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Maker's Memo Newsletter Story Archive

Maker's Memo September 2020

Funds for classroom and on-the-job training

JTIP funds classroom and on-the-job training for new jobs in expanding or relocating businesses for up to 6 months. The program reimburses 50-75% of employee wages. These trainees can be new employees, or those currently employed looking for higher-wage promotions. These funds are specifically set aside by the Legislature each year and can only be […]

Maker's Memo August 2020

A New Mexico MEP primer on safety

As we travel about the state talking with manufacturers, we find there is an uneasiness about the requirements for safety. So we offer the following outline that introduces the major elements required for most companies, starting with employer responsibilities. Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards, and comply with standards rules and regulations issued […]

Maker's Memo August 2020

Partnerships to savor

The Delicious New Mexico local food e-commerce and distribution enterprise was developed by the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation at the South Valley Economic Development Center, in partnership with Agri-Cultura Network and the Hispanic-American Institute, under grant AM170100XXXXG102 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Delicious New Mexico helps local farmers, ranchers, and food producers conduct […]

Maker's Memo June 2020

Anatomy of a collaborative

The New Mexico COVID-19 Emergency Supply Collaborative‘s success in delivering much-needed supplies to medical facilities is a story worth sharing. During the collaborative’s inception, our office was closed but NM MEP’s work kept going. MEP’s Innovation Directors (IDs) met weekly with businesses or regional partners. For example, Denise Williams was part of the Farmington group, which […]

Maker's Memo May 2020

Heartfelt gratitude

All of us at New Mexico MEP want to acknowledge the nimble and innovative contributions the following companies have made in the fight against COVID-19. A BIG THANK YOU TO: The manufacturers that have uploaded their capabilities to the NM Emergency Supply Sourcing and Manufacturing website https://www.nmcovid19.org/. That information has resulted in PPE and other […]

Maker's Memo April 2020

Website connects manufacturers and innovators with COVID-19 supply needs

A website dedicated to recruiting New Mexico suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, makers and testing-centers in the fight against COVID-19 has been launched by several of the state’s universities, research institutions and manufacturing support organizations. The website aims to quickly source, produce and test needed medical and other supplies that will bolster on-the-ground efforts to stop the […]

Maker's Memo April 2020

Website Helps Manufacturers Respond to Medical Needs

Manufacturers and Innovators Encouraged to Upload Capabilities to website at https://nmcovid19.org. A website dedicated to recruiting New Mexico suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, makers and testing-centers in the fight against COVID-19 has been launched by several of the state’s universities, research institutions and manufacturing support organizations. The website aims to quickly source, produce and test needed medical and […]

Maker's Memo February 2020

Navajo Spirit Builds on Deep Roots

Since 1984, Navajo Spirit Southwestern Wear has been creating and selling Native American-inspired clothing and craft items through retailers, gift catalogs, online sales and Indian art fairs. Today, eighty percent of revenue is generated from its retail shop in historic downtown Gallup, where eight employees cut and sew garments designed by artist Virginia Yazzie Ballenger. […]

Maker's Memo January 2020

Lean Manufacturing Workshops Help New-Hires Learn Company Culture

Process Equipment and Service Company Inc. (PESCO) has been sending its new-hire employees to lean manufacturing workshops for years. The practice has paid off, according to Craig Mayberry, PESCO’s Manager of Manufacturing Excellence.  The 50-year-old engineering, design and manufacturing company that serves the on-shore oil and natural gas industries from its Farmington headquarters is one […]

Maker's Memo November 2019

Mfg Day high notes to keep in mind for 2020

  Drawing some 150 signups, the Advanced Manufacturing Summit marked the conclusion of New Mexico’s 7th annual Manufacturing Day. Topping the list of favorite events was the summit’s “Live White Hat Hack,” a real-time IT hacking demo that clearly illustrated vulnerabilities inherent in manufacturing processes that utilize artificial intelligence and other computerized controls. Survey respondents […]

Maker's Memo August 2019

Join Mfg Day 2019!

