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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 work with manufacturers in the state.

New Mexico MEP, which is part of the Hollings MEP state-federal network of 51 centers and 1,600 manufacturing experts, undergoes a rigorous application process periodically in which it must demonstrate its effectiveness in helping manufacturers transform their operations to become more competitive and create jobs.  The federal government uses full and open competitions to ensure a transparent process for selecting the best applicants to fulfill its mission of assisting small- and medium-sized manufacturers with improving their production, upgrading technological capabilities and bringing new products to market.

While New Mexico MEP has diverse funding streams, it receives one-third of its overall budget from the federal government. This represents a significant amount in terms of the center’s ability to extend its reach to manufacturers in the state, particularly when factoring in New Mexico’s unique manufacturing ecosystem.

According to the 2014 County Business Patterns data from the United States Census Bureau, there are 1,350 traditional manufacturers in the state. But when businesses in the “Innovation Cycle” are included, that number increases to 2,173. Innovation Cycle businesses are those that offer research and development, engineering services and laboratory testing. They are particularly important in New Mexico, where they make up a large part of the National Laboratories’ supply chain.

That’s one aspect of the state’s unique manufacturing landscape. Another is New Mexico’s rural nature: 79 percent of counties are classified as rural by 2013 USDA Rural-Urban Continuum codes. Rural communities are home to about a quarter of the state’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

In urban areas, New Mexico MEP reaches traditional manufacturers with the help of its partners, who provide vital support such as marketing and funding — to the center and directly to clients that seek the center’s assistance. Key partners include Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Regional Development Corporation, San Juan College and New Mexico State University.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016, New Mexico MEP helped its client companies increase or retain revenue of more than $108 million, increase or retain 733 jobs, enable $17.3 million of new client investments, and save companies more than $15 million.

Nationally, every dollar of federal investment in MEP translates into $19 of new sales — almost $25 billion annually — for the 30,000 small- and medium-sized manufacturers that typically use MEP services in a given year.

NIST’s renewed funding for New Mexico MEP further solidifies both organizations’ commitment to the state. A portion of the funds will support an additional position, giving Las Cruces manufacturers — including those in the busy and expanding border region — on-the-ground expertise. It is this kind of forward momentum that will optimize New Mexico MEP’s strategic partnerships and cultivate the state’s atypical yet burgeoning manufacturing ecosystem.

For more information, contact Claudia Infante at 505-314-9131 or claudias@newmexicomep.org

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