Commerce Secretary William Daley announced today that two manufacturing extension centers in California will receive a total of more than $1.5 million in federal funding to help small manufacturers in the state deal with the year 2000 computer problem.
The centers are: California Manufacturing Technology Center, Hawthorne, serving the Los Angeles area ($1,410,328) and San Diego Manufacturing Extension Center, Inc. ($144,403). Both centers are affiliated with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"Small manufacturers in California, and throughout the country, need to pay attention to this potential problem today," said Daley. "If they do not, they risk losing their customers and income," he said.
The centers will use the funding to support their Y2K action planning and consultation programs which are helping small manufacturers identify and assess potential Y2K problems, develop contingency plans, and plan and manage remediation projects.
The year 2000 date problem, often called "Y2K" or the "millennium bug," refers to the failure of a computer program or system because the "00" year designation is misinterpreted or mistaken for "1900." The Stamford, Conn.-based GartnerGroup, a leading authority on information technology issues; the National Federation of Independent Business; and other organizations have reported that many small businesses have not yet taken steps to address year 2000 problems. Many that are addressing problems with their computer systems may be overlooking potential problems embedded in other systems such as machine controllers and building control systems.
NIST's MEP is a nationwide network of manufacturing extension centers providing a wide array of business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business advisers whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness.
For more information on Y2K or other services, small manufacturers can call 1-800-MEP-4MFG (637-4634) to reach their local MEP center or visit the MEP web site at www.mep.nist.gov.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.
California contacts: California Manufacturing Technology Center, Robert Fleming, (310) 263-3064; San Diego Manufacturing Extension Center, Inc., Dennis Schultze, (619) 530-4890 x1220.
In recognition of small manufacturers’ extraordinary contributions to the economic strength and well-being of the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Governors’ Association have declared 1999 as "The Year of the Small Manufacturer." Throughout 1999, NIST MEP and its network of centers are planning a series of events to celebrate the achievements of small manufacturers.