2022 Impact Report: Maine MEP helps manufacturers grow & succeed

We all know the last few years have been rough. But that only makes Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, which rolled out in 2020, and its focus on talent and innovation more
relevant than ever. In 2022, Maine MEP doubled down on leading the implementation of that strategic plan in the manufacturing sector. Like most other businesses, manufacturers in Maine have struggled to find skilled workers to fill roles from shop floors to management. Our project managers work with clients to find solutions—including production efficiency, high-tech tools, leadership training and improving organizational culture—that get the job done and allow for growth.

This was also a year in which Maine MEP continued to develop and nurture impactful partnerships. We are proud to collaborate with community colleges to train and prepare individuals without manufacturing experience for entry level roles in the industry. Maine MEP’s hands-on training experiences mimic a manufacturing operation and demonstrate Lean manufacturing philosophy and techniques. And we remain committed to expanding innovation, which is one way manufacturers can navigate a reduced workforce. In 2022, we completed a 3-year, $1 million grant in partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine to build the technical capability of the Center for Additive Manufacturing of Metals (CAMM). Because we know that small businesses and entrepreneurs typically have limited capital or ability to invest in large-scale equipment, Maine MEP sought funding through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to build CAMM’s capacities.

In addition to investments in building capacity for innovation, Maine MEP continues to provide essential services to Maine manufacturers. These services include leadership development, quality system implementations, food safety consulting, Lean implementations, strategic and succession planning. We also assist manufacturers in accessing grant opportunities. I hope you will enjoy reading about a few of our success stories in more detail in this report.

Maine MEP is always happy to make introductions and connections between the incredible manufacturers and other leaders in our state. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Larry Robinson,
President, Maine MEP