VMEC Secures $400,000 Grant for Vermont Manufacturers Seeking to Strengthen Their Domestic Supply Chains
A federal two year grant of $400,000 has been awarded to the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, VMEC, a VTTA member, to assist Vermont small and medium-sized manufacturers in building their supply chain initiatives.
The funding comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, whose mission is “to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.” NIST has been VMEC’s federal partner since its inception in 1995 and VMEC is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network in Vermont.
“We are delighted to have received this funding from NIST to do our part in building a thriving Vermont-to-Vermont supply chain and extend that to a Vermont to U.S. supply chain,” states Patrick Boyle, VMEC Center Director and CEO. “The initiative will link up with other states and MEP partners to help create a viable, strong and commerce-facilitating manufacturing supply chain. We aim to help Vermont manufacturers buy and sell more to each other and buy and sell more with other U.S. manufacturers.”
The money in this new program, known as Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network (SCOIN), will support supplier scouting services, assess and analyze domestic manufacturing capabilities as well as expand knowledge of VMEC’s manufacturing ecosystems to stimulate the growth of Vermont and U.S. supply bases which strengthen the nation’s manufacturer resilience. In addition, it will also support the hire of a new VMEC Business Advisor who will be solely focused on working directly with Vermont manufacturers to help meet their challenges, connect them within the ecosystem of manufacturing and supply chain partners, as well as assist them in navigating a soon-to-be-announced supply chain platform that supports domestic sourcing.
“Congratulations to VMEC on securing this important grant to support and improve the manufacturing supply chain for Vermont companies,” said Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “We know that to stay competitive in the global marketplace, Vermont manufacturers must always be looking to improve and streamline their operations and how they integrate into the national supply chain. We hope this grant will help Vermont’s manufacturers become more resilient, while also enhancing new business opportunities that lead to growth.”
Adds Mike Rainville, President and Owner of Middlebury-based Maple Landmark Woodcraft as well as VMEC Board Chair: “As a business owner and manufacturer, I welcome the NIST MEP Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network grant to VMEC to support manufacturers in Vermont. Building a resilient and visible Vermont supply chain will help in-state commerce in identifying gaps and needs in the supply chain and will allow for building a more robust Vermont and U.S. manufacturing supply chain. I look forward to working with VMEC on this initiative.”