November 14, 2016 – The Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network announced today they are partnering with Manufacturer’s Edge along with the Denver World Trade Center and the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) to make the pilot program Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE official with the goal of strengthening and growing Colorado’s manufacturing industry.
Carroll Thomas, director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Kelly Manning, director of the SBDC Network and Tom Bugnitz, CEO of Manufacturer’s Edge signed a memorandum of understanding making the Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE program official at the Economic Development Council of Colorado annual conference in October.
“We were seeing a gap in resources available to manufacturing companies, specifically small manufacturing companies not being able to access adequate resources to help them grow and succeed,” said Manning. “Being able to bring them the resources offered by the MEP is extremely advantageous to the companies, local communities, and the state as a whole.”
The Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE program leverages state and federal funding, along with a small contribution from the manufacturer, to provide industry experts for coaching, consultation, and/or training for small manufacturing companies, with fewer than 20 employees.
Participant companies receive up to 40-hours of support and education in the areas of business strategy, search-engine optimization, advanced marketing analysis, operational excellence, export gap assessment and compliance, quality systems and certifications. The program is customized to the needs of the individual manufacturer and can support a manufacturer from concept through maturity.
Since the pilot program was launched in March 2016, over 50 companies from across the state have applied and 34 are actively involved and receiving assistance from the program.
“I am excited to commemorate this partnership as Colorado is the first state to foster such a relationship. Our hope is that other states will see the value this brings to small manufacturing companies, local communities, and the state’s economy and will follow this lead with innovative programs such as these,” said Thomas.