MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
It is with great pleasure and pride that we share the successes of our customers and our organization with you from 2021.
Completing a project with a customer is not our goal. We strive to demonstrate impactful results while creating relationships with lasting impressions. With passionate stakeholders at the federal and state level, we are united in our mission to have a greater manufacturing presence to bring economic strength to our communities.
This annual report provides highlights of our customer’s successes realized through the effort provided by our collective teams. It’s a snapshot of history but hopefully a reflection of what is yet to come in 2022 and beyond for manufacturing in our great state of West Virginia.
Staci P. Miller
Director of Operations
WVU Industrial Extension
WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership
The WVU Industrial Extension is West Virginia’s official representative of the NIST/MEP National Network, a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing.
The WVU Industrial Extension helps West Virginia manufacturers reach their full potential by providing the insight and education they need to stay profitable in global markets, expand and grow their business, and retain W.Va. talent to strengthen the state's economy.
The WVU Industrial Extension is one of 51 organizations nationwide working to provide operational solutions to small and medium-sized manufacturers.
In addition to representing West Virginia University, we hold a cooperative agreement with the Federal Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to represent West Virginia at the federal level.
"Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and there is no program that does more for our manufacturing base in WV than the WVU Industrial Extension."
- Dr. Thorsten Wuest, Associate Professor, West Virginia University
Our project managers and leadership team come to us with years of hands-on experience in the manufacturing industry and proven success in their fields and continue to stay on top of the latest technologies, best practices, and certification requirements.
Their assistance allows smaller manufacturers to tap into an extremely high level of expertise and partner with an individual who is genuinely invested in their success.
- Staci Miller, Director
- David Carrick, Associate Director
- Jamie Cope, Manager, Business Development
- John A. Frazer, Ph.D., CSP, Manager, Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Safety-Health
- Greg Green, Safety and Health Specialist
- Randy Kowalczyk, Manager, Continuous Improvement
- Mark Henline, Manager, Management Systems
- Tracy Straub, Specialist, Business and Marketing
Our Advisory Board
- Heather Cyphert – CHAIR – Owner, Precision Tool and Machine
- Justin Skeens – VICE CHAIR – Operations Manager, Brake Supply Heavy Equipment
- Charlie Burd – Executive Director, GO-WV
- Luke Diserio – Chief Executive Officer, American Muscle Docks
- Paul Lauttamus – Owner, A.V. Lauttamus Communications, Inc.
- Dave Lieving – President & CEO, Huntington Area Development Council (HADCO)
- Greg Mason – Vice President Manufacturing, Automated Merchandising Systems
- Rebecca McPhail – President, West Virginia Manufacturing Association (WVMA)
- Adolph Santorine – Independent Consultant
- Dave Satterfield (MEP Advisor) – Director of Asset Development, West Virginia University
- Thorsten Wuest, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, West Virginia University
NIST / MEP Partnership
NIST MEP's mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing.
The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The National Program Office (NIST MEP) which provides the federal government funding for the MEP National Network™ is in Gaithersburg, MD.
The MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP Advisory Board, MEP Center boards, and the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence, as well as over 1,400 trusted advisors and experts at approximately 450 MEP service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed.
"The team at the WVU Industrial Extension was helpful, fast, knowledgeable and easy to work with. They created exactly what we needed to test our incoming employees. I would recommend them to anyone looking for assistance with manufacturing challenges."
- Patrick Echard, Manufacturing Coordinator, Skana Aluminum, CO
NIST / MEP Partnership
Results for U.S. Manufacturers
According to clients surveyed in FY 2021, the MEP National Network helped these manufacturers the following:
Manufacturers' top challenges as reported by clients
Reported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce:
Customer Impact / West Virginia
Surveys are facilitated by an independent third-party firm to determine the impacts that result from projects. Clients are contacted directly and provide feedback related to the growth and savings realized by the business because of the project.
Client participation is critical to ensuring that funding continues for the national MEP network and that projects are focused on making positive changes.
The WVU Industrial Extension uses the results from the surveys to improve current service offerings, identify new opportunities to support clients, and develop additional skills internally to support the needs of manufacturing in West Virginia.
"Like American manufacturing, West Virginia is at a critical crossroads. With creativity, building out broadband, and implementing the latest technologies, I believe West Virginia manufacturers can compete with anyone in the world." - Paul Lauttamus, President of A.V. Lauttamus Communications, Inc., Lauttamus Security, LLC, and Lauttamus Holding, Inc.
"Working with the WVU Industrial Extension office saves us a lot of time and effort on administrative needs. More importantly, the quality work and professionalism provided by the WVUIE team helps keep our business competitive and has a noticeable impact on our bottom line." - Luke Diserio, MBA, PGA
CEO - American Muscle Docks
CEO - American Energy Fabrications
President - Diserio Enterprises
Quantitative Impact 2021
- Increase in Sales = $11,295,000
- Retention of Sales $65,775,000
- Cost Savings $2,140,500
- Investment Savings $1,560,500
- New Products & Processes $13,688,000
- Plant or Equipment $13,477,000
- Info Systems /Software $1,773,000
- Workforce Practices $2,019,080
- Other Areas of Business $813,000
- 1,786: number of people trained
- 4,648: number of project and product development hours
"We had a great time and a fantastic learning experience at the Lean 101 training program. Once again, great job to the WVU Industrial Extension program! Your team is offering a great service to the Mountain State. We appreciate what you do!"
