U.S. Senator Herb Kohl today announced that the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity, Inc. in Madison has been awarded $1,295,943 and the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC) has received $201,601 through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The MEP program operates centers across the country that partner with small and mid-sized manufacturers to provide technical assistance and business consultation that allows them to cut production costs, improve productivity and retain and create jobs.
"Wisconsin holds two MEP centers that help local businesses succeed and prosper," Kohl said. "Starting a new business is tough and maintaining it is often an even greater challenge. The MEP funding announced today provides resources to help businesses succeed, which in turn creates jobs and grows the economy."
Last year, Senator Kohl led a bipartisan effort to continue funding for the MEP program in the Fiscal Year 2012 CJS Appropriations bill. A total of 32 senators signed Kohl's letter to the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee supporting the MEP program. The MEP program was eventually funded at over $128 million. MEP centers help employers upgrade their technology, streamline production processes, eliminate cost inefficiencies and train workers to adapt to evolving technologies. Senator Kohl was joined by Senators Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) in the effort.
Kohl has long championed the MEP program for its success in ensuring major Wisconsin employers can remain competitive. According to Wisconsin MEP, since 1996, Wisconsin MEP has helped over 1,300 Wisconsin manufacturers make nearly $400 million in improvements in technology, productivity and profits; helping to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact and creating or saving over 14,000 manufacturing jobs. And, since 1994, the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center, targeting the more rural northwestern part of Wisconsin, has provided over 4,200 technical assistance activities to over 2,029 companies creating or retaining almost 4,100 jobs and client-reported impacts of over $483 million.