Insight Lighting of Rio Rancho has been a Manufacturing Day participant since 2014. The maker of exterior and interior lighting products for high-end architectural projects has conducted tours of its facility for students, prospective buyers and community groups. Glenn Wright, vice president of operations, said the tours have been beneficial. “The majority of our products […]

Maker's Memo July 2019

Solving Critical Technical Issues for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

MEP clients who need help resolving issues with products and processes in areas such as but not limited to additive manufacturing, robotics, biosciences, calibrations, and laboratory accreditations can leverage the MEP-Assisted Technology and Technical Resource (MATTR) program. The program offers access to wide-ranging, world-class technical expertise available at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research labs, […]

Maker's Memo June 2019

Finding the linchpin

Valley Mills has been in LaPlata, New Mexico since the owner purchased the packager of corn products from a vendor distributor in 2006. The company has been roasting yellow, white and blue corn products and delivering them ground and whole to customers via distributor. Owner Teresa Lackey later added two more distributors and expanded into […]

Maker's Memo March 2019

Fighting for NMSBA

Enormous thanks to the dozens of business owners who demonstrated their support of the NMSBA program by providing public comment encouraging passage of House Bill 526. While the bill doesn’t increase total funding for the NMSBA program, it allows qualifying businesses to obtain additional or follow-on help: Up to $20,000 of assistance for businesses located […]

Maker's Memo March 2019

Opportunity in automation — for businesses and workers

Albuquerque’s Build With Robots LLC (BWR) sees automation and human labor existing side by side, even in small and medium-sized businesses. The New Mexico company works with manufacturers and other businesses to enhance their productivity and competitive advantage by incorporating “collaborative robots,” or CoBots, into the labor force to perform the more monotonous tasks so […]

Maker's Memo February 2019

New OSHA requirement for New Mexico Manufacturers

As New Mexico MEP’s Jeff Abrams travels about New Mexico meeting with clients to plan the year’s goals and objectives, he is learning that New Mexico manufacturers are not aware of a new requirement initiated by OSHA: All manufacturers employing more than 20 employees must electronically submit the OSHA form 300A Summary of Work Related […]

Maker's Memo February 2019

Albuquerque’s Theta Plate pursues tailored guidance

A second generation family-owned Albuquerque company specializing in precious metal plating, Theta Plate Inc. serves customers from all over the world. In order to access higher margin business and DoD markets, the company obtained ITAR registration and later, at the prompting of company president C. Aaron Velasquez, decided to further its defense qualifications, to include […]

Maker's Memo January 2019

PESCO’s growth story

PESCO has been producing natural gas and oil production equipment in Farmington, New Mexico since 1970. In December, 2018, the manufacturer announced that it will expand its main facility by 20,000 square feet and create up to 180 new jobs.  Over the years, the company has been steadily building a reputation for quality and service, […]

Maker's Memo November 2018

Advanced Manufacturing Summit

New Mexico MEP’s annual summit is a networking and think-tank opportunity for manufacturers, economic developers and thought leaders to discuss current issues affecting manufacturers in New Mexico. Typically held the last week of October, the event serves as the celebratory culmination of Manufacturing Day activities that take place throughout the month. Advanced Manufacturing Summit 2019 […]

Maker's Memo October 2018

Innovation and tradition coexist for small-batch producer

By Jason Gibbs, Finance New Mexico With a history of agricultural experimentation dating back to the 1930s and a storied tradition reaching into the depths of New Mexico’s territorial history, Los Poblanos has bridged the centuries and now, with the assistance of New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP), continues to preserve the past and […]

Maker's Memo September 2018

New Mexico spotlights diverse manufacturing sector

More than a third of young people studying for vocational and technical careers have no contact with potential future employers before they graduate, and only 12 percent have seen the inside of a manufacturing facility. That conclusion, from a 2016 study by the Manufacturing Institute, lends urgency to Manufacturing Day, an annual event designed to […]

