Helping Communities Shine

Whether researching and implementing ways to shape a community's economic development plan or partnering to create ways to put people to work, CREC connects researchers and policymakers with:

     • Data training
     • Custom portfolios that aid regional competitiveness

Project Profile

Building a Strong State-Federal Partnership to Support Manufacturing

National Institute of Standards & Technology – Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Start Date: Oct 2002 — End Date: Ongoing

CREC works with several partners, including the State Science & Technology Institute, to develop a strong support structure for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) program. NIST MEP is a federal program designed to help manufacturers become globally competitive. CREC has facilitated numerous focus group sessions and conducted one-on-one sessions, connecting NIST officials with key state policy leaders, to create greater understanding among state technology officials about how NIST MEP programs might be most effectively implemented in partnership with the states.

In 2018-2019, SSTI and CREC are sponsoring a manufacturing policy academy with two cohorts of 12 states (total) to help develop the next generation of strategies to promote advanced manufacturing.  The first cohort of four states started in August 2018 and the second in August 2019 to help states strengthen and advance their manfacturing base.  This effort follows a similar model for eight states implemented in 2011-2012.

Through its work with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, in 2014 CREC worked with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) to produce several value-chain maps for key industries that had been targeted as part of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Illinois Economic Development Plan. IMEC plans to use these value-chain maps to inform matchmaking events and provide sourcing assistance for Illinois-based manufacturers.

Research & PlanningTechnical Assistance

About the Client

National Institute of Standards & Technology – Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a program of regional centers that assist, smaller, U.S.-based manufacturing companies in identifying and adopting new technologies. MEP operates under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – a non-regulatory measuring standards laboratory housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Project Updates

Strategic Positioning of MEP Centers in Providing Workforce Services
January 6, 2023

Small Manufacturing Enterprises (SMEs) fuel the U.S. economy. They compete through innovation, energy, and agility in response to rapidly changing global supply chain requirements and they take risks by introducing new processes and products. The vital role of SMEs, however, depends on a strong manufacturing workforce, and the challenges that SMEs face are particularly acute […]

CREC Attends SSTI & NIST-MEP Kickoff Meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland
July 27, 2016

Ken Poole and Catherine Katona met SSTI President, Dan Berglund, and NIST-MEP Director, Carroll Thomas, and the MEP team to kickoff another 5-year cooperative agreement with CREC in Gaithersburg, Maryland.