Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Announces $700,000 Grant For Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center In Peoria

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced a $708,686 grant for the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC) in Peoria.  Today’s grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms.  For more information on IMEC, visit HERE.   

“I’m pleased to announce this important investment in our region’s economy,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.  “Today’s grant will not only help improve our economy and create jobs, but it will improve collaboration and bolster Illinois’ manufacturing sector.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money.  The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing.  MEP also works with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that put manufacturers in position to develop new customers, expand into new markets and create new products.  MEP field staff has over 1,300 technical experts – located in every state – serving as trusted business advisors, focused on solving manufacturers’ challenges and identifying opportunities for growth.

As a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, MEP offers its clients a wealth of unique and effective resources centered on five critical areas: technology acceleration, supplier development, sustainability, workforce and continuous improvement.  Innovation is at the core of what MEP does.  Manufacturers that accelerate innovation are far more successful and realize greater opportunities to participate in the global economy.  By placing innovations developed through research at federal laboratories, educational institutions and corporations directly in the hands of U.S. manufacturers, MEP serves an essential role sustaining and growing America’s manufacturing base.

The program assists manufacturers to achieving new sales, leading to higher tax receipts and new sustainable jobs in the high paying advanced manufacturing sector.  As a public/private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers.  For every one dollar of federal investment, the MEP generates nearly $20 in new sales growth and $20 in new client investment.  This translates into $2.5 billion in new sales annually.  For additional information, please visit

During her time in office, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has made fighting for American jobs, manufacturing and economic development a top priority.  Bustos has led numerous efforts in Congress to increase American competitiveness, create jobs here at home, and ensure the long-term economic success of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District and the middle class families that call it home. 

Bustos has also launched “Partnering for Illinois’ Economic Future,” a series of three regional economic meetings and public input outreach followed by a district-wide economic summit that will take place later this fall.  Bustos has organized the initiative with the expertise of the University of Illinois.  Last month, Bustos held regional economic meetings in the Quad Cities, Peoria and Rockford.  At each event, Bustos brought together local leaders from various economic sectors, businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations to discuss ways to collaborate to create jobs and bolster the region’s economy and manufacturing sectors.  In doing so, Bustos is fulfilling a promise she made to the people of Illinois to host an annual economic summit.