Newark, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced a $1,407,216 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant awarded to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) based in Cedar Knolls, NJ. The grant enables the NJMEP to provide technical assistance and other services to New Jersey small to mid-sized manufacturers at lower fees than other business consulting firms, helping them develop new customers, improve global competitiveness, and create jobs.

"Manufactures are an integral part of the backbone of our state’s economy,” said Senator Menendez. "This federal investment will go a long way in helping many of New Jersey's small and medium sized manufacturers realize more of their potential through the NJMEP's innovative programs and initiatives. I will continue to advocate for smart, job-creating, cost-effective public-private partnerships to pave the way for a prosperous future for New Jersey’s manufacturing industry."

“New Jersey’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers are key to boosting our economy and strengthening our state's global competitiveness,” said Sen. Booker. “Federal investments like this help NJMEP provide our local manufacturers the support they need to create jobs, foster innovation and continue to grow.”

The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MEP centers form a nationwide network of proven resources designed to assist small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers create and retain jobs through innovative strategies, process improvements and green technology. Since its establishment, the MEP has worked with over 86,000 manufacturers and produced $96.4 billion in sales, saved an estimated $15.7 billion in costs, and has helped to create or retain nearly 800,000 jobs across the country.

"NJMEP remains one of the top-ranked Centers in the country, based on a great staff added to the tremendous support from our Federal Delegation, because the focus always remains on the 10,552 manufacturers and their 360,000 employees in the Garden State. This extension allows us to continue our work, as we have much more to do," concluded John W. Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP).

The NJMEP is a not-for-profit company that was established in January 1996, with the USDOC's approval, through the efforts of Dr. Saul Fenster, then President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Dr. Donald Sebastian, Executive Director of the Center for Manufacturing Systems (CMS) at NJIT, and Dr. Jay Brandinger, then Director of the Commission on Science and Technology. The NJMEP is one of 59 MEPs across the United States that is working to support the manufacturing sector by delivering technical and business assistance resulting in substantial savings and growth.