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Video: Heroes of American Manufacturing – Mayville Engineering

Mayville Engineering Company
Credit: NIST MEP

Small and medium-sized manufacturers know that employees are their most important asset. Without employee commitment, no company can succeed. Mayville Engineering Company (MEC) recognizes this. According to MEC’s Executive Vice President of Fabrication Operations David Higgs, “What embodies MEC most is our mission statement. It’s pride, personal responsibility and daily excellence. Our biggest strength is our people.” At this employee-owned company, the workforce is engaged because the solutions that drive the company’s success benefit them as well.

A new video in the Heroes of American Manufacturing series features MEC, a metal fabricator located in Heber Springs, Arkansas, that supports the commercial vehicle, construction, power sports, agriculture, military and other markets. MEC demonstrates how a company that helps its employees succeed also helps the community succeed. It’s brought 70 new jobs to this small town.

MEC values diversity in its workforce and the need for promotions and management to reflect that diversity. To support this, MEC worked with its local MEP Center, Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions (AMS), for training with key leadership to make sure they understand the importance of diversity and how it can help drive improvements for the company.

MEC is committed to providing high quality, family-supporting careers for its employees. Not everyone goes to college, and MEC works hard to get the message out about the wide variety of jobs it offers, including those that don’t require a degree. It hosts a high school internship program, enabling students to get real experience and an insider’s view of the company’s opportunities. It wants young people to know they can stay in this small town and have a successful future.

The effort has paid off and MEC has grown rapidly. The experts at AMS have been with the company every step of the way. To support its growth, AMS provided MEC with lean training, such as value-stream mapping and single-minute exchange of die (SMED, for changeover time reduction). AMS has provided MEC with access to technology grants – enabling the company to investigate new technology before investing. And MEC can count on AMS to help train its workforce to use the new technologies effectively. This partnership between MEC and its local MEP Center is critical to the company’s rapid growth and success.

But the real driver of that success is the employees. When a company cares about its people, the people have more to give the company. As MEC Operations Manager Kenny Sanders says, “MEC is different from most manufacturers in that we’re an employee-owned company. And that really brings a sense of pride for each individual person that works here. You’re a shareholder and so you have just as much to gain from improvement efforts that you’re involved in as anyone else in the company.” Caring about the success of its employees and its community is what makes MEC a hero of American manufacturing.

Heroes of American Manufacturing Video Series
The Heroes of American Manufacturing video series attempts to capture the hearts and minds of the public and celebrate the small and medium-sized manufacturers succeeding in the U.S. with the help of their local MEP Centers. We want to shine a spotlight on what’s happening in plants across the country, the leaders and workers who are making things that improve our daily life, and the jobs and contributions these manufacturers provide their communities and the nation’s economy. Heroes videos also showcase the relationship between the MEP Center and client manufacturer – helping to tell the story of the MEP National Network™, a unique public-private partnership that includes MEP Centers in every state and Puerto Rico. With more than 1,400 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 450 MEP service locations, the Network can provide any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources it needs to succeed. The MEP National Network can help your company become a hero of American manufacturing!

About the author

Katie Rapp

Katie Rapp is a writer/editor for NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership where she helps NIST MEP staff use plain language so their readers can understand what they write the first time they read it. Before that, she was a librarian at the NIST Research Library where she learned and wrote about many cool NIST history stories.

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