WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced a $1.2 million Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) grant for a Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) program to improve the competitiveness of the state’s manufacturing sector.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant, totaling $1,218,682, will support ongoing work by the MEP Center for Mississippi, a MMA-led initiative to benefit manufacturing operations in Mississippi through collaboration with community college and university-based programs.

“Manufacturing continues to grow as an economic power in Mississippi.  This grant continues federal support for a Mississippi Manufacturing Association program focused on ensuring small and medium-sized companies and the workforce in Mississippi are able to meet changing market demands,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

MMA will use the NIST funding to continue working primarily with small and medium-sized manufacturers in the areas of supplier scouting, product design, automation, workforce development and planning, and training, in addition to workplace and workforce modernization strategies.

The MMA has MEP Service Provider Centers at the Mississippi State University Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension, Itawamba Community College, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Pearl River Community College, and the Mississippi Polymer Institute in Hattiesburg.

As part of the effort to complete FY2022 funding bills earlier this month, Hyde-Smith worked to secure $158 million for NIST MEP, an $8 million increase over the FY2021 enacted level.  Learn more about the program here.