The U.S Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has made one cooperative agreement award to the University of Texas at Arlington (dba TMAC, the MEP Center in Texas) under the NIST MEP Notice of Funding Opportunity, 2020-NIST-MEP-MDAP-01. This open competition invites MEP Centers to apply for funding to perform assessments and assist impacted small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in the areas subject to a FEMA Disaster Declaration to identify and access federal, state and local resources to aid in business recovery efforts.
Hurricane Laura made landfall in Texas on August 26, 2020. Texas experienced high winds of up to 150 mph, severe flooding, power outages, and damage to both buildings and facilities. Sixty-two (62) counties were declared a State of Disaster by Governor Abbott. President Trump approved an Emergency Declaration, FEMA-3540-EM, on August 26, 2020 for the same 62 counties. TMAC plans to conduct on-site assessments of manufacturers in the disaster-declared counties. The assessments will focus on damages from the storm to their production, workforce and financials. TMAC will create a "restoration analysis" designed to accelerate the rate at which many of these impacted manufacturing firms can restore their operations. The project's overall goal is to assist as many manufacturers as possible to restore their operations, re-employ their workforce, and return them to operation levels that again contribute to the economy of Texas and the nation. TMAC is awarded $475,000 in Federal funding beginning April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 (18 months).