Submitted by the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center at the University of Michigan
Funding to help Manufacturers Tackle the Import Challenge
Import competition continues to threaten smaller US manufacturers – but the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program continues to help them get back on track. For Ohio companies, the TAAF program is managed by the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (GLTAAC).
The TAAF program helps import-impacted manufacturers invest in themselves by providing up to $75,000 in matching funds for key business improvement projects. Another significant TAAF benefit is planning assistance, which helps to maximize project impact. Although the matching funds are important, the planning assistance is key to client success.
States a new GLTAAC client: “Just having the TAAF plan gave us a lot of focus on areas where we needed improvement, plus a way to help our company in each of these areas.”
Here are some examples of projects TAAF has co-funded for GLTAAC clients in the Dayton region:
Production Automation– A foundry wanted to increase efficiency through automation, so they used their TAAF matching funds for the very first step – re-engineering their electrical system. The project laid the groundwork for installation of new equipment which has special electrical requirements. This project is part of the firm’s Production Automation initiative from their TAAF plan; overall investment for this area is planned to be $35K (TAAF will pay 50%).
Worker training – A mold maker is focusing on training their staff to use their upgraded CAD software, with TAAF paying half the cost. This firm gives GLTAAC high marks: “The GLTAAC staff is very helpful and knowledgeable about our industry and the issues we face.”
Communications – The latest project for this small manufacturer was a comprehensive upgrade of their strategic communications. Working with an outside consultant, this project tackled all the communication aspects that the firm needed - but did not have the bandwidth to create (including social media, web analytics, and newsletters). Total cost for the project was $15K (TAAF paid 50%).
New product development - This instrumentation manufacturer wanted to add new control technologies to their product, but needed outside engineering help. They worked with a consultant to get over that hurdle and now the company is launching their next-gen product line. Total cost for the front-end design work: $27K (TAAF paid 50%)
If import competition has hurt your sales, don’t put off learning more about TAAF and GLTAAC. Here’s how to get started:
Contact GLTAAC Project Manager, Jani Hatchett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.998.6227. Jani can quickly review the TAAF program with you and help you determine whether your firm would qualify for TAAF matching funds.
Listen to this interview with GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs, on The Job Shop Show. Many thanks to NTMA and The Job Shop Show for helping to spread the word about the matching funds and planning assistance available via the TAAF program.