Maker's Memo August 2018

Onsite consultations help implement worker health & safety

To encourage small businesses with 250 or fewer employees to take a proactive approach to workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides 90 percent of the funds necessary to run the free and confidential New Mexico State Occupational Health and Safety Bureau Consultation Program. The point is to help employers find workable […]

Maker's Memo July 2018

Cooper Fire Reduces Unscheduled Job Site Deliveries

Cooper Fire Protection Services (CFPS) is a 40-year old company serving the Four Corners area from its base in Farmington. The company, which employs about 40 workers, designs, fabricates, installs and maintains fire protection systems in New Mexico and Colorado. Owners Ireke and Shantel Cooper — and Ireke’s parents, who previously owned the company — […]

Maker's Memo June 2018

Diving into the resource pool

Pamela Gathings has several businesses: Tethering Ideas, which provides consulting, prototyping, and research and development (R&D); Quick Carriers dba Hauling Accessories, which develops and produces items to expand vehicle storage; and Solar Lights, which provides solar power to the arts industries. Gathings’ businesses fit a niche and solve a community challenge by creating employer diversification […]

Maker's Memo May 2018

New team member: Julia Wise, Technology Transfer ID

A scientist with experience in education, healthcare, and technology transfer, Julia Wise joins our team to create, support, and lead programs that further technology-based economic and community development. She has an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, and a master’s and doctorate in geology. Prior to moving back to Santa Fe, she worked for The […]

Maker's Memo April 2018

Getting an upgrade: ATA’s customized ISO transition

Applied Technology Associates (ATA) is a precision measurement, sensing, and controls company that furnishes services and products to government and commercial customers. As a privately held small business, ATA has demonstrated a remarkable ability to transition technology to operational use and commercial products by leveraging internal and government-funded research and development. ATA’s products and services […]

Maker's Memo April 2018

New Mexico Innovation Expo: A resource universe for businesses

Businesses that partner with our organization tend to also connect with other economic development resources such as a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) — and the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program (NMSBA). New Mexico entrepreneurs can explore this resource universe at the New Mexico Innovation Expo on April 19 in […]

Maker's Memo March 2018

Getting to know you: The benefits of CoBot automation

As part of our mission to strengthen and grow New Mexico’s manufacturing and give our state’s manufacturers a competitive advantage through advanced automation, we are partnering with Build With Robots, LLC, to offer collaborative robot (CoBot) seminars and hands-on CoBot application demos. Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Chris Ziomek & Randy Krall, Build With Robots is a regional authorized […]

Maker's Memo March 2018

Increasing New Mexico manufacturers’ competitiveness

As we work to help New Mexico manufacturers become more competitive, we also measure the resulting impacts of our work. Here is a sampling of those impacts to illustrate how a small portion of the companies we have partnered with have become more competitive. Continental Machining Co, Inc. – Albuquerque, NM New Mexico MEP supported Continental Machining’s efforts to implement a […]

Maker's Memo March 2018

Craft brewery infographic

> Complete infographic here (New Mexico made the spotlight — see Page 2) Courtesy of NIST

Maker's Memo February 2018


New Mexico MEP Fiscal Year 2019 Economic Impacts New Mexico MEP is part of a national network of: 375 field locations Over 1,400 MEP experts More than 2,100 partners SUCCESS STORIES Navajo Spirit Southwestern Wear is building on deep roots An exercise in Value Stream Mapping generated ideas for new products made from the remnants […]

Maker's Memo February 2018

New Mexico MEP paves road with good startup resources

Trotting On Innovations LLC invents products primarily for the supplemental oxygen community. The small Bloomfield, New Mexico, company was formed by inventor Middy McFarland, whose background in respiratory therapy and supplemental oxygen use led her to pursue taking ideas to market. Looking for a viable way to develop products for this expanding market, McFarland attended […]

Maker's Memo January 2018

Midtown Metal’s MEP-guided roadmap to greater capacity

Though Albuquerque’s Midtown Metal was known primarily as a metal fabricator of roofing materials, they had the capacity to produce metal products for all architectural and building needs with quick turnaround, and in a variety of colors and finishes. By 2016, the company saw an opportunity to grow their product line to better include all […]

