The U.S Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has made one cooperative agreement award to PRiMEX, the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension Center as part of its 2020 NIST Manufacturing Disaster Assessment Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) 2020-NIST-MEP-MDAP-01. The funding opportunity invites applications from current recipients of Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center cooperative agreements (MEP Centers) to perform assessments of small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in areas subject to a FEMA Disaster Declaration.
The award, Disaster Recovery Program for the Southwest Region, is in response to the two (2) earthquakes January 6 and 7, 2020 off the southwest region of Puerto Rico with magnitudes 5.8 and 7.4 respectively. President Donald J. Trump signed initially on Jan 16, 2020, a Major Disaster Declaration (FEMA-DR-4473) for 10 municipalities. As of March 13, 2020, this declaration has been modified to add others for a total of thirty-three (33) municipalities in the disaster declaration for Puerto Rico. To support the needs- critical factors of the disaster region (33 municipalities) three (3) potential sectors, that includes 1,212 establishments identified as needing critical assistance. The project goal is to assist the manufacturers and related sectors within the 33 municipalities to improve their response to major business interruptions and operation challenges through the integration of several activities and the support of the partners and government agencies to support jobs and contribute to the restoring Puerto Rico economy. The project actions include five (5) service components: (1) – assessments, (2) workshops/ events (3) technical assistance (risks mitigation- crisis management plans; disaster recovery); (4)- infrastructure assessments and (5)- referral assistance. This award is in the amount of $1,000,000 for an 18-month period to assist over 600 companies within of the disaster region.