OMEP National Funding Doubled, Work Extended For Five Years

National Manufacturing Extension Partnership presented OMEP with a nearly $9 million award for continued statewide work with Oregon’s small and medium-sized manufacturers

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) secured an $8.96 million grant to be used during the next five years to continue its effort to develop and grow Oregon’s manufacturing sector, including more rural, hard-hit parts of the state. The awarded amount is double the nonprofit’s previous five-year funding.

Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently alerted OMEP that the Portland-based organization is one of 10 U.S. states selected for continued national funding for manufacturing work.

“We won’t have good jobs in Oregon if we don’t make things in Oregon,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. “I’m glad to see OMEP get the resources it needs to keep helping manufacturers across Oregon grow and thrive.”

OMEP consultants work with managers and business owners at small and medium-sized manufacturing firms to identify improvements that will help them reduce costs, increase sales and expand into new markets. Since 2002, OMEP clients have seen $888 million in increased or retained sales.

“This award confirms Oregon’s strong role in the U.S. manufacturing industry and speaks to the hard work and dedication from our team of consultants and our state and federal legislators,” said Chris Scherer, OMEP President. “We will continue to use this federal money to increase our activity in more rural parts of the state, including shoring up our offices in Bend, Medford and Roseburg,” Scherer adds.

Public dollars allow OMEP to work with smaller and more rural manufacturing companies across Oregon that may not have the resources available or the opportunity to conduct research to effectively grow business.

OMEP’s work by the numbers:
Researchers found that from 2002-2013, OMEP’s work with state manufacturing firms supported:
• Employment: 14,693 jobs through direct and indirect employment
• Value Added: $1.14 billion in wages and benefits paid to employees, property-type income and other items; comparable to gross domestic product (GDP)
• Production Output: $2.2 billion in total goods
• Funding for local and state governments: From 2011 to 2013 alone, OMEP’s work supported economic activity that provided $11.2 million in taxes and fees

For more information about the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership and its work throughout the state, visit www.omep.org

About OMEP

OMEP is a not-for-profit team of business and manufacturing professionals – one of more than 60 Manufacturing Extension Partnership resource centers nationwide – that aims to make Oregon companies more competitive. OMEP provides Lean Enterprise training/implementation assistance and industry-driven best practices to a wide variety of industry sectors. A partner of choice for the economic development community, OMEP’s emphasis on strengthening and transforming companies creates a ripple effect of positive sustainable impact on the business, the workforce and the community. For more information about OMEP, please find us at www.omep.org.