Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

$320 million in public-private funding will be given to nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofit organizations can now compete for $320 million in public and private funding to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers in 12 key states. It’s all part of a national effort to expand technology, innovation, and workforce development services to small manufacturers and bring new American-made products to market.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a network of 60 centers and 1,200 manufacturing experts, is looking for nonprofits to operate its centers in Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The goal is to “optimize the impact of Federal investment on U.S. manufacturing and to allocate additional funds to areas with higher concentrations of manufacturers,” according to an official competition handout. It’s funding well-spent, competition organizers write:

“Every dollar of federal investment in the MEP translates into $19 of new sales for small manufacturers, or almost $2.5 billion annually across the 30,000 small manufacturers that MEP serves. Since it was founded in 1988, MEP has worked with nearly 80,000 manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and $14 billion in cost savings, and helping small manufacturers create more than 729,000 new jobs.”

An informational webinar on the competition will be held at 1 p.m. ET on April 16.

The nonprofit organizations who operate the MEP centers will help expand activities including innovation, lean production, supply chain innovation, technology acceleration, and workforce development.

This is actually the second round of competitions for the MEP centers — the first round focused on 10 states where MEP investment in manufacturing establishment was below its national average. Those awards were handed out in February. Proposals for the next round of competition is due by June 1, with winners starting their efforts on January 2016.

The entire MEP competition is scheduled to wrap up by December 2016.  Click here for more information, including how to apply.