About MEP

For two decades, MEP has focused on increasing the competitiveness of the United States industrial base by bridging the productivity gap for manufacturers, identifying opportunities for growth, and encouraging technology deployment. To view video of our challenges and successes click here.

MEP provides its manufacturing customers with a wide array of fundamental services in business and process improvements helping them to stay strong and ready to compete in the global market. We focus on the future for manufacturers by making advanced technology adoption a reality for any-sized business.

Growing from a pilot project of three centers to national coverage through 59 affiliated organizations, MEP’s range of services provided by these organizations ---and their partners---is also growing:

  • Programs in Lean manufacturing are expanding to consider the entire enterprise,
  • Energy and environmental services have grown to consider sustainability, and
  • Information technology now addresses continuity of service issues.
  • Future programs will address manufacturers concerns related to Innovation, Technology Deployment and Business Growth.

These and other disciplines add the vital skills and capacity in our client companies that enable them to achieve measurable results.

Today, MEP and its partners provide manufacturers the services it has developed over the years—while adding new offerings in growth services and technology adoption. The nation’s manufacturers, with MEP assistance, have streamlined their plant operations and improved their bottom-line---and as a result, MEP, with its partners, is poised to capitalize on these results by creating opportunities for growth via new sales, new markets, and new products.

MEP Centers

Center staff of nearly 1600 specialists in business and manufacturing provide direct assistance to customers throughout the U.S. These specialists are employees of  MEP-affiliated programs—or MEP centers—throughout the country. MEP supports 59 centers in 392 locations in every state and in Puerto Rico. These centers provide manufacturers with an array of services that focus on growth, productivity, and efficiency.

MEP centers are non-profit, university or state-based organizations which receive one-third of their operational funding from NIST with a matching two-thirds realized from  state funds, other regional partners, and revenue from fees paid by manufacturers for the services they receive—a truly collaborative public-private investment in U.S. manufacturing. The state and federal funding for the centers makes it possible for these organizations to reach even the smallest firms. MEP provides knowledgeable manufacturing and business expertise through local centers and by tapping into the linked national MEP network.

Find A Center

  Centers Near You

MEP Service Delivery Partners

Beyond the MEP center staff are almost 2,500 affiliated partners representing private and non-profit organizations with specialized expertise in workforce development, economic development, technological applications, and manufacturing and business processes.

The network of MEP’s service delivery partners is wide ranging, including:

  • Small Business Development Centers
  • Community colleges, technical colleges and universities
  • Trade Associations
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Economic development corporations
  • Private consultants with specialized expertise in such areas as specialty engineering, sales, marketing, and information technology
  • State agencies focused on economic development, commerce, the environment, workforce development, science and technology

Wherever the need may be, MEP can help tap into the specific resources needed to address any manufacturing challenge.


As the federal stewards for the nationwide MEP network, the NIST MEP office serves the network as its coordinator, catalyst, and manager. Specifically, NIST MEP:

  • Coordinates the activities of the centers and provides vehicles for them to share knowledge and provide common services to customers across state lines
  • Monitors performance and evaluates the effectiveness of the centers
  • Collects performance and economic impact data from the centers measuring the economic return on the services they have provided, in order to report back to federal stakeholders
  • Leverages federal and state partners into support for manufacturers with state-of-the-art business and manufacturing information.

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Equal Employment

The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 ("No FEAR Act")

The No FEAR Act, signed by President George W. Bush on May 15, 2002, is intended to reduce the incidence of workplace discrimination within the federal government by making agencies and departments more accountable.

Department of Commerce No Fear Act Resources

    Small Business Contact

    Karen Lellock

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    “The public sector also has a role to play in helping smaller companies improve their
    innovation processes. One model is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership operated
    by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which enables small and
    medium-sized firms to tap the knowledge of business experts, including innovation

    December 2006
    Smart Spenders:
    The Global Innovation Tool