Steel-Pro Named 2019 Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award Recipient
AUGUSTA, Maine: Steel-Pro Inc., a custom equipment manufacturer based in Rockland, will receive the 2019 Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) Manufacturing Excellence Award in a 10 a.m. ceremony on Thursday, October 3, 2019, at Steel-Pro, 771 Main
St., Rockland. Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development will deliver the keynote address.
Founded in 1978, Steel-Pro manufactures American Society of Mechanical Engineers code pressure vessels, biopharmaceutical equipment, vacuum chambers, storage tanks and other custom-designed equipment. The 52-employee company is ISO (International Organization of
Specialties) 9001 compliant, serving a range of industries, including biopharmaceutical, chemical and petrochemical, pulp and paper, semiconductor, solar and power generation, among others.
The Maine MEP Manufacturing Excellence Award is presented each year to a company that demonstrates leadership, vision and manufacturing excellence. The award will be presented in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day, a nationwide celebration of America’s manufacturing excellence.
"Steel-Pro is an outstanding addition to Maine MEP’s list of Manufacturing Excellence Award recipients," said Larry Robinson, president of Maine MEP. "Their commitment to Principle-Based Leadership, teamwork and creativity, while striving to be injury-free and deliver quality products, is evident in their employee retention and revenue growth."
Since becoming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company in 2014, Steel-Pro has seen a 40-percent increase in revenues. Average employment duration is 12 years, and all members of the executive team were promoted into their current roles.
Over the past 5 years, Maine MEP has assisted Steel-Pro with using Lean principles to increase productivity, implementing ISO 9001, root cause analysis methods training, Quality Management System internal auditor training, Kaizen improvement projects and applications for
Maine Technology Institute grants and loans to support innovative manufacturing processes.
AUGUSTA, Me. - The board of directors of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) has announced the promotion of Center Director Larry Robinson to president of Maine MEP effective January 1, 2019, according to Board Chair Carl Spang. Robinson will succeed retiring President Muriel Mosher.
"Maine MEP is pleased to announce the appointment of Larry Robinson as president," Spang stated today. "Since joining the organization as a project manager in 2004, Larry has helped clients achieve more than $30 million in impacts. He has an extensive knowledge of Maine's manufacturing sector and has a proven track record of success."
Robinson has served as Maine MEP's center director since 2012. In that role, he led the Maine MEP field staff in efforts to foster manufacturing innovation and economic growth. He will remain center director while assuming the duties of president. "I look forward to building upon the successful foundation established under Muriel’s leadership on behalf of the manufacturers we serve," stated Robinson.
"Maine MEP's succession planning has ensured that Larry is knowledgeable about the Center and is ready to assume the duties of president," said Spang. "He will be responsible for the strategic vision of Maine MEP, managing the statewide field staff and ensuring that the organization delivers leading-edge programs and services that can help Maine manufacturers achieve world-class performance."
Robinson brought to Maine MEP more than two decades of experience working with leading manufacturers, including as program manager for the international electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI and as process engineering group leader at Hussey Seating Company in North Berwick, Maine.
At the University of Southern Maine, Robinson earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and an MBA with a concentration in operations management. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College with a Master's degree in military operational arts and sciences and has served with distinction for 35 years in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserves, including a 2017-18 mobilization to Kuwait. He holds various professional and industry certifications, including Lean Facilitator, Advanced Project Management and Performance Management Facilitator.
Robinson currently serves on the board of the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, and previously served on the Industrial Technology Advisory Board at the University of Southern Maine-School of Technology and the New England Board of Higher Education.
Muriel Mosher has been with Maine MEP for 20 years and helped build support in Congress for a national program
Muriel Mosher, president of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is retiring at the end of this month after 20 years with the organization.
Mosher joined the partnership, known as Maine MEP, in 1999 and was appointed president in 2012, according to a retirement announcement issued Tuesday. Before 1999, she spent more than 16 years working with MEP centers in Maine and other states, where she played an active role in building congressional support for the national MEP program.
