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WVU’s Industrial Extension program receives $3 million grant to support West Virginia’s manufacturing base

A WVMEP Training

West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership Manager of Continuous Improvement Randy Kowalczyk (left) discusses ideas for operational streamlining with Justin Skeens (right), operational manager of brake supply. (Submitted Photo)

West Virginia University’s Industrial Extension program is expanding its reach and support of the manufacturing base in the Mountain State thanks to a recent cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology through the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Story by Olivia Miller, Communications Specialist

For nearly three decades, the WVU Industrial Extension program — also known as the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WVMEP) — housed in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has supported over a thousand manufacturers statewide. Employing an experienced team of consultants with extensive industry experience, the program provides one-on-one support to companies state-wide.

The five year cooperative agreement of $3 million dollars will allow the program to increase outreach to West Virginia manufacturers and provide additional support to new clients. 

“There are hundreds of companies that may be aware of what we can do to help, but have never actually connected with us,” said Staci Miller, director of WVMEP. “Our biggest plan is to communicate and connect with them and help them with a specific project.  

According to Miller, in the last year, the program’s clients have reported a $9.8 million increase in sales, $2.5 million in cost savings, $4.3 million in new products and processes and a 73% increase in workforce practice and skills as a result of projects completed.  

Services provided by WVMEP include manufacturing process improvement support, health and safety training and consulting, energy assessments, management system development, operational leadership on-boarding, strategic planning and workforce development. Miller said the focus of these services maximizes productivity, streamlines operations and reduces cost and improves knowledge of the workforce. 

“It’s an honor for us to represent both WVU and the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership network,” said Director Staci Miller. “The mission and vision of the team are clear — to provide solutions to the challenges our customers face. With the expertise of our team, the vast resources of the University, and the connection of resources nationally, we are confident we can help sustain and grow the manufacturing base in West Virginia.”



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135