RI Delegation Delivers $6M to Strengthen Manufacturing
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to strengthen Rhode Island manufacturing and the domestic supply chain, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced $6,021,500 in federal funding to support the Polaris Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Based in Providence, Polaris MEP is a statewide non-profit organization that provides competitive manufacturing business improvement programs to help the state’s manufacturing sector innovate and compete. Polaris is a business unit of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation and has worked for more than two decades to provide improvement solutions to more than 750 Rhode Island manufacturers.
The federal funds are administered under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MEP centers form a nationwide network of proven resources that help U.S. manufacturers compete globally, support greater supply chain integration, and provide access to information, training, and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
“Rhode Island manufacturers are critical to our economy. This federal funding will help them find innovative ways to reduce costs, increase sales, and create jobs,” said Reed, Whitehouse, Langevin and Cicilline in a joint statement. “We are committed to strengthening Rhode Island’s manufacturing ecosystem and positioning it to compete and succeed. That means helping companies develop and adapt advanced manufacturing technologies and workforce training. We will continue working to ensure local manufacturers have access to resources and data-driven solutions to grow their businesses and increase our manufacturing workforce here in Rhode Island.”
Polaris MEP provides on-site training and one-on-one custom services designed to help manufacturing companies in Rhode Island grow their businesses and operate more efficiently. It offers “lean manufacturing” programs, including production optimization, cost reduction, intelligent facility layout, and quality management services like ISO certification, as well as growth-oriented services designed to help manufacturers access new markets, and develop new products and processes.
The latest statistics from Polaris MEP show that their work has had a significant impact in Rhode Island over the last five years, including $421.4 million in increased and retained sales, more than 4,000 jobs added or saved, and more than $23 million in savings for Rhode Island companies.
Chip Unruh (Reed), 202-224-4642
Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), 401-453-5294
Matt Fidel (Langevin), 202-631-1010
Jennifer Bell (Cicilline), 202-365-0827
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