Maine MEP thanks longtime board member Dana Connors for service
AUGUSTA, Me. - Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, recognized for his 19 years of service on the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) Board of Directors.
"We appreciate Dana's unflagging support for our mission. Throughout his service, he always understood the value of our program and promoted it at every opportunity," said Muriel Mosher, president of Maine MEP. "We thank him for his service to Maine MEP."
A graduate of the University of Maine, Connors became president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the state's largest business association, in 1994. In that position, he oversees a broad range of activities, including advocacy efforts, economic and workforce initiatives, and a variety of member services for the business community. Connors has received numerous service and leadership awards, including an honorary doctorate from University of Maine and induction into Junior Achievement's Maine Business Hall of Fame.
Maine MEP's board of directors work with the management team to determine the program's vision and mission, engage in strategic planning, approve programs and services, educate legislative and governmental stakeholders, and ensure financial and risk management, among other responsibilities.
Maine MEP Operations Coordinator completes leadership training
AUGUSTA, Me. - Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) today announced that Operations Coordinator Mariah Cunningham-Knaus recently completed the Emerging Leadership program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP). NIST is a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cunningham-Knaus was among 10 class members selected from MEP programs across the country. Each year MEP centers nominate an individual who would benefit from advanced leadership skills. The year-long leadership training program provides an opportunity for participants to conduct in-depth research about critical issues facing manufacturing.
"Maine MEP is proud that Mariah was selected for this year's leadership training program. Her successful completion of the program reflects her commitment to professional growth and will enhance the knowledge that she brings to our clients' manufacturing projects," said Maine MEP President Muriel Mosher.
Cunningham-Knaus's research group surveyed 20 MEP centers to learn about best practices related to small manufacturers. The research holds particular relevance to Maine, since 76 percent of the state's manufactures employ fewer than 20 employees, a larger percentage than in most other states. These small firms are particularly prevalent in important sectors identified with Maine such as craft food producers, machine shops, ship building and high-quality textiles.
At the end of the leadership program, Cunningham-Knaus said her group's project, along with the findings of the other research groups, offered key insights applicable to her work.
"We heard from several centers how online learning has provided flexibility for small manufacturers who are unable to leave their shops to attend trainings," she said. Especially for small manufacturers with 10 or fewer employees, an online option eliminates the prohibitive costs of downtime, transportation to a training or bringing a consultant on-site. As a result of her participation, Maine MEP is exploring new ways to engage small manufacturers.
As operations coordinator, Cunningham-Knaus supports both internal and external field staff with the implementation of projects by providing project support and assistance for assigned projects and ensures all work is conducted in accordance with policies, practices and applicable regulatory requirements. A graduate of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, she holds a master's degree in public policy and management, with a concentration in financial management and graduate certificates in nonprofit management and in applied research and evaluation methods.
December 5, 2018
President of group that assists Maine's small manufacturers to retire
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon visits Flowfold in Gorham, Maine
GORHAM, Me. - SBA Administrator Linda McMahon visited Flowfold in Gorham, Maine. The company manufactures wallets and streamlined outdoor gear-all here in the U.S. Flowfold has benefitted from SBA assistance from SCORE, SBDC and the SBA STEP Grant Program, as well as Maine MEP. The company has expanded so rapidly that they needed to double their space for operations, and today's visit was held in the new space, which is nearing completion.
SBA Administrator McMahon receives a one-of-a-kind Flowfold bag from James Morin, COO of Flowfold to acknowledge the Agency's commitment to small businesses.
