Submitted by Great Lakes TAAC at the University of Michigan
When foreign competition hurts a manufacturer's sales, the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program can help with the resources they need to regain their competitive edge. This federal program, offering up to $75,000 in matching funds for eligible firms, is specifically designed to help smaller manufacturers recover and improve their global competitiveness.
For Ohio companies, the TAAF program is managed by the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (GLTAAC). GLTAAC helps qualified manufacturers identify, develop, staff – and provides matching funds for –critical business improvement projects.
Another significant TAAF benefit is planning assistance, which helps to maximize the program’s impact. States a new GLTAAC client: “The planning process brought up some very important questions for our organization. It required us to think about the business from angles we otherwise may not have -- which proved to be very beneficial.”
Here are some examples of projects TAAF has co-funded for GLTAAC clients in the Dayton region:
New business calls for new tooling design - This GLTAAC client has a good problem: they must increase production capacity to meet the needs of a big new customer. After winning the business, the metal stamper invested in high-speed machinery. The next step was to develop dies that can perform well with the new equipment. The firm is now working with an outside consultant to develop the die design – and using some of their TAAF matching funds to get it done. Total cost for this critical project is $60K (TAAF pays 50%).
Foundry completes Quality Management project – For this GLTAAC client, the best path for their recovery plan was to focus on improvements in quality, training, and engineering. Their most recent project helped them improve their Quality Management System in order to comply with ISO 9001 requirements. The foundry chose a trusted outside consultant to review their systems, produce documentation, and train their employees. Total cost of the project was $20,000 (TAAF matching funds 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: