Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut


Esty Manufacturing Amendment Passes House

September 14, 2017
Press Release
Esty: “Let’s keep MEP and support American workers”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An amendment to increase funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) passed the House last night by a vote of 279-137. The Torres-Esty amendment passed as part of H.R. 3354, Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, will increase funding for MEP by $5 million in FY 2018. On Thursday, H.R. 3354 passed the house by the vote of 211-198 and now awaits further consideration by the Senate

“Like for so many of our communities across the country, manufacturing is the backbone of Connecticut’s economy. Ensuring we have a strong, highly trained workforce is critical in creating and retaining jobs in Connecticut. That’s why I’m working to close the skills gap, improve workforce training, and help match workers with good-paying careers in in-demand fields. Every American—no matter their background—deserves the opportunity to compete for these jobs. By continuing to fund the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, we will continue to advocate for policies that grow jobs and promote innovation.,” Esty said.

“The passing of this amendment shows an understanding of why the MEP program is so important to the small and medium size manufacturers in the US, which all parties can agree is an industry that is the backbone of our country.  Congresswoman Esty has taken time to see the results of the program in CT first hand through plant tours and their reported metrics.  Every state has manufacturers who remain competitive through the support of this national program,” Bonnie Del Conte, President and CEO of CONNSTEP, said. 

Created by the Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers providing them with technical support services to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. There are MEP centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with over 1,300 technical experts serving as trusted business advisors, focused on solving manufacturers’ challenges and identifying opportunities for growth. 

Earlier this week, Esty took to the House floor urging her colleagues to support the amendment, saying MEP has had a tangible and important role in American job creation and economic growth.

To view video of Esty’s floor speech, click the image above or visit 

Here are Esty’s full remarks as delivered:

Mister Speaker, I rise in support of Rep. Torres’s amendment to increase funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

This amendment would restore $5 million to MEP – which has helped U.S. manufacturers create and retain jobs in Connecticut and in every state across the country for nearly 30 years.

In the 1980s, U.S. manufacturers experienced a loss of competitiveness to international manufacturers.
To secure America’s position as the leader in the global manufacturing race, Congress created the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in 1988.

And the effect that MEP has had on American job creation and economic growth is tangible and important.

In northwest and central Connecticut, between 2015 and 2016, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership retained 479 jobs, created 45 new jobs, increased sales by $33 million, and retained $77 million in sales. 

Connecticut’s MEP –the Connecticut State Technical Extension Program, or CONNSTEP – works with facilities in northwest and central Connecticut advising them on ways to grow their businesses.

Thanks to their partnerships with CONNSTEP, Metallon, Inc. in Thomaston increased new sales by half a million dollars, Metallurgical Processing Inc. in New Britain increased production by twenty percent, and RTR Technologies in Canaan increased sales by $6 million.

Despite the fact that the Manufacturing Extension Partnership is creating good-paying careers throughout the country, the appropriations bill before us slashes MEP funding by $30 million.

If the United States wants to keep its seat at the table as the world’s largest economy, it’s not in our interest to gut funding to American manufacturing.

I urge my colleagues to restore funding to MEP by $5 million – because passing a budget that grows the economy and retains and brings jobs to our communities is what we were sent to Washington to do.

I urge my colleagues to support Representative Torres’s amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.