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 Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension Inc. (PRiMEX) 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.
The Manufacturing Disaster Assessment Program (MDAP) award, Hurricane Fiona Disaster Recovery Program for Local Small Manufacturers, is in response to Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall in southwest Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022, with winds over 85 miles per hour and more than 30 inches of rain in 24 hours. Due to damaged roads and mudslides, many residents were left with limited access to clean drinking water, and severe power outages. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved the initial Puerto Rico declaration of emergency DR- 4671-PR on Sept. 21, 2022 and further amended to include the 78 municipalities of the island. As a result of the award, PRiMEX will conduct a project to provide needed technical services to at least 80 companies, with the overall goal of assisting manufacturers to re-establish, re-focus, re-set, grow and retain jobs, contributing to restore the Puerto Rico economy. Services to be provided will include disaster recovery plans, supply chain resiliency, workforce retention, e-commerce, and financial assistance. Focus will be given to Puerto Rico manufacturers in the NAICS 31-33 sectors, with additional focus on manufacturers in these sectors with less than 100 employees, which represents 82% of the island’s total manufacturers. The project period of performance is 9/1/2023 to 8/31/2024 totaling $249,861 in federal funds.