By Gene Russell, Manex President & CEO

Manex was founded 25 years ago as a part of the MEP National Network. We have been serving the manufacturing community of owners, managers, and line employees with passion and commitment to Made in California and Made in America ever since.

We are strictly monitored and controlled, and outcomes really matter. The Manex Board of Directors is made up of C-level manufacturers, economic developers, community college, and finance professionals.

This story is about Impacts – what they are and their importance to all Manex stakeholders.

The MEP National Network™ is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing.

Focused on helping small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today’s technology-driven economy, the MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and its more than 1,400 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 375 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed.

For every $1 dollar of federal investment in FY 2019, the MEP National Network generated $33.80 in new sales growth for manufacturers. For every $1,221 of federal investment, the Network created or retained one manufacturing job.

There are two reasons we focus on Impacts at Manex: first, we are a non-profit and are driven by the mission to improve manufacturing, create growth and jobs. The second reason is that it is a key part of our reward structure within the MEP System. Every quarter Manex must meet minimum impact numbers based on the number of manufacturers in the region and we must get those busy manufacturers to take the online survey. The Impacts are measured completely independently and subject to the tough and honest opinions manufacturers input on the NIST MEP survey. The confidential data rolls up into an overall performance report given to congress.

The surveys are performed quarterly and rolling annual results are released quarterly. Because of the frequency, content, and independence of the surveys, we believe they provide Manex with one of the best realistic measures of Bay Area and Sacramento region manufacturing.  Current Manex Impacts can be found here.

In the previous year, Manex completed 91 projects in 76 different Bay Area and Sacramento Region companies. All projects were either workforce focused or had elements of workforce training. Training and advisory work at Manex impacts both the professional and the personal lives of trainees. It brings greater skills, and greater income and opportunities for them and their employers. In terms of Impacts, we are surveying projects from prior years as they transform the organization and current year projects as the changes begin to kick in.


View an employee profile at Vacuum Process Engineering in Sacramento:

According to clients surveyed in FY 2019, the MEP National Network helped manufacturers achieve $15.7 billion in sales, $1.5 billion in cost savings, $4.5 billion in new client investments, and helped to create and retain 114,650 U.S. manufacturing jobsView the National Impact Data PDF for more information about NIST MEP, the National Network, and client impacts.

Centers tailor services to meet critical needs, ranging from process improvement and workforce development to specialized business practices, including supply chain integration, innovation, and technology transfer. MEP’s foundation is built upon its partnerships. Centers are the hub for manufacturers, connecting them with government agencies, trade associations, universities and research laboratories, state and federal initiatives, and a host of other resources to help them grow and innovate. Learn more about the strategic goals and measures of success by viewing the PDF of the MEP National Network™ Strategic Plan.


View an owner profile at Vintage 99 in Livermore and Santa Rosa:

The feedback loop to Manex and the MEP System that survey impacts provide are invaluable to those in economic development, manufacturing, and even policymakers to understand direct feedback from American manufacturing ground zero: The Manufacturer.  If you are a Manex manufacturer and you have received the survey email from Fors Marsch, answer it!  We need your input.  If you are a manufacturer wondering about what we do, just look at our Community Impacts webpage here.


About the Author

Gene Russell is President and CEO of Manex and has over 30 years of senior executive strategic planning, operational management, and consulting experience in the manufacturing and technology sectors. With his extensive knowledge of manufacturing operations, he has developed and implemented key strategic initiatives for companies, allowing them to improve performance and achieve profitable growth. He can be reached at