University of Louisville to host Kentucky's next manufacturing resource center
An initiative supporting local manufacturers is headed to Louisville.
The University of Louisville announced Tuesday it will launch the Kentucky Manufacturing Extension Partnership in early January. The center will aim to support small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Commonwealth.
It will join a network of similar centers as part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an initiative that spans all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The United States Department of Commerce provides partial support for each center through its National Institute of Standards and Technology.
U of L received more than $6.7 million from NIST to operate the center over the next five years. That funding could later be renewed for an additional five years, according to NIST representative Richard Press, totaling more than $13 million over a decade.
Scott Broughton, the director of manufacturing engagement at the university’s Office of Research and Innovation, will lead the effort. He said while the center’s main headquarters will be based in the Atria Building in downtown Louisville, it will include remote offices reaching manufacturing businesses across Kentucky.
He said the center will help companies grow and connect them to resources like new technologies and training, and could provide U of L students and graduates with work experience or careers.
“This is an opportunity to make sure that those manufacturers are getting the resources they need regardless of where they're at,” Broughton said.
Broughton said the funding will go toward covering costs like outreach efforts and business partners’ needs.
Broughton formerly led the Advantage Kentucky Alliance in Bowling Green. It was the previous site for Kentucky’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership but will be replaced in the network by the U of L center.