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Three States Receive Grants as Step to Build Manufacturing Extension Programs

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced four cost-shared grants to build manufacturing assistance and modernization programs aimed at smaller manufacturers in California, Mississippi and Washington.

The awards are part of the State Technology Extension Program (known as STEP), managed by NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership. STEP has supported 32 states in building and improving manufacturing extension programs since 1990. "This program helps states better understand the needs of their smaller manufacturing companies and offer services these companies need to modernize and to become more competitive," says Kevin Carr, MEP director.

STEP-funded projects help states build their own infrastructure for business and technology outreach services by (1) planning extension systems or technical and business assistance programs, (2) supporting the initial implementation of such programs, or (3) developing links between existing programs and those in other regions.

STEP grants provide matching funds (the grantee provides at least 50 percent of the cost of the proposed project) to qualified proposals from state governments and public/private, non-profit organizations acting with the approval of state governments. The latest awards go to two organizations in California, one in Mississippi, and one in Washington. Information on the awards is attached.

California currently has two extension centers affiliated with the NIST MEP: the California Manufacturing Technology Center, Hawthorne, established in 1992; and the Northern California Manufacturing Extension Center, Fremont, established in 1995. The Mississippi Polymer Institute and Pilot Manufacturing Extension Center, established last year, also is a partner in the NIST MEP network. It focuses on the state's nearly 400-firm polymer industry.

MEP is a partner with America's smaller manufacturers, working to address many of the technology and business improvement challenges they face. MEP's network of centers in 42 states and Puerto Rico offers services and support to give smaller manufacturers access to new technologies, resources and expertise.

A non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership


1996 Grants

These grants are for planning regional or statewide extension programs for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Projects could include defining industry needs, assessing existing extension resources, or developing a statewide strategic plan for manufacturing extension.


San Diego Manufacturing Extension Center, Inc., San Diego, Calif.
Federal funding: $65,953
Matching funding: $75,678
Contact: Bruce Spivack, (619) 685-1424

Small Manufacturers' Institute, Sacramento, Calif.
Federal funding: $99,999
Matching funding: $101,000
Contact: Wayne Snodgrass, (916) 278-4877


Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, Stennis Space Center, Miss.
Federal funding: $99,999
Matching funding: $123,356
Contact: Edward Pinero, (601) 688-1974


Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, Olympia, Wash.
Federal funding: $95,809
Matching funding: $102,000
Contact: Mike Fitzgerald, (360) 753-2200

Released June 25, 1996, Updated November 27, 2017