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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

Advantage KY News

AKA Response Letter to Presidential Memorandum March, 2017


 March 17, 2017

AKA Team and Board:

Earlier this week, you most likely heard about Presidents Trumps “skinny” budget as it hits the newspapers. We have been expecting this news to come out and it is not a surprise. We have been in this position on several occasions and have prevailed each time. The MEP system is rallying support from their congressional representatives and senators across the nation and the ASMC (American Small Manufacturers Coalition – MEP support) is coordinating it to ensure the program will continue to succeed.

The President’s budget is the first step in the long process that results in a federal budget and, by no means the last word. In fact, in U.S. history, not a single President’s budget has ever been forwarded to congress for a vote without substantial amendment. A final White House budget will be released in late April or May at which point congressional deliberations will begin. Congress has the final say on governmental spending. The MEP network has already reached out and garnered incredible support from our congressional champions. It is through those Champions the MEP program will maintain funding well into the future. I was reading just this morning of two influential Champions strongly pushing back on President Trumps “skinny” budget. Both are from Kentucky with the names of Hal Rogers and Mitch McConnell.

The proposed budget seems contradictory to President Trump’s agenda of the expansion of manufacturing and manufacturing jobs. MEP is vital to the manufacturing supply chain across the nation serving the Defense, Aerospace, Automotive industries among many others. We believe that on further examination by the Administration that they will see that the MEP network is a vital element to this agenda, and this budget line will be reversed, continuing the progress made in Kentucky and throughout the Nation. As you know, the MEP program was re-authorized by both Houses of Congress by unanimous consent earlier in January when the MEP program went back to 1:1 cost matching.

Yes, there is (immediate) work ahead in the continuation of making all aware of the value we bring to the manufacturing industry so, let’s continue our great work and, the recognition received from our clients and return on investment data, will be our voice.

As this process spins out, AKA will be proactive in our activities:

1. AKA has already begun and will continue to broadcast the impacts our clients have reported.
2. We will continue the AKA growth plan reaching clients in 50 KY counties and 180 unique clients by the end of 2017.
3. Provide a developed list of our clients to appropriate Champions in Kentucky to help them better understand the impacts we are having in their Districts.
4. Actively requesting and gaining success stories from our clients in their words.
5. Actively looking for opportunities to write articles/blogs educating Kentucky on the AKA Vision, Mission, and programs.
6. AKA plans to begin discussions in 2017 to help educate the Kentucky Cabinet of AKA’s importance to Kentucky.
7. I welcome other ideas and suggestions for positively communicating our successes to our congressional leaders.

A few things to note:

a. If asked about this issue by clients or partners, please acknowledge that you are aware of the situation and that AKA and other Centers are working with their Congressional Representatives to ensure that we receive continued federal funding. Let them know that we may be asking for their support in sending our message. It is important to stay positive in working with our clients/friends. This is liable to stretch out for many months and we do not want our business to suffer because of preconceived uncertainty about our future.

b. Please do not engage in discussion with the press on this issue. Please forward them to myself, as I want to ensure a consistent message and presence. Please do feel free to share this letter.

The nationwide Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) organization is essential to the growth of the United States economy. It is a fact that the MEP network has a long history of creating substantial and positive impact in GDP and job growth. Here is a link that discusses “The National-Level Impact of the MEP” from the UpJohn Institute ( In addition, the Washington Post has published an article describing the importance of the MEP program as well ( /wp/2017/03/16/trump-hassurprising-plans-for-a-program-that-has-been-saving-manufacturing-jobs-for-30-years/?utm_term=.14fdbd8425a1).

As a testimony to this fact, the Advantage Kentucky Alliance worked with 50 small to mid-sized manufacturers in our state over the past 12 months. According to those companies’ reported results, they were able to achieve the following:

· $9.9M in new sales
· $21.6M in retained sales
· $10.8M in cost savings
· 762 new jobs created/retained
· $40.3M in investments made to stimulate their business and the Kentucky economy.

I need you to stay focused and continue your good work with our manufacturing companies. Today, it is more important than ever for AKA to be self-sufficient and continue our growth plan to reach manufacturers across Kentucky assisting those manufacturers in becoming self-sustaining and growing resulting in the employment of Kentucky citizens.

In the event that an interested party contacts you, please refer them to my email addresses ( or phone number (814-505-3786). Feel free to share this letter with anyone you feel appropriate.


Scott Broughton
Center Director
Advantage Kentucky Alliance
Mobile: 814-505-3786


Giving You the Advantage of the Alliance
Advantage Kentucky Alliance - WKU Center for Research & Development – 2413 Nashville Road, B8, Suite 310 - Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 270-282-7103 Fax: 270-282-2096 web:

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