- Jim Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, Kanawha Scales and Systems, Poca, WV
Top strategic challenges for West Virginia manufacturers, as reported by clients:
- 71% employee recruitment and retention
- 62% ongoing continuous improvement/cost reduction strategies
- 50% product innovation/development
- 50% identifying growth opportunities
- 19% managing partners and suppliers
- 17% sustainability in products and processes
"The importance of the work the WVU Industrial Extension provides, both large and small manufacturers in terms of counseling and support, cannot be overstated."
- Charlie Burd, Executive Director, Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia
2021 Return on Investment
West Virginia has a 93% client satisfaction, where the US average is 88%.
- $65.8M retention of sales
- $13.7M increase in new products/processes
- $11.3M increase in sales
- $2.1M cost savings
- 296 in total jobs
"Manufacturing is the future of West Virginia, providing the opportunity for innovation and economic diversity, while creating great paying jobs for the citizens of our state. The work of the WV MEP to support the growth of manufacturing is essential to the advancement of our industry and I’m pleased to be a part of these efforts."
- Rebecca McPhail, President, West Virginia Manufacturers Association
Products and Services Offered
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Key Points/
- Study Processes
- Identify Opportunities
- Streamline Operations
- Reduce Costs
- Organize the Workplace
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Key Points/
- Develop Systems
- Manage Processes
- Increase Customer Satisfaction
- Control Business Risk
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY Key Points/
- Maintain Regulatory Compliance
- Avoid Fines
- Prevent Injuries
- Support Business
- Project Workforce
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND LEADERSHIP Key Points/
- Assess Cultures
- Develop Leaders
- Build Teams
- Train Through Job Instructions
- Develop Strategic Succession
- Continuity Plans
"Small and medium manufacturers are critical to West Virginia’s economic future. When they need assistance, they look to the outstanding professionals at WVU Industrial Extension. Whether it is a top-line aspiration, a bottom-line concern, or somewhere in between – I am confident our colleagues at the WVU Industrial Extension will provide a winning solution."
- David Satterfield, Director of Asset Development for the Office of Research and Economic Development at West Virginia University Associate Professor, West Virginia University School of Music
We're only as good as the people we serve. We're proud to acknowledge and share the successes of our clients.
In areas of continuous improvement, management systems, occupational health, safety and workforce development, our clients are constantly working to improve their processes for a more efficient and happy work force. Read more of our client success stories.
Manufacturing Day 2021
As manufacturers seek to fill 4 million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade, Manufacturing Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.
Held the first Friday in October, with events that continue throughout the month, Manufacturing Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
To inspire WV students to learn more about careers in manufacturing, The WVU Industrial Extension partnered with the Blenko Glass Company, located in Milton, WV, to create the Student Design Challenge.
Almost 100 students from around the state submitted designs in hopes that theirs would be chosen and made into an original Blenko Glass piece of art. Seventh grade student, Charlie Gaull, won the inaugural competition with his Blue Crayfish design.
This species, Cambarus loughmani, is a West Virginia endemic, restricted to a 3265 km2 (1261 mi2 ) area of the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province in Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, and Putnam counties (Foltz et al. 2018).
The WVU Industrial Extension also partnered with Kanawha Scales, located in Poca, West Virginia, to provide a virtual tour of their manufacturing facility and to discuss workforce skills needed in the manufacturing industry.
"One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is being able to observe nature and sketch it out in a nature journal. Crayfish are one of my favorite animals and I've never seen a blue one, I'd really like to. My mom assigned this as the art project for the week and seeing my design come to life was amazing." - Charlie Gaull
Pictured above is Charlie Gaull, the Student Design Challenge winner, creating his
winning design at The Blenko Glass Company located in Milton, West Virginia.
Grants Programs / Partnerships
The AIM Higher Consortium is a wide-ranging program funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of strengthening the defense supply chain in the Greater Pittsburgh region of Southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
This effort includes accelerating research and innovation in defense manufacturing, fostering improvements and growth for defense supply chain organizations, addressing industry needs for workforce development and training, and providing access to capital for growth in the defense sector.
Clients who benefited from the Aim Higher Consortium in 2021 include:
- Huntington Plating
- Level 1 Fasteners
- Precision Tool
The Shale POWER initiative provides technical assistance and business support to small and medium manufacturers and enterprises seeking to expand business production and jobs in the shale gas and downstream manufacturing sectors in the coal-impacted Appalachian region.
Applicants may request a grant up to 50% of the total advanced manufacturing technology
project cost. Awards are made on first-come, first-served basis and are between
$1,000 and $5,000. Mini grants may be used to support project-related consulting
costs, contracted services, software purchases, supplies, and one-time costs related
to the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology.
Special thanks to the following manufacturers for allowing us to include their photos throughout this publication:
- American Muscle Docks
- Blenko Glass Company, Inc.
- Kreinik Manufacturing
- Paul Wissmach Glass, CO
- Smooth Ambler
- WV Great Barrel Company