The Clinton Administration today announced that the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide $4.9 million in funding for the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The New York MEP is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which offers technical and business assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers.
President Clinton said, " Cost-sharing is just one indication of the true partnership that is taking place at the New York 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."
The New York MEP has been an affiliate of the NIST MEP since 1989. Federal funding for its four original manufacturing outreach centers initially came from the Defense Department's Technology Reinvestment Project. The four centers are:Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation, Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, Western New York Technology Development Center, and Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology (previously known as University/Industry/Public Partnership for Economic Growth).
In addition to the $4.9 million provided by NIST, New York State's Empire State Development through its Science and Technology Foundation 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. The New York center as well as MEP affiliates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico are delivering much-needed services to this important sector of our economy," he said.
NIST's decision to continue funding the New York MEP's four centers followed a thorough review in which the MEP center exhibited knowledge of the numbers, types and needs of the region's smaller manufacturers as well as an understanding of the region's technology and business resources and technology delivery mechanisms. The center also developed a management and financial plan. In September, NIST announced it was awarding the New York MEP $2.5 million, to be matched by the state and other sources, to expand some services and to create manufacturing outreach centers in upstate New York.
The New York MEP provides a range of manufacturing modernization services to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the state's manufacturers. In particular, the program helps the 26,000 New York manufacturing companies with fewer than 500 employees solve problems hindering their ability to compete effectively in the marketplace. These problems range from technical matters to concerns about plant management and operations. The New York MEP has a network of 85 field engineers providing technical and business assistance to companies through 10 manufacturing outreach centers located throughout the state.
A recent evaluation of the New York MEP by Nexus Associates, Inc., determined that both the state's smaller manufacturers and the New York economy are reaping benefits from the program. According to the study, the New York MEP generated an additional $30 million to $110 million of value-added income in New York State" between 1992 and 1994. This growth helped create an estimated 500 to 1,900 jobs and generated $1.7 million to $6.6 million in state tax revenues.
The NIST MEP is a nationwide network of locally managed centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico offering technical assistance and the newest business practices to smaller manufacturers. In recent interviews, 548 small manufacturers reported the following improvements or changes to their business performance as a result of assistance from MEP centers: 586 jobs created, 822 jobs retained, almost $21 million in higher sales, $4.4 million in labor and material cost savings, almost $12 million in capital investment and $8.1 million in lower inventory.
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.