National Small Business Week, which is taking place June 17-21, recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs to job creation and economic growth. One way that the Commerce Department works to support small- and medium-sized enterprises is through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a public-private partnership designed to encourage innovation in American manufacturing.
NIST MEP is a nationwide network of technical experts and business advisers who work with small- and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers, helping these businesses identify growth opportunities. MEP focuses its resources on five critical areas: technology acceleration, supplier development, sustainability, workforce and continuous improvement of manufacturing processes, products, and services.
For every one dollar of federal investment, MEP generates nearly $20 in new sales growth, which amounts to about $2.5 billion in new sales annually. And for every $2,100 of federal investment in the program, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job. These investments support the administration’s commitment to helping U.S. manufacturers innovate, grow, and create good jobs.
NIST MEP has successfully helped manufacturers across the country grow their businesses. For example:
- CleveMed, which creates products for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, reached out to NIST MEP’s MAGNET Product Design and Development (PDD) for assistance designing the case for a new device for at-home sleep apnea diagnosis. Utilizing MAGNET’s expertise in mechanical design and plastics engineering, CleveMed was able to generate $500,000 in new sales, realize $250,000 in cost savings, and add two new jobs.
- The Cardinal Group (TCG), a fully-integrated precision machining supplier located in Hillsdale, Mich., worked with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), a NIST MEP affiliate, on a plan to bring TCG’s marketing efforts in-house. The company was able to triple their sales volume, hire 12 new employees, and save $150,000.
- Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD), a Lafayette, Colo.-based materials developer, increased sales by more than $2 million after working with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (CAMT), a NIST MEP affiliate, for guidance on getting products to market.
These are just a few of the many successes that U.S. manufacturers have had by working with NIST MEP. By offering technical assistance and business development advice, NIST MEP enables small and medium manufacturing businesses to continue to create jobs and strengthen the American economy.