Public Release: 

Federal agencies award UT Arlington's TMAC $6.7 million to bolster manufacturing

University of Texas at Arlington


IMAGE: This is Ron Lehman, TMAC executive director. view more

Credit: TMAC

UT Arlington's TMAC, formerly the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, has won a five-year, $33.5 million Commerce Department award to manage Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers to help small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state.

TMAC's annual award of $6.7 million represented an increase of $1.4 million a year to the University's center and was by far the largest allotment among the $26 million in cooperative agreements awarded in 10 states.

TMAC and six other partner institutions across the state help small and mid-sized manufacturing companies accelerate profitability and increase global competitiveness.

"The money from this award will be matched with customer fees to fund TMAC's network of field engineers, consultants and experts to provide these services to more small and mid-sized manufacturing firms throughout the state, and especially in underserved and rural areas," said Ron Lehman, TMAC executive director. "TMAC has committed to approximately double the number of small- and mid-sized companies it positively impacts during the next five years. That would greatly enhance Texas' overall economy."

The awards flow through the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST, founded in 1901, is one of the nation's oldest physical laboratories. It helps American businesses be more competitive.

Government and independent experts reviewed proposals for the current round of funding and evaluated them against a number of criteria. Reviewers also looked at the proposed business models, performance measurements and metrics, partnership potential, staff qualifications and program management, as well as financial and non-federal cost-share plans.

TMAC is measured by the success of its customers, as reported by them through a third-party research firm. Over the past few years, customers have credited TMAC services for helping them achieve:

  • Overall increased sales of $1.44 billion;

  • Operational savings of $646 million per year;

  • Investments of $552 million to grow their businesses;

  • And more than 17,344 new jobs created.

Existing MEP centers in Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Virginia, joined Texas to receive the $26 million in federal funding, an increase of about $10 million or nearly 60 percent.//

"With the increased funding, the centers will have the opportunity to serve more manufacturers and to reach out to those they might not have served in the past, including manufacturers in emerging industries, in rural areas or those that are very small," said Phil Singerman, NIST's associate director for Innovation and Industry Services and acting director of MEP. "The funding also will help them to develop new tools to support innovative supply chains, technology acceleration and workforce development."


About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 48,000 students around the world and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at

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