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Two Awards to Help MEP Centers Better Manage Human Resources, Evaluate Benefits to Communities Served

Two awards announced today by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology will help affiliates of the nationwide Manufacturing Extension Partnership more effectively manage their human resources and develop better ways to document and share how manufacturing extension assistance works to produce benefits for client firms.

With affiliate centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP is a nationwide system of services and support for smaller manufacturers giving them unprecedented access to new technologies, resources and expertise.

Following are descriptions of the two awards:

Human Resource Guidelines Project

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Technology Center, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership and the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, will develop MEP Guidelines for Human Resource Management of Centers. (These three organizations together represent more than 17 years of operating an MEP-affiliated center.) The guidelines will describe and provide examples of 13 human resource topics, including orientation of new employees, effective use of training, staff hiring, compensation and reward systems, empowerment and teams. The three centers also will offer training and consulting assistance.

Contact: Charlie Olszewski, GLMTC, (216) 432-5345 Federal funding: $150,375

Case Study Services to Help Improve MEP Center Performance

COSMOS Corp., in conjunction with Nexus Associates, will provide training and technical assistance over a three-year period to MEP-affiliated centers to help them develop and use case studies as a tool for continuous improvement of center performance. The training and assistance also will help centers better understand how case studies can help them improve. For instance, case studies of client companies can reveal the companies' conditions leading to service, technical assistance provided by the center, the assistance process, the changes made by the firm, the resulting changes in performance and the benefits to the firm. Other case studies can focus on internal center management processes to document distinctive or especially effective management practices--to be disseminated to all MEP-affiliated centers. COSMOS also will assist in producing a variety of case study reports, which may include 10- to 20-page individual case studies, a cross-site analysis of multiple cases, one-page profiles of each case study, and a report of the methods and process of developing case studies.

Contact: Robert K. Yin, COSMOS, (301) 215-9100 x336 Federal funding: $299,998

These two awards will help MEP affiliates provide improved services and support to small and medium-sized manufacturers. Early results indicate that MEP's network of manufacturing extension services is fostering significant improvements in manufacturing and business performance. For example, a recent study by the U.S. General Accounting Office reported that the assistance smaller manufacturers had received from manufacturing extension programs, including NIST's MEP, had positively affected their use of technology, the quality of their product, the productivity of their workers, their customers' satisfaction, their profits and their ability to meet production schedules.

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.

Released October 7, 1996, Updated November 27, 2017