Initiative to support manufacturers position themselves for future competitiveness
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $2.3 million in federal CARES Act funding for four organizations to provide critical services to small and mid-sized manufacturers as they adapt to changing market conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The awardees, which are New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers designated by Empire State Development, will use the funds to assist companies in reshoring and rebuilding supply chains, securing personal protective equipment, improving safety and efficiency, adopting new technologies and enhancing resilience for future disruptions.
"As New York fights the COVID-19 pandemic in the present, it's critical that we plan for the future, particularly as businesses take part in a phased reopening and New Yorkers return to work," Cuomo said. "This CARES Act funding will help manufacturers access the supply chains, PPE and technology they need to protect their workers and remain competitive in this tough economic environment. This is what properly applied federal funding can do to strengthen small businesses and communities on the ground."
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "We have transformed communities statewide thanks to our economic development and investment efforts, and we cannot lose all of the progress that we have made. The COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental to our businesses, economy and residents across the state. This $2.3 million in funding for manufacturers is crucial to help them recover from the crisis and be able to secure PPE, improve safety and efficiency, and adapt to new technologies. We are committed to building back better and making sure our businesses and our communities are stronger and more resilient for the post-pandemic future."
As the federally designated New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership center (NY MEP), ESD's division of science, technology and innovation (NYSTAR) is deploying emergency assistance made available through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
ESD Acting Commissioner/President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Empire State Development is leveraging every available resource to provide for the many struggling New York state businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and this funding will help manufacturers operate safely and prepare themselves for future market disruptions due to this pandemic."
$2.3 million has been awarded to the following organizations:
•Center for Economic Growth (CEG) – $800,000: CEG, the NY MEP center located in Capital Region, will assist companies statewide with reshoring and rebuilding supply chains. This initiative will be focused on skills gaps, cutting production costs, identifying alternative materials for manufacturing inputs, redesigning products, and addressing other barriers to moving production from other countries to New York.
•ITAC – $650,000: ITAC, the NY MEP center located in New York City, will assist companies statewide with securing personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure they can operate safely during the current or future pandemics.
•Manufacturing and Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC) – $500,000: MTEC, the NY MEP center located in the Hudson Valley, will conduct virtual assessments of manufacturers across the state to ensure they are operating safely, effectively and efficiently, and identify ways to assist manufacturers in improving productivity and safety, including through the adoption of new technologies and processes.
•FuzeHub – $350,000: FuzeHub, the NY MEP statewide center, will develop, deliver and distribute virtual webinars and workshops to reach as many manufacturers across the state as possible. Training and information sharing will include such topics as emergency preparedness, supply chain utilization during crisis, cybersecurity, and recovery efforts.
Rep. Paul Tonko said, "We advanced the CARES Act through the Congress to deliver emergency assistance into local communities and regional economies throughout the nation. This CARES Act funding delivers on that purpose by throwing a lifeline to New York's small and mid-sized manufacturers, helping them maintain access to critical supply chains, source personal protective equipment, and implement the technology that will help them weather this storm and become more resilient for the future. I applaud Gov. Cuomo for ensuring these funds are managed effectively and efficiently in support of New York's small and medium sized manufacturers and small businesses."
A press release explained the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies and process improvements, to sustainable manufacturing, supply chain and technology acceleration services. MEP centers also work with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that position manufacturers to develop new customers, expand into new markets and create new products.
As a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, MEP offers a range of effective resources to help manufacturers identify opportunities that will accelerate and strengthen their growth and competitiveness in the global marketplace. MEP is a nationwide network of more than 1,200 technical experts located in every state. They serve as trusted business advisers focused on transforming U.S. manufacturers to compete globally by supporting supply chain integration, and providing access to technology for improved productivity. MEP is built around manufacturing extension centers located throughout the 50 states and Puerto Rico. MEP Centers are a diverse network of state, university-based nonprofit, and other nonprofit organizations, offering products and services that address the critical needs of their local manufacturers.
Empire State Development's NYSTAR is the designated MEP center for New York. Eleven centers (10 regional and one statewide) competed for and were designated to provide services and assistance under this program.