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Connecticut Receives $2 Million Grant to Assist Minority-Owned Manufacturers

  • Connecticut is one of four states receiving federal grant funds to establish a national Advanced Manufacturing Center
  • The center will be supported by a $400,000 grant each year for the next five years
  • Minority-owned manufacturers will be able to work with the University of Connecticut School of Business and other partners to update their business strategies, access advanced manufacturing options, and more

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

A national Advanced Manufacturing Center will be established in Connecticut to provide assistance to minority-owned manufacturers under a recent round of federal grants.

Connecticut is one of four states receiving a grant through the Minority Business Development Agency to establish an MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center, which will be located at the University of Connecticut School of Business. The school joined Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Senator Richard Blumenthal in celebrating the award.

“Connecticut is proud to have so many diverse manufacturers who can be further supported through this grant,” said Lamont. “The expert guidance we will be providing these manufacturers will give them opportunities to expand their businesses into new markets or refine current operations to run more efficiently.”

The state will receive $400,000 a year for five years to support the center, for a total of $2 million. MBDA grants are also going toward the establishment of four Export Centers as well as a Procurement Center. The centers intend to help minority-owned firms create jobs, grow their business, and compete in the global economy.

Minority-owned manufacturers in Connecticut will have the option of working with the UConn School of Business and partners such as the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, CONNSTEP, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. The programs will help connect these businesses with professionals who can help them update their business strategy and operations, analyze their financials, and connect with Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers to determine which advanced manufacturing services would benefit their business.

“Supporting Connecticut minority-owned manufacturers, through technical assistance provided by the grant partners, as well as UConn through programs such as the Technology Incubation Program, is critical to their success,” said John Elliott, dean at the UConn School of Business. “The MBDA grant will give us an opportunity to increase assistance in a variety of areas to these businesses.”

MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Centers are also being established in Baltimore, Md.; Louisville, Ky.; and San Antonio, Texas. Two Export Centers are being established in Texas and one each in Arizona and Florida. The Procurement Center will be located in Washington, D.C.

The MBDA will award a total of $3.7 million in grants each year through June 30, 2026 to support these initiatives.

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