SBA Administrator McMahon speaks with Bill Whittier of Maine Manufacturing and Extension Partnership and Devin McNeill of Flowfold
October 22, 2018
These Guys Are Not Selling Wallets For Beer Money Any More
Scarborough company on front lines of battle against the flu Abbott makes easy-to-use tests that quickly diagnose the strain, allowing treatment to begin in the crucial early stage of the illness. Read more
Oct 5, 2018
Maine's Manufacturers Lead the Way
On the first Friday of October, cities, towns and entire states across America recognize National Manufacturing Day. This is a day where we honor the people and businesses that drive local economies, and celebrate the long, proud manufacturing history we share. When folks see 'Made in Maine' they expect - and get - a superior product; from boatbuilding and precision manufacturing to agricultural and forestry, our state is filled with manufacturers that play central roles in creating jobs and supporting urban and rural communities alike.
Our manufacturers aren't just businesses - they're pillars of their communities, supporting jobs and putting down roots. That spirit of truly living within the community is on full display at Tambrands in Auburn, which recently celebrated 50 years of manufacturing here in Maine. For the last half century, Tambrands has been a vital part of our state's economy - and if you ever want to know the secret to why, you just need to visit the facility and see the staff at work. These folks are dedicated, innovative, and bright - they're creating products used around the world, and supporting their local economy in the process.
The fact is that what we build matters to people - people not only in Maine, but across the country and around the globe. There is no better example of that importance than Bath Iron Works. As everyone knows, 'Bath built is best built,' but that slogan isn't tied to the geographic location - it's tied to the men and women of BIW, who represent the best Maine has to offer. They're skilled and hardworking, which is why the Navy continues to turn to BIW for projects vital to our national security. And BIW is far from the only Maine manufacturer that supports our military - for example, Maine-made New Balance shoes are among those issued to service members beginning basic training, ensuring that our military members have high-quality, U.S. made athletic shoes as they are preparing to serve.
Ingenuity is, perhaps, the defining characteristic of our state. As the markets have changed, Maine has changed, and Maine people have adapted to new circumstances and continue to create high-quality products. That innovative spirit is one of the key traits of Maine people, and is a vital tool for our forest products industry as they adapt to shifting market demands. Our state is blessed with vast forests, which for generations have provided the foundation for economic prosperity in our rural communities - but in recent years, the industry has faced mill closures and economic challenges.
As a result, community and industry leaders have joined with government officials at the federal, state, and local level to find new opportunities for our forest products economy. This collaboration resulted in the Forest Opportunity Roadmap Initiative, also known as FOR/Maine. This effort, supported by funding from the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Maine Timberlands Charity Trust, lays out a series of recommendations to grow the forest economy by 40%. This is, in a nutshell, the strength of Maine's manufacturing industry - it is a joint endeavor, bringing together communities and businesses to create the best products and support Maine families. That's what we've always been about, and that spirit will continue for years to come.
August 28, 2018
Sally Garand appointed to Maine MEP board of directors
AUGUSTA, Me. - Sally Garand has been appointed to the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) board of directors, the business and technical assistance program announced today.
Since 2012, Garand has been a commercial loan officer with Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), where she works with clients to review business plans and structure loans through the Economic Recovery Loan Program. In this role, she develops relationships with community banks and other institutions throughout the state and provides management oversight to the Maine Rural Development Loan Programs. Prior to joining FAME, Garand was vice president and senior commercial relationship manager at Bangor Savings Bank for more than a decade. She also held a variety of roles at Key Bank National Association for 13 years, from commercial credit development through vice president and relationship officer.
"Because of her well-established connection to Maine's banking sector, Sally Garand brings to the board a thorough understanding of the sort of loans that are most relevant to Maine MEP's client base. We anticipate that our manufacturers will benefit from her 30 years of knowledge and experience," said Muriel Mosher, president of the Maine MEP.
Maine MEP's board of directors works with management to determine the program's vision and mission, engages in strategic planning, approves programs and services, educates legislative and governmental stakeholders and ensures financial and risk management, among other tasks.
Larry Robinson, Center Director at Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, returns to the Maine MEP after a nine-month military mobilization to the Middle East.
