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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 lies in its collaborations with organizations that share its commitment to fostering the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. As the U.S. adapts to rapidly changing global dynamics, MEP’s partnerships expand to meet evolving needs.

NIST/MEP partners with a diverse array of organizations. It works with federal agencies to inform small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMEs) about cutting edge information and resources in areas such as workforce, technology adoption, environment, energy, quality, and more. And it collaborates with professional and trade associations to create training programs and share resources. (See Partnership Agreements)

At the local level, MEP centers partner with 2800 service providers – with expertise in workforce, technical tools related to the shop floor and IT, and manufacturing and business processes – to deliver additional support to manufacturers.  Centers also collaborate with state leaders and regional stakeholders such as universities, community colleges, and area economic development organizations to leverage investments, research, and activities that help grow manufacturing companies and jobs. And increasingly centers serve as an invaluable partner in support of government initiatives launched to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, serving as a bridge between the manufacturing community and collaboration partners. Specifically, centers:

  • Educate local and regional 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.
  • Support workforce development programs.

The following are just a few examples of MEP’s involvement in 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 multiagecny initiatives 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 several 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 supports an endeavor 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 with their state governments on numerous 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 with “commercialization, innovation, engineering, and business growth” resources. MEP centers provide manufacturing technical support and match FuzeHub clients with manufacturers (SMEs) that can help them scale up. Learn More
partnership-35 MEP also embraces less formal collaborations that support U.S. manufacturers: