a network of over 2,800 other affiliate partners – with expertise in workforce and economic development, technical applications, and manufacturing and business processes – to deliver additional support to manufacturers. 

MEP is also an invaluable partner in a wide range of government initiatives launched to support U.S. manufacturing. In response to intensifying global competition, these efforts involve collaborations of stakeholders pooling their resources to strengthen U.S. manufacturing in a variety of ways:  promoting innovation and tech transfer, encouraging clusters and reshoring, and more.

As partners in consortia, MEP centers contribute ground level support. MEP has a nation-wide network of 440 offices – at least one in every state and Puerto Rico – with a staff of 1,300 specialists in business and manufacturing working directly with nearly 30,000 manufacturers each year. MEP centers bring a range of technical tools and services that can be offered to manufacturers, while also providing partner organizations a valuable bridge to the manufacturing community. Centers:

  • Educate partners on small and medium sized manufacturer needs and drivers of behavior.
  • Provide outreach to manufacturers by connecting them to other programs and services offered by partner organizations.
  • Connect the gap between technology developers / R&D organizations and manufacturers: finding firms that are interested in a particular technology, as well as informing tech developers of manufacturer’s technology needs.
  • Are effective supporters of workforce development programs because of their close connection to local manufacturers.

The following are just a few examples of MEP’s extensive support of efforts that foster manufacturing growth at the federal, state, and local levels:

partnerhsip-28 In support of federal initiatives such as those related to advanced manufacturing, technology transfer, supply chain, and sustainability, local MEP centers are involved in regional consortia, providing ground-level support:
partnerhsip-31 Through partnerships, MEP supports programs that encourage reshoring:
  • Make it in America Challenge - The MIIA program is a partnership between NIST/MEP, the Department of Labor, and the Economic Development Administration. Also, local MEP centers are collaborating with regional partners.
  • Buy America/ Buy American  - Federal agencies partner with MEP in its Supplier Scouting program to find American suppliers for their procurement needs.
partnerhsip-30 Increasing exports is a priority at every level of government. MEP’s successful program is built on a partnership with an extensive array of export assistance organizations:
  • ExporTech - Export assistance program jointly offered by MEP and the U.S. Commercial Service, ExporTech connects SME participants with experts from FedEx, District Export Councils, State Trade Economic and Development groups, the Export-Import Bank, and the Small Business Administration.

partnerhsip-29

Promoting the image of manufacturing to encourage public support and interest in careers in manufacturing is a federal initiative. In response, NIST/MEP funds a program that is highly successful because of its collaborations:
  • National Manufacturing Day - MEP networks with public and private entities such as industry associations, media, and governors to organize and promote events nationwide.

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MEP centers collaborate on numerous state initiatives to grow manufacturing and manufacturing jobs:
  • National Governor’s Association Policy Academy - Funded in part by NIST/MEP, the Policy Academy is a team-based process for helping states develop and implement an action plan to spur growth in advanced manufacturing. Local MEP centers participate in regional teams, providing technical assistance.
  • MEP centers, such as those in California and Massachusetts, have partnered with state workforce boards (under the Workforce Investment Act) to help SMEs. Learn More
  • MEP centers in New York and California are collaborating with technology developers to bridge the gap with SMEs.
  • The Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center (Kansas MEP) is partnering with public utilities and industry to help SMEs reduce energy costs.
partnerhsip-32MEP is partnering to serve non-traditional segments such as the Maker Movement (artisan-scale manufacturing often spurred by innovative technologies such as additive manufacturing):
  • In 2014, the Obama administration announced that MEP is supporting “Maker-led startups that will create new industries and jobs.” For example, New York state MEP centers are collaborating with FuzeHub, a service that connects entrepreneurs (such as those involved in the Maker Movement) with “commercialization, innovation, engineering, and business growth” resources. MEP centers provide manufacturing technical support, as well as matching FuzeHub clients with suppliers (SMEs) that can help entrepreneurs scale up. Learn More