As Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, Automation Alley connects industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We also collaborate and join forces with other economic development partners across the state whenever possible to help shape policy and support our stakeholders in the tech and manufacturing industries. One of those economic partners is the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC).
MMTC receives federal funding through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to help sustain the work of small and medium-size manufacturers across the state. To ensure that this support continues in Washington, MMTC is asking Congress to increase funding for the program from $130 million to $142.4 million, in order to put a bi-partisan focus on revitalizing American manufacturing.
Supporting American manufacturing innovation has never been more important than it is right now. As our world and our factories become increasingly digitized and connected, our country, and particularly our state, has the opportunity to lead the fourth industrial revolution of smart manufacturing known as Industry 4.0. But for small and medium-sized manufacturers, navigating these advancements in technology can’t be done alone. Organizations like Automation Alley and MMTC will play a critical role in this transformation.
An increase in MEP funding will allow the program to raise the number of manufacturers receiving MEP services. Specifically, MEP would provide additional services to more companies within critical supply chains, such as automotive, defense and aerospace. The MEP enables manufacturers to compete globally, supports greater supply chain integration, and provides access to information, training, and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity and profitability – all of which contribute to robust growth of Michigan's manufacturing base, MMTC says.
The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC), a trade association of manufacturing extension programs, has created a template email that you can customize and send to your U.S. Senators and Representatives in Congress. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes.
I urge you to email Congress and help support the efforts of MMTC and Automation Alley. Let’s take a stand to ensure our region, state and country remain at the forefront of manufacturing innovation worldwide.
As executive director of Automation Alley, Tom Kelly oversees strategic planning, all financial and personnel matters and the ongoing activities for Automation Alley on behalf of its nearly 1,000 member organizations across Southeast Michigan