"Manufacturing is a significant contributor to the state's $250 billion economy, directly employing 15 percent of the workforce and generating up to four additional jobs in retail sales, services and other employment sectors for each manufacturing job," said Saul K. Fenster, president of NJIT. "NJMEP as a comprehensive statewide manufacturing extension and training program will help to revitalize the state's small manufacturing businesses."
Small manufacturers from all industrial sectors can turn to NJMEP for information and expert assistance in using modern manufacturing practices, technologies and techniques.
"Roughly 11 percent of all American manufacturing businesses are located in New Jersey and the adjoining metropolitan areas of New York and Philadelphia. Boosting the competitiveness of these firms is critical to maintaining the state's economic growth," said Gualberto Medina, New Jersey Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development. "NJMEP, part of a nationwide network of 75 organizations in 50 states, will help New Jersey's small and medium sized manufacturers improve their performance and become more competitive."
"To cope with the rapid pace of technological change and the complexity of New Jersey's environmental requirements, we must increase technical assistance to the state's small manufacturers," said State Senator Robert Littell, (R-Sussex). "Manufacturing Extension Programs have produced real and measurable increases in jobs, sales and exports most notably in Kansas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. As NJMEP begins operation, New Jersey takes another significant step forward in helping enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector."
According to Fenster, Sen. Littell's support was critical in obtaining the six-year, $12-million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The proposal was submitted to NIST by NJIT's Center for Manufacturing Systems on behalf of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology (NJCST).
NJMEP provides services primarily through a staff of 25 field engineers who will visit manufacturers across the state. To date four agents have been hired.
"The primary task of the field engineers is to establish a working relationship with each manufacturer, developing an understanding of their business needs and serving as a single point of contact to coordinate solutions to their problems," said Robert Loderstedt, executive director of NJMEP. "Our field engineers will target business problems and solutions that provide profit for our customers and enable NJMEP to offset costs."
Five industrial sectors, identified as both critical to the growth of the region and at risk without assistance, will be the primary focus of the program: metalworking and machinery, electronics and instrumentation, rubber and plastics, food processing, and textiles and apparel.
"NJMEP will provide the State's small and medium-sized manufacturers with services that support continuous improvement in their people, products and processes enabling them to remain competitive in a global economy," Loderstedt said.
NJMEP will operate out of two regional offices. The Northeast Office, located at NJIT in Newark, will service nearly 70 percent of the state's manufacturing base which operates in the counties of Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, and Middlesex. The other office will be located near Camden and Mercer Counties, which account for another 12 percent of the state's manufacturers.
NJMEP's service providers start with four NJIT technology assistance centers:
· Center for Manufacturing Systems
· New Jersey Technical Assistance Program in Pollution Prevention (NJTAP)
· Hazardous Substance Management Research Center Technology
· Extension Center for Information Age Technology
In addition, a number of other universities and corporations will provide technical assistance to the target industry areas:
· Rutgers University's Office of Industrial Productivity and Energy Assessment and the Center for Food Technology Extension Program;
Polymer Processing Institute's New Jersey Polymer Extension Center, located at Stevens Institute of Technology;
Camden County College and the South Jersey Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Center.
The Textile Research Institute affiliated with Princeton University
University and industrial laboratories
Private sector consultants and professional organizations.
Non-technical business assistance will be available from a number of sources include:
NJIT's Defense Procurement Center, Rutgers University's New Jersey Small Business Development Center, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. In addition, workforce training will be coordinated by NJIT's Division of Continuing Professional Education.
Client manufacturers may utilize an eight hour no cost assessment and/or related project work per calendar year. Subsequent staff work and lab time will be performed on a fee basis.
To obtain more information or inquire about NJMEP services, call 973-642-7099.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling nearly 7,900 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in 67 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Industrial Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College.
Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, transportation, computer science, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science.
U.S. News and World Report's 1997 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT among the second quartile (58-114) of 229 national universities. Money Magazine's Best College Buys Now 1997 rated NJIT as the third best value among U.S. science and technology schools and 59th among the Top 100 U.S. higher education institutions.
For more information contact: The Office of Public Relations, (973) 596-3434
Release number: #3203