Transitioning to a New Evaluation System

Mr. Yakimov said that in the transition to a new reporting and evaluation system, the MEP would continue to hold the individual Centers accountable for three things: financial stability, market penetration, and client/economic impact. “That model will never change, whether it’s the current system of evaluation or the new system.” The system in place through 2011 evaluates clients on new sales, retained sales, investment, cost savings, and jobs created and retained. The MEP holds the Centers accountable for these results, and evaluates them based on minimally acceptable impact measures (MAIM), annual and panel reviews, the operating plan, and quarterly data reporting.

The reason for the imminent change, he said, was that the MEP needs a “more balanced scorecard.” At the beginning of the MEP program, he said, the evaluation focused too much on documenting Center activities and its interactions with manufacturers. About a decade ago, the MEP moved to the client impact survey as the sole mechanism to hold Centers accountable. “I think what we want to do now is reach a balance between those two things. We want to look at the activities in addition to the outcomes and impacts.”

IN CLOSING

This workshop summary provides a variety of perspectives on how the Manufacturing Extension Partnership seeks to strengthen the nation’s small and medium manufacturers. This overview highlights key issues raised by speakers in the course of a National Academies workshop including, more broadly, the importance of manufacturing for the U.S. economy, the decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector, and the role that government can play in supporting this sector. More specifically, the workshop addressed the role of MEP in strengthening manufacturing in the United States, the evolution of MEP to address new global realities and opportunities, and the need for relevant metrics to shape this evolution. The next chapter provides detailed summaries of the presentations by each of the conference participants. The overall objective of the meeting and this volume are to enhance our understanding of the operations, achievements, and challenges of the MEP and the new strategies it plans to adopt to help small U.S. firms adapt to global competition.



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