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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

Advantage KY News

Trump’s Skinny Budget could Eliminate $83 Million in Impacts to Kentucky Manufacturers!


“swamp image

“Draining the Swamp” was a call to action in this past Presidential election and being

true to his word, President Trump has submitted a “Skinny Budget” that will remove some of the “fat” within Washington DC.

The phrase, “drain the swamp” is the ideal of uncovering the many layers of bureaucracy within the federal government and simply taking broad strokes and cutting it out. Before we start chopping away, let us think about that concept for a minute. In military action, all activities have “residual ramifications”. Essentially, unexpected consequences. Looking at a swamp, if you were to “drain” that swamp, it would rid the area of the expected unwanted inhabitants but it would also rid the area of beneficial inhabitants. In some cases, the depletion of those beneficial inhabitants might be the difference between the ability to go through a “re-birthing” or creating an uninhabited wasteland. Draining a swamp is indiscriminate. Most will say that is simply the cost for the “better good”. That is an easy statement to make as long as you are not within the “residual ramifications”!

The Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) is a potential “residual ramification” as we are the MEP in the state of Kentucky. MEP stands for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and they are the only national network dedicated to serving small and medium-sized US Manufacturers. In the past 12 months alone, the MEP Centers (nationally) interacted with over 25K manufacturers, leading to $9.3 billion in sales, $1.4 billion in cost savings, and $3.5 billion in new client investments and helped create/retain more than 86 thousand jobs. You guessed it; the MEP is in President Trump’s Skinny Budget, as a federal program that he suggests to eliminate. The fact is there is not another federally funded program in the USA that has a larger impact with manufacturing than the MEP. (

Focusing on Kentucky’s MEP, AKA gets $488K from the federal government to bring “best practices” and more importantly, implementation assistance to Kentucky’s manufacturers. In the past 12 months alone, AKA has had impacts with our clients of $83 million. That is a ridiculous ROI of 1:170,081 … for every federal dollar spent, it has resulted in $170K in impacts in Kentucky! Specific impacts in the past 12 months are below and that does not include the 762 new jobs created/retained:

  • $9.9 million in new sales;
  • $21.6 million in retained sales;
  • $10.8 million in cost savings;
  • $40.3 million in investments made; and
  • 762 jobs created or retained.

AKA is “results orientated”. In other words, federal funding received is directly linked to quantitative impacts reported by clients through a third party. The only federal agency collecting impacts in this way.

For those of you who feel that Kentucky manufacturing will be fine without MEP funding, AKA does not gain state funding which would cause their closing. For those of you who are fine with that, tell the dozens of companies AKA works with in Eastern Kentucky saving their companies and communities that depend on those companies. Tell that to the manufacturers and employee base across the Commonwealth depending on AKA for expertise and implementation assistance ensuring sustainable futures. Tell that to the large manufacturers and communities in the Commonwealth that depend on the small/medium sized manufacturers for local expertise, tax bases, and community involvement. While I agree that we definitely do need to “drain the swamp”, allowing businesses to be profitable and sustainable, let’s not get rid of the few quantifiable entities that are helping them, namely the Manufacturing Extension Partnership!

AKA works with manufacturers across the Commonwealth strengthening manufacturers, growing those communities, implementing programs that creates cash flow, increase margins, identifying growth opportunities and most importantly, implement sustainable change. Not “change” on paper only but REAL change that is measurable! Feel free to visit our website for dozens of success stories from Kentucky manufacturers on the measurable and very real impacts AKA has had with them.

Scott Broughton is the Center Director for the Advantage Kentucky Alliance ( based out of WKU. His contact information is or 814-505-3786.

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