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2023 Impact Report

“The power of the WVU Industrial Extension is a wonderful thing for connecting people.”

Bryson Cutler, Vice President
The Blenko Glass Company

Director's Message

To get to somewhere different, you must do something different. To be able to do something different, you must think differently about your plan and your path in getting there. Sometimes that requires a disruptive mindset. Disrupting the status quo is often perceived in a negative way. But disrupting the normal flow can have positive impacts if the effort to interrupt operations is organized and well planned.

The services we provide to our customers are completely focused on helping you manage your business more efficiently, more profitably, and with greater success. As your needs change, our services must change with it so that we can continue to climb with you.

The impacts you have realized from our services in 2023 are impressive and we are extremely proud to partner with our customers to drive these impacts. We know the expectations to do more and to be better are higher than ever. To meet those expectations, we are disrupting the way we think about how we enhance our existing services and how we introduce new services that will deliver results to our customers.

It was an honor to work with you last year and we look forward to serving you again in 2024 so that we can build a stronger manufacturing community in West Virginia. We are challenging ourselves to think differently and to think disruptively. We may be challenging you to do the same.

Let’s drive change together!

Let’s disrupt!

Staci MIller

Staci Miller, Director

The National Network and West Virginia

MEP National Network - The go-to experts for advancing US manufacturing

Dedicated to supporting the success of small and medium-sized manufacturers in today's technology-driven economy, the MEP National Network encompasses various entities, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), 51 MEP Centers across all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP Advisory Board, MEP Center boards, and the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence.

1,450 EXPERTS Nationwide
51 MEP CENTERS Nationwide

The WVU Industrial Extension serves as West Virginia's conduit to the NIST/MEP National Network, offering tailored solutions to West Virginia manufacturers, driving growth and innovation. With our cooperative agreement with the Federal Department of Commerce and NIST, we proudly represent West Virginia at the federal level, advocating for the state's manufacturing sector.

140 YEARS Experience
1 TEAM West Virginia

The MEP National Network

US Flag. Photo by Cristina Glebova on UnsplashFor every dollar of federal investment in FY 2023, the MEP National Network generated $24.60 in new sales growth and $27.50 in new client investment.

This translates into more than $4.3 billion in new sales. For every $1,633 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job.*

Each MEP Center is a partnership between the federal government and a variety of public or private entities, including state, university and nonprofit organizations.

*Federal investment is based on $175 million in federal funding for FY 2023


According to clients surveyed in FY 2023, the MEP National Network helped these manufacturers achieve:

  • More than 107,100 JOBS CREATED OR RETAINED
  • $2.9 Billion Cost Savings
  • $16.2 Billion New & Retained Sales
  • $4.8 Billion New Client Investments

Manufacturers’ Top Challenges as Reported by Clients:

  • 64% Cost Reduction
  • 60% Employee Recruitment
  • 44% Growth
  • 38% Product Development

West Virginia Focus

WV FlagThe WVU Industrial Extension is actively supporting West Virginia manufacturers through personalized on-site training and consulting services. By imparting crucial insights and knowledge, we enable manufacturers to maintain competitiveness and profitability in the global arena.

Our commitment to fostering business expansion and development is pivotal, as it not only creates new job opportunities but also fuels the overall advancement of the state's economy. Retaining local talent is equally imperative, as it bolsters the presence of a skilled workforce capable of driving the growth of manufacturing enterprises.

Through our tailored assistance and educational initiatives, we ensure that manufacturers in the state are well-prepared to navigate and excel in today's dynamic global marketplace.


According to clients surveyed in FY 2023:

More than 804 JOBS Created or Retained

  • 610 Jobs Retained
  • 194 Jobs Created
  • 41% Increase since 2022
“The Department of Economic Development has supported and worked with the Industrial Extension to promote business in West Virginia.
This partnership is more critical than ever as we work to keep manufacturing strong in the state. Our combined missions and collaborations have been mutually beneficial for many years.”
Mike Graney, Executive Director WVEDA

Training West Virginia

WV map of counties Map reflects counties in which a company, or individual employee, received training from the WVU Industrial Extension.

While our team traveled more than 88,000 miles in 2023 to deliver expert services to more than 2,500 individuals, almost 600 additional employees and resource partners attended one of our on-line or in-person workforce development training events.

