The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program received a grant worth $992,050 by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
The grant will allow NJMEP to assist the MEP National Network in creating a platform for MEP Centers nationwide to deliver services in quality, safety and efficiency, cybersercurity, and supply chain to food manufacturing companies throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
“We are excited to expand our work nationally with other MEP Centers and appreciate that NIST MEP has seen the great importance of engagements with food manufacturers on a national scale,” NJMEP Chief Executive Officer John Kennedy said in a statement. “Our services address manufacturing priorities through the creation and use of tools and resources that provide food manufacturing leaders with a clear roadmap and actions.”
NJMEP will work with the MEP National Network to build hubs in five regions that MEP Center leaders have expressed interest in and coordinate growth in food manufacturing products and services. NJMEP will help develop a set of minimum technical and operational specifications for these MEP Centers to earn recognition as a quality, safe, efficient food industry network hub.
NJMEP and the MEP Nation Network will also work with national food manufacturers and their supply chains to deliver services and training.
The five regional hubs will offer support to other regional MEP centers where they can receive sales support; access tools and resources including assessments, training materials and implementation resources; and serve as a regional training center for needed food safety training. Training will include online curriculum created by NJMEP that is offered through the County College of Morris and MEP’s traditional in-plant services.
The establishment of a comprehensive food industry program within the MEP National Network will increase the technical capabilities and capacity of MEP Centers to deliver more projects to food manufacturers, and to more effectively serve global and national companies that operate supply chains across multiple states.