The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology is providing $3.1 million to help fund the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center for its second year of operation. IMEC is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers.
NIST's decision to continue funding IMEC followed a first-year review by NIST of IMEC's impact on the performance of its customers, the center's relationships with the region's smaller manufacturers, its technology and business resources, technology delivery mechanisms, and management and financial plan. Other funding for IMEC is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and numerous other public and private-sector partners.
With the exception of companies in the Chicago metropolitan area, IMEC provides services to all of Illinois' manufacturers with fewer than 500 employees. (The Chicago Manufacturing Center, another MEP affiliate, serves Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.) IMEC is headquarted in Peoria, with regional offices in Peoria, Rockford and Carbondale. Additional field offices are strategically located throughout the state.
Results of ongoing surveys confirm that MEP services--delivered to almost 56,000 firms since 1989--are yielding sizable benefits. For example, a recent sample of 2,071 client companies around the country reported that, as a result of MEP services, they:
News and general information on the MEP are available on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://www.mep.nist.gov. Smaller manufacturers can call 800-MEP-4MFG (800-637-4634) to reach the MEP center serving their area.
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.