MEP Program Seeks Input Via Meetings, Webcasts

What should be done with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the public-private partnership that has helped primarily smaller U.S. manufacturers improve productivity and grow more competitive? A recent report from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) suggests creating a strategic plan that articulates the "next generation" of the MEP. The U.S. Commerce Department also has issued recommendations to address challenges faced by the U.S. manufacturing industry. The MEP, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will be holding a series of regional roundtables in eight cities, as well as several Webcasts, to gather feedback on the strategic plan and the reports' recommendations. The selected cities are Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Orlando, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The events begin next week and run through early August. For a complete schedule and to register, visit www.mep.nist.gov/competition/intro.htm. To review the Commerce Department report, visit www.manufacturing.gov. To download a pdf of the NAPA report, go to www.napawash.org/Pubs/NIST6-2-04.pdf.

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