Since early 1996 when the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) first opened its doors, our not-for-profit Center has been assisting manufacturing companies from all industries across Vermont. VMEC has assisted more than 895 of Vermont’s approximately 1,200 mostly small- and medium-size manufacturers solve problems, improve their economic competitiveness, grow through innovation, and enhance their technological capabilities. The results have included documented higher profits, savings in time and money, investments in physical and human capital, and the creation and retention of higher-paying manufacturing jobs with good benefits – all significantly enhancing our local, state and national economies.
VMEC is results and impact-driven. As an affiliate of the nationwide Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Center’s performance “report card” is not financial profits, but results with measureable client impact.
Since 1996, NIST MEP has used an independent third-party organization to conduct surveys of VMEC clients, plus those of all other affiliated MEP Centers. NIST MEP also conducts other episodic studies to evaluate the national system’s impact and corroborate and complement survey results.
VMEC maintains its accountability to clients and stakeholders by using an independent entity contracted by NIST MEP to ask people with the best information – its clients – about the impact of Center work. Manufacturing clients are surveyed approximately one year after a project is completed, collecting data on business impacts as a direct result of services provided by VMEC. NIST MEP reports this client-reported data to the Center and VMEC summarizes the results in its annual Impact Report. VMEC generates a significant, positive return on its public investment.