A Wyoming program active in Fremont County that helps manufacturers succeed has been approved for an additional five years of federal funding.
Manufacturing Works, a partnership between the University of Wyoming, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Wyoming Business Council, recently learned that it will receive $600,000 per year for the next five years from NIST. Subsequently, NIST leaders added an additional annual allocation of $100,000 each for Wyoming manufacturing plants and other members of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) network, which has centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
The MEP is administered by NIST, which is part of the US Department of Commerce.
“We are thrilled to receive approval for continued federal funding, confirming that Manufacturing Works is a valuable resource for manufacturing in Wyoming and has demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of improving the economic performance of manufacturers. of Wyoming,” said Rocky Case, center manager for Manufacturing Works. “We are excited to continue the momentum we have created to support Wyoming manufacturers.”
Manufacturing Works promotes innovation, manufacturing, and industrial competitiveness to build a stronger, more prosperous Wyoming through enhanced economic security and an improved quality of life. Manufacturer services include broad technical support, engineering solutions, general sales support, marketing support and financial advice.
Manufacturing Works is part of the Wyoming Business Resource Network, with offices in Laramie, Cheyenne, Casper, Sheridan and Afton. Other components of the Wyoming Business Resource Network include IMPACT 307; and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network, which includes the Wyoming Market Research Center, the Wyoming Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Wyoming SBIR/STTR initiative.
The efforts of the Business Resource Network are supported and enhanced by the Wyoming Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which is part of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP). WIP, created at the request of Governor Mark Gordon in 2021 to modernize and focus Wyoming’s efforts to build a resilient workforce and economy, involves the UW, state community colleges, Wyoming Business Council and the Department of Workforce Services, with a focus on developing innovative solutions that support and improve Wyoming’s economy, workforce, and revenue streams.
NIST’s approval for an additional five years of funding for Manufacturing Works came after a “secretarial review,” or analysis of program performance. Reviewers looked at metrics that include jobs created, equipment investment, and sales increases reported by Manufacturing Works customers.
“We are very pleased with what we have accomplished as a team with the support of other economic development efforts across the state,” said Case, who has led Manufacturing Works since June 2019. “We look forward to developing further services related to automation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and cybersecurity.The world is in the midst of another industrial revolution now, and we are striving to bring Wyoming manufacturing into the 21st century.