The Clinton Administration today announced that the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide $850,000 in funding for the Miami Valley Manufacturing Extension Center located in Kettering, Ohio. MVMEC is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which offers technical and business assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers.
President Bill Clinton said, Cost-sharing is just one indication of the true partnership that is taking place at the Ohio center and around the country. The goal in each of these centers is to create and retain high-quality jobs for U.S. workers and to help smaller manufacturers be even more productive."
In addition to the $850,000 provided by NIST, the Ohio Department of Development and others contribute an equal amount. Federal funding to support MEP affiliates initially is matched by state or local funding, fees for services and industry contributions.
This award reflects the Administration's renewed commitment to assisting our nation's 381,000 smaller manufacturers through this important program," said Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. We have dramatically expanded the MEP to help those manufacturers become more competitive in world markets. Including the Ohio center, 60 locally managed manufacturing extension centers—up from seven in 1993—are delivering much-needed services to this important sector of our economy," he said.
MVMEC has been an affiliate of the MEP since 1994. Federal funding for MVMEC's activities initially came from the Defense Department's Technology Reinvestment Project. NIST's decision to continue funding MVMEC followed a thorough review by NIST of MVMEC's knowledge of the numbers, types and needs of the region's smaller manufacturers; its technology and business resources; technology delivery mechanisms; and management and financial plan.
MVMEC serves 23 counties in southwest Ohio. Its mission is to assist the region's more than 5,000 smaller manufacturers become more competitive by providing assistance in manufacturing technology and operations, quality, defense conversion, business and general management, and training and education. A basic tenant of this assistance is the delivery of affordable solutions incorporating proven, established management practices and off-the-shelf technologies. MVMEC is affiliated with the Edison Materials Technology Center. Key partners providing expert services and technology capabilities are the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, Cincinnati, and the Southern Area Manufacturing Small Business Development Center, Dayton. Other partners are the Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Center, Dayton, and the Wright Technology Network, Kettering.
The NIST MEP is a nationwide network of locally managed centers in 42 states and Puerto Rico offering technical assistance and the newest business practices to smaller manufacturers. While most MEP affiliates have been providing services for only a year or two, results from earlier established centers indicate that MEP's network of manufacturing extension services is fostering significant improvements in manufacturing and business performance.
According to a 1994 survey of 610 firms, benefits anticipated totaled $167 million, the cumulative result of sales increases and cost savings attributed to actions undertaken with technical assistance from MEP centers. Benefits per company included 5.6 jobs added or saved and $43,000 savings in labor and material costs.
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.