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Washington State's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center Honored with Distinguished Award for Exceptional Market Leadership

Monday, September 25, 2023 | News Release

Pictured left to right, Pravina Raghavan, Director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program at the National Institute of Standards, Miguel Angel Moreno Hierro, Account Executive Small and Rural Manufacturers, Impact Washington - NIST MEP, Deloit R. Wolfe Jr, President and Center Director, Impact Washington - NIST MEP

Impact Washington-NIST MEP has earned a prestigious industry award for its exceptional expertise, leadership, and profound impact on the market.

Impact Washington – NIST MEP is thrilled to announce that it has received the esteemed Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence (ASMC) Tab Wilkins Mark of Excellence Award.

This award is bestowed biennially upon just one NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, highlighting the outstanding achievements and dedication of the recipient. The Tab Wilkins Mark of Excellence award commends a Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center that has exceeded expectations by developing and executing an exemplary initiative supporting its regional manufacturing community, the national manufacturing industry, and the broader MEP National Network.

The award recognizes a Center that has undertaken a manufacturing-focused initiative with significant public benefits, such as job preservation or growth, heightened public awareness of manufacturing's importance, strengthening the entire MEP National Network of Centers, or enhancing the reputation of the National Network by playing an exceptional role within its served community.

Deloit R. Wolfe Jr., President and Center Director of Impact Washington remarked, "This significant achievement underscores the unwavering commitment of Impact Washington – NIST MEP to manufacturers of all sizes and underscores our dedication to upholding high service standards in fulfilling our mission. Our initiative has been laser-focused on supporting small, rural, and underserved manufacturing enterprises across the state. We recognize that these businesses are often overlooked and under-supported, which is why we have a dedicated Account Executive addressing their unique needs. We firmly believe that supporting small and underserved markets is an investment in economic growth and community development. Thriving small businesses contribute to the vitality of neighborhoods, foster community engagement, and promote local culture."

Of the more than 7,000 manufacturers in Washington State, nearly three-quarters are considered very small, with fewer than 20 employees. Impact Washington’s initiative was part of a funding program from the Washington State Department of Commerce to assist underserved entrepreneurs, including low-income, rural, women-owned, Native American-owned, LGBTQ+-owned, and BIPOC. Thirty-seven project awards were granted to eligible manufacturers, surpassing the initial goal of 32. These projects were distributed across 20 of the 39 Washington state counties, benefitting a workforce of 435 individuals."

To qualify for this prestigious industry award, centers must earn a nomination, with final selections made by a panel of industry leaders from MEP Centers.

Miguel A. Moreno Hierro, an Account Executive at Impact Washington-NIST, who has devoted the past seven years to supporting small, rural manufacturers in Washington State, emphasized, "This achievement became attainable thanks to the unwavering dedication of our team members, the invaluable contributions of our resource partners, and the continuous support of our ecosystem collaborators. When crafting solutions and initiatives for this specific market, my primary focus has always been customer satisfaction and tangible impact. In pursuing these goals, I actively seek out subject matter experts to collaborate with, ensuring their involvement directly benefits my clients. I take great care to ensure that every solution we deliver yields the best possible results, ultimately empowering Impact Washington to propel their manufacturing businesses to new heights."

Carrie Hines, Executive Director of the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence (ASMC), commended the Center's achievements, stating, "The Center receiving the Tab Wilkins Mark of Excellence Award has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to technical mastery, innovative thinking, consistent growth, and top-tier customer service within the MEP National Network. This award is a testament to the Center’s ability to exceed expectations. It showcases their tireless efforts in developing and implementing initiatives that support the regional manufacturing community and contribute to the national manufacturing industry and the broader MEP National Network."

About Impact Washington-NIST MEP

As an approved Center, Impact Washington is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Washington State. Impact Washington is a statewide non-profit organization that provides competitive, value-driven consulting and training services. With access to public and private resources, we enhance growth, improve productivity, reduce costs, and expand manufacturing capacity in Washington. Our solutions, consulting, and educational opportunities focus on small and medium-sized manufacturers. Since 1997, Impact Washington has delivered measurable, validated business impacts to more than 1,500 Washington State manufacturers.

About the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence

The Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence is the educational foundation for NIST-MEP Centers. The primary goal and focus of the Foundation is to provide and facilitate knowledge sharing and training to the nationwide manufacturing extension center members.

About MEP National Network™

The MEP National Network™ is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing. 

Focused on helping small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today's technology-driven economy, the MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP Advisory Board, MEP Center boards, and the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence, as well as over 1,450 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 430 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed. 

In 2022, the MEP National Network connected with more than 33,500 manufacturers, leading to $18.8 billion in sales, $2.5 billion in cost savings, and $6.4 billion in new client investments, and helped create or retain more than 116,700 jobs. 

About NIST

NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology to enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST is a nonregulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov

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