Maker's Memo December 2017

A bundle of transformation tools saves a bundle of money

Serving multibillion-dollar organizations, scientific equipment makers and art distributors, Albuquerque’s Certified Packing & Crating Inc. (CP&C) has been in the business of packing, crating and customized product handling for 17 years. When the current owners, a husband and wife team formerly employed at Intel, purchased the company in 2012, they knew they needed help. Having […]

Maker's Memo October 2017

Partnering in the pursuit of continual improvement

PESCO has been manufacturing natural gas and oil production equipment in Farmington, New Mexico since 1970. Despite fluctuating gas prices, business has grown steadily, and so has PESCO’s reputation. This is demonstrated through well-respected products in the industry, a great reputation for quality and service, loyal employees and customers, and a solid financial footing. Kyle […]

Maker's Memo September 2017

Enlisting word of mouth and local connections

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico This October will mark the third year that Albuquerque glass manufacturer Glass-Rite is participating in Manufacturing Day. Steve Hoberg, Glass-Rite’s vice president of sales and public relations, recently spoke about why it’s important. Finance New Mexico: How would you describe Glass-Rite to someone who has never heard of […]

Maker's Memo August 2017

Lean Laser Focus: OptiSource

Located in Albuquerque, in New Mexico’s rustic North Valley, OptiSource, LLC is well into its second decade of providing a wide range of optical components for some of the most exacting requirements in the photonics industry. Since opening in 1997 and concentrating on providing crystal quartz waveplates and polarization rotators for the industry, OptiSource has […]

Maker's Memo July 2017

Making Manufacturers: Events Aim to Inspire Next-Generation Workers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico Young people can be hard to impress, but students from Albuquerque’s Academy of Trades and Technology (ATTHS) charter school were visibly stoked by a tour of Rader Awning during 2016 Manufacturing Day events. Before-and-after shots of the 15 ATTHS students who visited the factory where Rader manufactures awnings, […]

Maker's Memo June 2017

Environmental Value Stream Mapping

Environmental Value Stream Mapping (EVSM) analyzes your process inputs and outputs to determine locations of waste in your process and to propose solutions to eliminate or reduce the waste. Not only does this make your company greener, it also increases profits by reducing costs. New Mexico MEP (NM MEP) requires the following records to complete […]

Maker's Memo June 2017

Required safety plans

If OSHA came to your door, what’s one of the first things the inspector might ask to see? The answer is …  your Hazard Communication Plan. Is your written plan up for that kind of scrutiny? How about your other safety and health plans? Are you sure you have all the required written plans you […]

Maker's Memo June 2017

Opening New Doors on Process Improvement

La Puerta Originals is a family-owned and -operated company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The business evolved out of founder Scott Coleman’s combined love of art, architecture and world travel.  As Scott began collecting discarded doors, columns, beautifully carved wood, ironwork and other building materials, word spread about the unique architectural elements of La […]

Maker's Memo May 2017

Growing San Juan Closet Works is a Team Effort

San Juan Closet Works is a custom closet company specializing in storage and organization solutions for residential and business settings. They specialize in working closely with their customers to develop creative, customized solutions for all of their organizational needs including closets, home offices, pantries, garages, craft rooms, laundry rooms, multi-function rooms and Murphy wall beds. […]

Maker's Memo April 2017

Continuous Improvement Helps Belen Manufacturer Go Global

Sisneros Brothers Manufacturing embodies the entrepreneurial notion that finding the right niche can transform talent into business success. Avenicio Sisneros, founder of the Belen company, began as a cabinetmaker in the 1950s but shifted to making and installing sheet metal ducting for houses in 1987. With him were sons Martin, Alex and Philip. Demand quickly […]

Maker's Memo March 2017

On fire: Old Wood ramps up operations

Old Wood, LLC began in 1999 as a small family-owned sawmill that manufactured wood flooring using fire-reclaimed and tribally sourced woods. In 2008, the company expanded its product line to include end-grain flooring: durable, commercial-grade flooring made of small-diameter and lower-grade woods. This has had a significant impact on the sustainability and proper utilization of […]

