Due to the global outbreak and spreading of the Coronavirus, U.S. small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses have experienced significant impacts to their businesses. For some, it has created setbacks that have affected their ability to survive both during the Coronavirus pandemic and afterwards.

For others, while demand and orders may be at same or even improved levels, the current environment may be presenting new challenges to productivity. The Federal Government has determined that swift action must be taken to save these businesses and keep them from failing or losing their competitive edge, in order to keep the economy strong, keep Americans employed, and to maintain a robust supply chain serving manufacturers of significant industries in the U.S.

AWFS has shared this opportunity with their California member companies through their collaboration with CMTC, California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Some of these manufacturing challenges include:
--Shifting production to meet new demand related to the pandemic
--Inability to find sufficient skilled workforce to meet demand
--Confusion or concerns about proper health and safety procedures in the workplace
--Inability to access PPE for workforce
--Having to lay off or furlough employees
--Having to reduce hours of operations and/or the working hours of employees
--Damaged supply chain sources
--Inability to meet financial obligations
--Loss of customer base

In response to this scenario, the Federal Government has passed a stimulus bill (the CARES Act), some of which is budgeted for NIST MEP (The National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership) to support SMB manufacturers across the U.S. that have been impacted by the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The NIST Emergency Assistance Program makes the funding available to MEP centers across the country. As the MEP Center for California, CMTC, in partnership with a network of statewide partners, is offering an assistance program to support California small and medium-sized manufacturers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CMTC will provide an expert Business Stabilization Consultant who will conduct a brief assessment of the company’s current state and work to understand the organization’s specific needs, challenges and opportunities. After the assessment is complete, a customized Plan of Action with recommendations and resources will be provided to help recover and grow the business during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Both the assessment and the Plan of Action are provided at no cost to the manufacturer. Additional support and training are available for qualifying companies.

Support is available in the following areas: business continuity and workforce planning; workplace safety; marketing; PPE; social distancing in the plant; market diversification; near-sourcing; supplier scouting; risk management; and more.

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