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Passing of Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings

Champion for Technological Innovation and the MEP Program


MEP National NetworkTM Colleagues and Friends,  

Yesterday we learned of the passing of Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings at the age of 97.  Senator Hollings represented South Carolina in the U.S. Senate for 38 years and was a strong supporter of issues relating to technological innovation and how it could contribute to the overall competitiveness of U.S. industry.   He was the driving force behind the Technology Competitiveness Act of, which was rolled into the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act that cleared the way for the launch of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program.  South Carolina was home to one of the three original MEP Centers, the Southeast Manufacturing Technology Center which opened in 1989.  In 2004, to honor Senator Hollings the MEP program was renamed the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Just last November Senator Hollings helped recognize and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the MEP program with a letter of commendation honoring the 30 years of achievement of the MEP program.  

As Director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, I am proud to share the fiscal conservatism of Senator Hollings, and like him, remark at how much the men and women of the MEP National Network™ have accomplished over the past 30 years in the public/private partnership devoted to serving U.S. manufacturers.  We will continue to honor Senator Hollings’ memory through our work to support manufacturing communities across the country and mourn the passing of a legend offering our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. 

Sincerest regards,
Carroll Thomas
Director of NIST MEP


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created April 8, 2019, Updated November 15, 2019