88,111 Miles Traveled
3,100+ Individuals Trained

Big Impacts for West Virginia Manufacturers

The WVU Industrial Extension is committed to innovation and continuous improvement in our offerings. By challenging the status quo, introducing creative solutions to solving problems, and encouraging our manufacturers to make positive changes in their operations to save time and money, reduce risk and liability, promote new investments, and educate and motivate our talented workforce.

The ever-changing economic conditions, severely limited talent pipeline, and increasing need to become more profitable requires manufacturers to be nimble and adjust. Disrupting normal operations to get trained, introduce improved practices, and evaluate better solutions allows leaders to think differently and develop different solutions to on-going challenges.

According to clients surveyed in FY 2023:

$72.1 M Retained Sales
(87% Increase since 2022)
$29.6 M New Sales
(161% Increase since 2022)
$8.1 M New Investments
(35% Increase since 2022)


Giving Back to Our Community

In 2023, the WVU Industrial Extension offered complimentary services for 41 mini projects, amounting to 155.5 staff hours. This contribution amounted to a total of $17,105.00 worth of donated time and services, furthering our commitment to supporting West Virginia manufacturers. 100% of our online programming was free for our manufacturing community.

155.5 HRS Staff Hours Donated
41 PROJECTS Mini Projects
$17,105 In-Kind Contribution


Mark Bowe speaking at a WVUIE eventInaugural West Virginia Manufacturing Conference

West Virginia’s Largest Conference for Small Manufacturers

100+ Attendees
19 Expert Panelists/Presenters
6 Breakout Sessions
UNLIMITED Networking Opportunities


Customer Satisfaction Rate

According to clients surveyed in FY 2023

  • 85.4% NATIONAL AVG

Top Factors Why Clients Choose WVU Industrial Extension:

  • 91% Staff Expertise
  • 33% Cost
  • 21% Industry Knowledge
  • 19% Fair & Unbiased Advice
“Our partnership with the WVU Industrial Extension is very valuable to the Felman team; they have provided supervisor and manager educational training, safety training to all employees as well as project assistance over the course of our partnership."
Vitaliy Anosov, Plant Manager
Felman Production


Top 5 Strategic Challenges WV Manufacturers Say They Are Facing

According to clients surveyed in FY 2023:

  • 81% Ongoing Continuous Improvement
  • 72% Employee Recruitment/Retention
  • 42% Identifying Growth Opportunities
  • 35% Product Development/Innovation
  • 14% Managing Partners and Suppliers


Delivering On-Site Solutions

Our team supports as many manufacturers as possible by reaching nearly every county in West Virginia. Services are provided on-site with our customers, including training, assessments, and implementation support.

Through investments in product development and continuing education, we enhance our ability to deliver better services through on-site projects. Surveyed customers reported cost savings of over $6M in 2023 alone.

  • 4,189 HRS Product Dev. & Project Delivery
  • 134 Projects
  • 71 Companies Assisted
  • $6.4 M Client Cost Savings


Continuous Improvement & Energy

We help identify opportunities, streamline operations, reduce costs, organize your workplace. in 2023:

  • 447 Employees Educated in Continuous Improvement Principles
  • 16 Continuous Improvement Projects Completed
  • 13 Energy Assessments Completed
“The WVU Industrial Extension has played an important role in the continued growth of Lauttamus Communications & Security. As a company that is constantly evolving, we face many different challenges and opportunities every day.
The Industrial Extension has not only helped us look at these challenges and opportunities differently, but has also showed us how to standardize and document our processes in a way that ensures success well into the future.”
Paul Lauttamus, Owner
Lauttamus Communications & Security

Occupational Health & Safety

We help maintain regulatory compliance, avoid fines, prevent injuries, protect your workforce. in 2023:

  • 1,715 Employees Trained in Safe Work Practices
  • 59 Health & Safety Projects Completed
  • 10 Industrial Hygiene Projects Completed
“As a small business with expanding compliance requirements, we are fortunate to have the West Virginia University Industrial Extension as a partner.
Their team of experienced professionals, from a variety of industries and backgrounds, have been a key part of our journey to continue to elevate our Environmental, Health, Safety, and Quality standards.”
Travis Hammond, Operations Manager
Smooth Ambler Spirits

Process Improvement & Management Systems

We help standardize processes, improve product and process quality, contribute to new and retained sales.