AUGUSTA, ME - Larry Robinson, Center Director at Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP), has returned to the Maine MEP after a nine-month military mobilization to the Middle East. Larry was deployed as part of the Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve
(CJTF-OIR) responsible for the defeat ISIS campaign. Reporting in theater on 1 October 2017 Robinson was assigned to the Intelligence Directorate within CJTF-OIR. During his mobilization, Larry led an eighty-three person branch consisting of military, government, and private contractors
responsible for producing intelligence analysis in support of the campaign.
Mobilizations are long days in a very fast paced, sometimes stressful work environment. Being assigned to the Middle East brought additional unique challenges as well." Robinson said. "With that said, mobilizations do offer professional growth experiences which I'm excited to bring back to
the Maine MEP and the clients we serve."
"As a Maine MEP staff member since 2004 and center director since 2012, Robinson has led the organizations efforts to foster manufacturing innovation and economic growth," said Muriel Mosher, Maine MEP president. "Before joining Maine MEP, Robinson worked in the metal fabrication and electronics industries in various engineering and management positions. Larry plans to continue his military service as the Commanding Officer of a U.S. Naval Reserve unit located at FT. Dix, NJ."
Maine MEP announces Manufacturing Day keynote speaker
AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) is pleased to announce Carroll Thomas as keynote speaker at their annual national Manufacturing Day celebration. The event will be held on October 5, 2018, at 10 a.m., at Casco Bay Molding, 63 Smada Drive, Sanford, Maine.
Thomas is director of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she leads a nationwide network of MEP centers that focus on helping U.S. manufacturers strengthen their supply chain integration and access new technology, which helps increase their global competitiveness. She previously was associate administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Small Business Development Centers.
Prior to joining SBA, she served in various leadership functions at NIST MEP. She has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and small business development experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Design and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University in International Business.
The Maine Crisp Company LLC receives the 2018 Bronze sofi Award for The Maine Crisp Co. Cranberry Almond Crisps in the Cracker category
"We were pleased to welcome a visit from Beth Colbert of the NIST MEP, along with Muriel Mosher, President of the Maine MEP. Their work and assistance has helped us improve our precision, safety, and efficiency over the years as we have grown to create more Maine jobs and Maine exports. We greatly appreciate their help." Seth Berry, Vice-President of Business Development, Kennebec River BioScience and State Representative, District 55.
(pictured, left to right: Muriel Mosher, Beth Colbert, Seth Berry)
May 23, 2018
Maine International Trade Center President's Award Presented To Muriel Mosher, Maine MEP President
A valued friend and partner to Maine International Trade Center for many years, Muriel Mosher has served as a member of the MITC Board of Directors since 2005. Under Muriel's leadership, the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and MITC have developed a mutually beneficial relationship that has led to significant export success for Maine's small manufacturers. Beyond the close organizational ties, however, Muriel has also been a tremendous source of support and guidance to both MITC presidents with whom she has worked. Muriel has announced her retirement from Maine MEP at the end of 2018. The staff, board, and alumni of MITC offer our sincere thanks for all she has done for MITC, Maine MEP, and our shared clients. We wish her nothing but the best.
Photo Caption: Muriel Mosher, President of the Maine MEP was presented the 2018 Maine International Trade Day's President Award in recognition of her exceptional support of the MITC program.
May 17, 2018 Gibb hired as Maine MEP finance manager
February 26, 2018 New Upjohn Report Release Shows MEP Provides 14.5 to 1 Return to Federal Treasury
Last week, the W.E. Upjohn Institute released a new study that found the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program generates a substantial economic and financial return of 14.5:1 for the $128 million annually invested by the federal government.
