August 9, 2006
(HELENA) – Governor Brian Schweitzer along with The Department of Labor and Industry, The Department of Commerce, The Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture today announced Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) as the first in a series of grant recipients of Montana’s New Homestead Act (WIRED) funds.
MMEC will receive $699,134 over three years.
* $184,803 first year (partial)
* $246,619 second year
* $267,712 third year
“MMEC has a proven track record of providing training in advanced manufacturing for Montana’s businesses,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “The award will be used to diversify and increase the economic base in the WIRED region by developing and delivering client-driven training to improve skills, productivity, and wages of new and incumbent workers.”
“This is a real example of cultivating the manufacturing sector we call value-added agriculture,” commented MMEC Director Steve Holland. “The fields of bio-lubricants and bio-products represent a huge potential for Montana. We are excited to have the opportunity to help grow these innovative clusters and a more robust economy for Montana.”
Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) is an outreach and applied research center in Montana State University’s College of Engineering. MMEC was an integral partner in the initial proposal to the US Department of Labor for the WIRED initiative.
WIRED Montana, encompassing 32 counties and six Indian reservations, proposes the creation of bioproduct clusters as a globally competitive enterprise that will result in high paying jobs in rural communities.