Ohio has a rich history of manufacturing that continues to flourish in today's global economy. From automotive to advanced materials – Ohio's manufacturing landscape is more diverse than ever before. The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP) supports this valuable industry by providing the products, services, and assistance that are dedicated to the productivity, growth, and global competitiveness of Ohio manufacturers.
Since 2004, the Ohio MEP program has been working with specialized nonprofits to provide low-cost business and technical assistance to small- and medium-sized manufacturers. The state investment is matched with federal MEP funds from the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In September 2012, the Industrial Technology and Enterprise Advisory Council (ITEAC), which is responsible for making programmatic and funding recommendations to the Ohio Development Services Agency on the MEP program, recommended expanding Ohio's reach in manufacturing. The expansion would move from a two organizations model (covering northern and southern Ohio) to a regional model, offering more assistance through five regional centers and seven "Under 50" partners, which work primarily with manufactures employing 50 workers or less.
By expanding the availability of manufacturing support, it is expected that Ohio will see a 10 percent increase in additional sales generated by MEP activities over 2011, and a 30 percent increase in the number of clients assisted.