Maker's Memo February 2017

Past Impacts

New Mexico MEP Economic Impacts New Mexico MEP is part of a national network of: 588 field locations Over 1,200 MEP experts More than 2,300 partners SUCCESS STORIES Mezel Mods: Competitive Niche Manufacturing in New Mexico Through visual management, lean and line-balancing techniques, New Mexico MEP helped the firm improve its lead time, production volume, […]

Maker's Memo February 2017

Press Release: NIST Renews Commitment to New Mexico’s Manufacturers

Result of competitive funding process demonstrates NIST’s confidence in New Mexico MEP and the state’s manufacturers February 20, 2017 ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has renewed funding for New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (New Mexico MEP), expressing confidence in the high-quality services delivered and results obtained by the nonprofit organization’s […]

Maker's Memo January 2017

Mezel Mods: Competitive Niche Manufacturing in New Mexico

Mezel Mods, a family -owned and -operated company in Rio Rancho, NM, has been in business for three years. The company, which consists of two founders and one employee manufactures individual creative additions (aftermarket) and replacement parts for pinball machinery, which they sell online directly to the end-user. What sets Mezel Mods apart from other […]

Maker's Memo December 2016

Request for Information from NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is preparing to publish one or more Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in fiscal year 2017. The intent of the NOFO is to add capabilities to the MEP system to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the MEP national network which will help solve new and emerging manufacturing problems and capture new […]

Maker's Memo December 2016

Successes & Highlights From 2016

It’s a beautiful thing to watch New Mexico companies grow. To that end, New Mexico MEP provides assistance to our state’s manufacturers in the areas of manufacturing expertise, enhancing processes, and growth strategies. Our mission is to help the existing manufacturing and business communities strengthen their industry competitiveness while developing a globally competitive workforce. We […]

Maker's Memo November 2016

Putting Major Contracts Within Reach

New Mexico MEP just wrapped up an ISO certification class made available through a partnership with the state Economic Development Department and the use of JTIP funding. Being ISO certified is required in order to win big contracts or do business with privately held national and international companies. After September 2017, companies will no longer […]

Maker's Memo October 2016

Ursula Slavens

Ursula is a New Mexico native with an industrial engineering degree from New Mexico State University.  She began her career 25 years ago at Intel Corporation’s semiconductor manufacturing site in Rio Rancho, NM. During that time, she gained a broad spectrum of experience by seeking various roles within many different departments. These roles included industrial engineer, […]

Maker's Memo October 2016

First lessons: Mfg Day 2016 student tours

  By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico MEP New Mexico celebrated Manufacturing Day 2016 during the month of October (Private Label Select hosts the last set of student and public tours on October 27). Compared to past events, 2016 tour hosts saw more students walk through their doors and into the magical world of making […]

Maker's Memo August 2016

Action Plan on a Map:  Value Stream Mapping Raises Awning Company’s Productivity

Company Profile:  Rader Awning & Upholstering, Inc. designs, manufactures and installs custom awnings, shade structures, and unique fabric products for both commercial and residential applications.  Rader Awning was founded in 1947 by the Rader family and the Mowery family currently owns and operates the business. The company has locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and […]

Maker's Memo July 2016

New Mexico MEP a Key Partner in Private Label Select’s Success Story

Karl Halpert’s collaborative relationship with New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and other business service providers has helped the Taos entrepreneur build Private Label Select (PLS) into the personal-care industry’s premier maker of lip balms, lip tints and other cosmetics in just 22 years. The business is growing so robustly — with annual growth of […]

Maker's Memo June 2016

Pivoting from International Crisis to Domestic Manufacturing

6.24.16 Company Profile: BioLime Inc. is an 8 year old company representing over five generations of knowledge in the production of high-performance structural coatings. BioLime Inc. seeks to be a manufacturer of colorized lime-based stuccos, plasters, and paints for exterior and interior applications, whose benefits include energy efficiency, low carbon footprint, and green-eco materials largely sourced […]