In 2023:

  • $37 M New/Retained Sales Through MGT Systems Leadership Coaching
  • 30 Internal Audit Projects Completed
“Using the WVU Industrial Extension has been a positive experience and we are very happy with the personnel and communication of the team. Having an independent trainer provide education with auditor training ensures that our team is provided with objective information from a trusted source.
Our ISO 9001 system is the foundation of our systems and procedures and with expertly-trained auditors, we can be sure we are evaluating our own controls effectively.”
Craig Kershner, Director of Quality Assurance & Compliance, DALB

Workforce & Leadership Development

We help assess and improve work cultures, develop leaders, promote strategic and employee succession planning.

In 2023:

  • 110 Employees Trained In Leadership Development Course
  • 100% Customer Satisfaction Rate
  • 5 New Leadership Programs Developed
“Having a positive work culture starts with those individuals leading the company and they set the tone. A good culture needs sustained and that requires support and leadership throughout the organization.
We have introduced leadership development training as part of our core services because the need is so great, and it is the foundation of every program and system.
We may not be able to recruit all the employees our customers need to fill their workforce gaps, but we can provide training to build leaders that can create a culture where good employees want to stay. Employee retention is just as critical as filling gaps.”
Staci Miller, Director
WVU Industrial Extension

Grant Opportunities

We collaborate with others on grants and research to provide funding to support growth.

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 West Virginia and the Greater Pittsburgh region of Southwest Pennsylvania.

The Clean Energy Manufacturing in Appalachia (CEMA) initiative provides technical assistance and business support to small and medium manufacturers and enterprises seeking to expand business, production and jobs in the clean energy supply chains.

Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) is a new ARC initiative that aims to drive large-scale, regional economic transformation through multi-state collaborative projects across Appalachia.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Officially launched on June 1, 2023, the Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network (SCOIN) expands the MEP National Network’s scope from working primarily with individual companies to include taking a more comprehensive approach to manufacturing supply chains. The initiative will help establish new MEP service offerings to provide manufacturers with what they need to improve existing supply chain networks and fill gaps in the supply chain. SCOIN will:

  • Map the capabilities and interconnections within manufacturing supply chains.
  • Scale-up and enhance the impact of supplier scouting services, which help organizations source domestic products and expand their capabilities.
  • Enhance resilience and reduce supply chain vulnerabilities for manufacturers.
  • Strengthen and revitalize regional manufacturing ecosystems.

“In today’s current US national security environment, building back a strong and resilient supply chain for everything from food stock to bench stock is critical.
The work the WVU Industrial Extension is doing, in partnership with the WV National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) chapter, to build a West Virginia network to support these needs is both innovative and necessary.”
General James Hoyer, V.P., Economic Innovation West Virginia University

Manufacturing Day

Julia McCloy and her dad
Student Design Challenge Winner: Julia McCloy. Photography by Toril Lavender.

A significant majority—72%—of West Virginia manufacturers recognize that workforce recruitment and retention stand as their second most pressing challenge.

In line with our Manufacturing Day initiative, we collaborated with local manufacturers, economic development professionals, universities, and community and technical colleges to ignite inspiration within our future workforce.

K-12 students in WV had the opportunity to participate in the annual Student Design Challenge.

We also joined the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and West Virginia University students for tours of The Clorox Company, Procter & Gamble and Rockwool, providing students with an insightful look into the world of manufacturing.

These tours offered a unique opportunity for students to witness firsthand the innovative processes and technologies that drive these leading companies. Following the tours, there was a networking reception where students had the chance to connect with industry leaders, fostering valuable connections and insights.

Our Experts

Our skilled consultants offer tailor-made on-site training and consulting services across the entire state.

Our experts are dedicated to fostering safe and healthy manufacturing practices, enhancing operational effectiveness, implementing standardized processes through operational controls, and empowering the next wave of leaders to fuel West Virginia's manufacturing economy.

Advisory Board

  • Charlie Burd, Executive Director, GO-WV
  • Heather Cyphert, Owner, Precision Tool and Machine
  • 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, Past President, West Virginia Manufacturing Association (WVMA)
  • Adolph Santorine, Independent Consultant
  • David Satterfield, (Chair & MEP Advisor ) Director of Asset Development, WVU
  • Justin Skeens, Operations Manager, Brake Supply Heavy Equipment
  • Thorsten Wuest, Ph.D. Associate Professor, West Virginia University
“By being part of a national network, the WVU Industrial Extension helps to connect our small and medium-sized manufacturers to opportunities on a local, regional, and a national basis.
In today’s economy, being able to access and capture opportunities, no matter where they are located, is key to the success of our small businesses.”
David Satterfield, Advisory Board Chair & MEP Advisor Director of Asset Development West Virginia University