Grant will help manufacturing companies grow, plan for future
Enterprise Minnesota will use the proceeds of a $515,000 national grant to help Minnesota-based manufacturers develop and implement innovative strategies that lead to growth.
The grant, Pathways to Business Growth, is one of 22 awarded nationwide from a $9.1 million program funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). All projects will be designed to enhance the productivity, technological performance and global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
"The Pathways to Business Growth provides essential resources to help manufacturers develop new ideas and grow business," said Bob Kill, Enterprise Minnesota's president & CEO. "We will use this grant to help Minnesota companies achieve significant growth."
Enterprise Minnesota forged partnerships with other local organizations to implement the grant. These include the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education, the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, Clear Intent Strategy, and Norman Development.
Manufacturers will take part in business assessment, strategic planning, innovation and idea mining services, organizational and leadership development, and marketing strategy. Enterprise Minnesota will establish industry-wide best-practices for working with manufacturing companies, which will be shared throughout the rest of the country via NIST MEP.
An agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST MEP is a nationwide network of 60 centers that includes non-profits, universities, and state agencies, all focused on helping U.S. manufacturers develop and implement strategies to grow. Since its inception more than 20 years ago, NIST MEP has worked with tens of thousands small and mid-sized manufacturers to achieve higher profits, save time and money, invest in physical and human capital, and create and retain thousands of jobs.
Enterprise Minnesota, the NIST MEP affiliate in Minnesota, works with small and medium size manufacturing companies. Its services help clients improve their efficiencies, contain their costs, and achieve real growth in sales revenue and earnings.
"A vibrant manufacturing sector drives American innovation and is central to our economic growth and global competitiveness," said Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. "With the right investments, we can continue to create highly valued manufacturing jobs building great products and sell them around the world."
NIST MEP invited proposals for the projects earlier this year through two competitions announced in the Federal Register. MEP centers and groups of centers submitted 68 proposals for the two competitions, which closed on July 15.
In submitting its proposal, Enterprise Minnesota received letters of support from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken, Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. Collin Peterson, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy, the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education, the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, the West Central Initiative, and the Blandin Foundation.
Enterprise Minnesota helps Minnesota manufacturing enterprises grow profitably. Chartered by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1987, Enterprise Minnesota is an affiliate of the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). For more information visit www.enterpriseminnesota.org.