11/29/1999 12:00 AM
The Technology and Economic Development Division of TEEX will play a larger role in offering low-cost assistance to small manufacturers across Texas. Since September, TEEX has served as the headquarters and managing partner for the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC).
TMAC was moved from the Texas Department of Economic Development to TEEX after the program lost state funding. TMAC specializes in providing small manufacturing businesses with on-site expertise that can reduce costs, increase sales and improve quality.
For five years, TMAC has been working directly with businesses to recommend improvements and techniques that can be implemented to increase a company’s bottom-line. As managing partner, TEEX administers funds for TMAC through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The other five TMAC host institutions include divisions of the University of Houston, UT Arlington, UT El Paso, Texas Tech and the Southwest Research Institute.
“TEEX’s role is basically to hold the cooperative agreement with the federal sponsor (NIST) and manage the flow of dollars,” said Cindy Wall, program manager for the Technology and Economic Development Division and former TMAC regional director. “TEEX serves as fiscal agent for the program and is responsible for one regional center.”
Susan Tully, TMAC administrative director, said that since 1995, TMAC has been providing various services to small manufacturing companies statewide.
“The mission of TMAC is to help small to medium manufacturers become more globally competitive,” Tully said. “Some of the most common types of services TMAC provides are quality related and include equipment upgrades, assessments and process improvements.”
Tully said that since the creation of the program, TMAC’s services have helped small manufacturers save money and jobs.
“Since TMAC began, we’ve had a cumulative impact of $128 million and created or retained over 700 jobs,” Tully said. “This includes helping companies to save on materials and labor, and increasing sales and capital investments.”
TMAC has 60 manufacturing specialists on staff and regional branches in Houston, Arlington, El Paso, San Antonio, Northwest Texas and College Station.