Partnering to Help Arkansas Small BusinessesRATIONALE
The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority on behalf of Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) is a participant in the federally funded Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership operated under the oversight of the Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As a recipient of such funding, the Authority on behalf of AMS has a primary purpose to assist the state's small and medium sized manufacturers with their economic development activities.
To accomplish the programmatic objective, the recipients (AMS) will identify and pursue with other business partners cooperative efforts that will both benefit and increase the availability of project expertise and training, and the distribution of products and services to SME. AMS will establish a recipient/sub-recipient relationship that will provide the guidelines for AMS to work collaboratively with Winrock (the sub-recipient) and permit the sharing of resources between the parties. These collaborative efforts and sharing of resources are identified in and consistent with the recipient's annual operating plan and business objectives of the sub-recipient.
Winrock's U.S. Programs bring global expertise home to benefit Arkansas, the Mid-South, and the United States. Rural and enterprise development programs, technology assistance, and environmental services provide crosscutting strategies to address challenges facing the region and nation. Activities include:
• Provide office facilities for the recipient supported collocated project managers including office space, computer, software, shared office equipment, and other resources as necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities associated with the position.
As part of its ongoing activities, AMS and the co-located project manager have provided services to Arkansas manufacturers in the areas of Lean Manufacturing Training to improve productivity and increase the manufacturers' bottom line profits. This training has been provided through "open enrollment" workshops as well as specific company directed projects. Assistance in the area of growth services has been provided through Eureka! Winning Ways services, including Innovation Growth Ideation sessions and follow-on coaching to determine concept feasibility and establishment of the Arkansas Innovation Marketplace which facilitates the pairing of innovators and companies and other entities looking for opportunities for investment, distribution, and manufacture of new products.