Grant For Manufacturers Will Strengthen Oklahoma’s Supply Chain Networks

The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance has received a two-year, $400,000 federal grant to help optimize local supply chains, improve supplier capabilities, and create a risk assessment tool. Additionally, the funds will support a full-time supply chain specialist. The award was secured through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

“This funding will empower our organization to better assist small and medium-sized manufacturers in Oklahoma while strengthening domestic supply chains nationwide,” says Dave Rowland, president of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. “I’m proud to see this investment in our manufacturing sector. It will grow capabilities and create more connections through our regional suppliers.”

The NIST grant will be supplemented by $70,000 from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, which will allow the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance to enhance and expand its Connex Oklahoma database portal. “Supply chain efficiencies are absolutely critical to strengthening manufacturing capabilities and fostering economic growth in Oklahoma,” says Jennifer Springer, director of business development for ODOC. “Further developing Connex and understanding our supply chain weaknesses will position Oklahoma to recruit new firms to fill critical needs.”

Connex is a proprietary database tool created by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance in partnership with the ODOC. It allows manufacturers to connect, locate alternate suppliers, explore production capabilities, and view their supply chains virtually. It also helps companies identify single-supplier risks and find opportunities for diversification in their supply chain.

The new supply chain specialist will manage Connex Oklahoma while helping state manufacturers integrate the latest supply chain concepts and technologies.

In partnership with Oklahoma State University, the Manufacturing Alliance is developing a supply chain risk assessment tool. The assessment will outline a firm’s capabilities and gaps while focusing on opportunities for growth and improvement. Resources can then be customized based on a company’s individual needs.

Finally, a portion of the $470,000 initiative will be used to build effective supply chain solutions for manufacturers involved in the clean energy sector, including those focused on air mobility and hydrogen resources. Current gaps in the state’s supply base will be identified and incorporated when recruiting new manufacturers to Oklahoma.

“Manufacturing is an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy,” Rowland says. “Supporting manufacturers across the state creates a gateway for growing our economy and providing Oklahoma businesses with greater opportunities. While our focus is local, this grant will certainly help connect the dots on a regional and national level.”

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