Using the national REMI® model, along with the results from the FY2017 NIST MEP client impact survey conducted by Fors Marsh, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research study finds that economic returns are substantially higher than previously reported by the MEP program due to broader economic effects. Each year, an independent firm surveys manufacturers regarding the impact they have achieved from MEP Center services. In 2017, MEP clients reported $12.6 billion new and retained sales of which $3.5 billion is new sales providing an economic stimulus of 27 to 1 (based on the $128 million federal investment) and the creation or retention of more than 100,000 jobs. The Upjohn study reports that the $128 million invested in MEP during FY2017 generated a 14.5 to 1 increase in federal personal income tax ($1.86B/$128M federal investment). The study looked solely at personal income tax and not business taxes, and provides a conservative estimate of the return.
In addition, the Upjohn study finds more jobs were generated by the MEP program than directly reported by its clients. The study finds that more than 219,000 additional jobs existed in the U.S because of MEP center projects last year than would have without the program. This estimate includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs generated by MEP projects. These jobs support additional manufacturing jobs critical to U.S. supply chains and jobs outside of manufacturing. Lastly, the Upjohn study also examined additional areas of economic impact not previously reported by the MEP Program; personal income is $13.76 billion higher and GDP is $22.01 billion larger, translating to an increase of $1.86 billion in personal income tax revenue to the federal government than would be reported without the program.
March 27, 2018 - Trafton Road Development Site Tour
Muriel Mosher, President of Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, joined Maine Senator Angus King to visit the current Trafton Road Development site in Waterville, which included a tour of F3 MFG, Inc. and distribution businesses on the former Wyandotte Mill site. Watch video and Learn more
Narrated by actors Sean (Goonies, Rudy and Stranger Things) and John Astin (Gomez Addams). Their father and grandfather was a NIST director, Allen Astin, and the piece is structured with quotes from Astin.
Maine MEP joins Bixby Bar's Bean to Bar ribbon cutting ceremony
Above: A ceremonial ribbon-cutting is held Thursday afternoon, Sept. 7, for Bixby & Co.'s "Bean to Bar" chocolate factory retail room on Sea Street in Rockland. Photo by: Stephen Betts, VillageSoup - Knox
June 5, 2017 Maine MEP Visits U.S Senator Collins' Augusta Office Muriel Mosher shared U.S. Senator Susan Collins's Photo
"I had a great meeting with Muriel Mosher, president of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP); Carl Spang, owner of Falcon Performance Footwear; Kathie Leonard, CEO of Auburn Manufacturing; and several other business leaders in my Augusta office. We discussed the vital resources Maine MEP provides to local companies to help create jobs and spur economic growth."
Maine MEP Clients meeting with Senator Collins included Jason Hallee (Alere), Greg Boyd (Alternative Manufacturing), Kate and Donna McAlery (Bixby Bars), Kathie Leonard (Auburn Manufacturing), Dennis Shores (Xuron), and Carl Spang, Chair of the Maine MEP Board of Directors.
April 21, 2017 On Patriots Day, April 17, Maine's Congressman Bruce Poliquin toured four of Maine MEP's clients in the Auburn area: Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), The Strainrite Companies, Globe Manufacturing and Thos. Moser Cabinet Makers.
Below are comments/photos from the Congressman's newsletter and an article from AMI's Blog.
March 24, 2017 Jøtul North America Employees Participating in a Maine MEP Lean for Office training Session
Located in Gorham, Maine, Jøtul North America employs approximately 75 people and sells approximately 17,000 wood and gas stoves, inserts, and fireplaces throughout North America annually. It is considered the dominant cast iron player in the North America hearth products market.
August 4, 2014
Wiscasset Newspaper featured Senator Angus King's visit to Maine Medicinal, sister company of Eldertide, one of this year's recipient of the SBA Tibbetts Award. Maine Medicinal is an Maine MEP client and Bill Whittier, Maine MEP project manager, is featured in the video.
Maine MEP 2013 Manufacturing Excellence Award presented to Augusta-based Kennebec Technologies
Left to right: State Representatives Lori Fowle and Matthew Pouliot, Wick Johnson (President, Kennebec Technologies), State Senators Linda Valentino and Roger Katz.
Left to right: Muriel Mosher (President, Maine MEP), Larry Robinson (Center Director, Maine MEP), Wayne Messer (Maine MEP Senior Project Manager), Wick Johnson (President, Kennebec Technologies), Bill Whittier (Maine MEP, Project Manager) and Bob Doiron (Maine MEP, Senior Project Manager).
Left to right: Lucy Sommo (MITC), Maria McIntyre (SBDC), Peter Pare (ME DOL), Wick Johnson (President Kennebec Technologies), George Gervais (DECD Commissioner), Lisa Martin (Executive Director, MAMe) and Dana Connors (President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce)
June 18, 2012
John Karp of Freeport, has just earned a "black belt," but not the kind that comes with high leg kicks or breaking bricks with your bare hand. Karp is just the 22nd person in the country to earn a so-called black belt in engineering innovation. Karp is serving as interim director of the Maine MEP, which is funded by federal and state funds and fees from businesses that take advantage of its business "coaches." He talked with MPBN's Irwin Gratz.
Click here to listen.
Presentation of the Maine MEP 2010 Manufacturing Excellence Award
Bruce Pulkkinen, Maine MEP Board Chair, State Senator Elizabeth Schneider, Scott Hawthorne, President Mathews Brothers and State Representative Jane Crosby Giles
Presenting the State of Maine Flag to Scott Hawthorne, President of Mathews Brothers (right) are State Representative Jane Crosby Giles and State Senator Chris Rector.
February 13, 2008 Congressman Michaud in his op-ed titled "President's budget: misplaced priorities," "The Piscataquis Observer," February 13, 2008, edition, "The President's budget also essentially eliminates the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), cutting funding by $87 million below the level needed to maintain current services and providing only $4 million for 2009. MEP provides resources and services to U.S. manufacturers to help create jobs, leverage private-sector investment, and be more competitive. As our economy slows, we should not be cutting funding to programs that create jobs. In fact, we need to be doing everything we can to create and sustain jobs, especially in the he manufacturing sector. This is not a cut that would be good for Maine, especially given the recent layoffs and plant closures."
February 12, 2008 Congressman Allen in his op-ed titled "Bush budget gets no rubber-stamp this year," "The Franklin Journal", February 12, 2008, edition, stated, "For example, under the President's plan, Maine would lose $772,000 in Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program funds, at a loss of an estimated 356 jobs and nearly $15 million in private investments. I have visited scores of small businesses across Maine that have used MEP funds to invest in start up or expansion, creating thousands of good jobs."
January 2008 What is Manufacturing? from the December/January edition of "Machining The Voice of Manufacturing" by Jack Healy, Director of the MassMEP.
Audio Interview: John Karp of Freeport, has just earned a "black belt," but not the kind that comes with high leg kicks or breaking bricks with your bare hand. Karp is just the 22nd person in the country to earn a so-called black belt in engineering innovation. Karp is serving as interim director of the Maine MEP, which is funded by federal and state funds and fees from businesses that take advantage of its business "coaches." He talked with MPBN's Irwin Gratz. Click here to listen.
Inside Maine interview with the GovernorÂs Senior Policy Advisor John Butera, Saturday, December 24, 2011, discussing the Maine MEP M.O.S.T.Â® job training program. Listen to the Audio
Mainebiz Sunday, aired on Portland station, WCSH. On Sunday, May 10, 2009, Rosemary Presnar, operations manager for Maine MEP, along with Shelly Doak of the Maine Grocers Association and Waite Maclin of Pastor Chuck Orchards, were guests on Mainebiz Sunday. The group discussed the recent collaboration of the Maine MEP, Maine Grocers Association and the Maine Food Producers Alliance to promote the growth of the state's value-added food producers. The Maine specialty food sector was recently awarded a Maine Technology Institute's Cluster Initiative award of $458,922, matched with outside funding of $680,268.
2010 Maine MEP's Manufacturing Excellence Award recipient - Mathews Brothers - expanding new line of high performance windows. See video here.