U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ) announced May 31 that a $400,000 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant had been awarded to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), a non-profit organization that looks to improve the competitiveness and profitability of New Jersey manufacturers. The grant will allow the NJEMP to provide technical assistance and optimization improvements to small- and mid-sized manufacturers while also establishing a supply chain intelligence network for companies across the state.
The $400,000 will provide support for national supplier scouting and optimization services, ensuring all Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) supplier requests receive responses. Moreover, the NJMEP will be given access to a national information scouting and optimization database that supports 140,000 manufacturers. The funds will also strengthen personnel configurations so that the Manufacturing Extension Program can process supplier scouting requests in a timelier manner. Additionally, the funding will help the program prioritize supply chain optimization activities in industries most relevant to New Jersey like defense, food and medical device manufacturing. Lastly, the money will increase awareness of the National Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network which provides supplier scouting services and assesses domestic manufacturing capabilities.
"As an integral part of the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, supporting manufacturers across the state creates a gateway for growing the state’s economy and providing New Jersey’s families and businesses with greater economic opportunity,” said Sen. Menendez. “With the $400,000 in federal funding, the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program will ensure that small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies remain connected to over 140,000 U.S. producers and suppliers, assisting companies and entrepreneurs across the state to innovate and thrive. I will continue to advocate for smart, cost-effective public-private partnerships that help create good paying jobs and pave the way for a prosperous future for New Jersey’s manufacturing industry.”
A long-standing supporter of the NJEMP, Senator Menendez was able to secure passage of the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Database Act in 2022, which was subsequently signed into law by President Joe Biden. That piece of legislation established a national database of information for manufacturers within the U.S. supply chain, helping prevent any potential supply chain disruptions in the future.
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