Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

Tennessee MEP works to achieve manufacturing excellence across the State of Tennessee. Funded through the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, TN MEP delivers technical assistance in the form of training and consulting to medium- and small-sized manufacturers. TN MEP, housed within the UT Center Industrial Services, an agency of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, leverages university resources, government relationships, and economic development partnerships to provide excellence in training, consulting, and customer service.

TN MEP’s expertise runs deep. Experienced engineers, business professionals, SMEs, and qualified instructors all work in unison to create value for the customer day in and day out. TN MEP’s eight Solutions Consultants work directly with businesses to provide assistance with process improvement, technology acceleration, workforce development, and business and leadership management.

MEP National Network UT CIS


TN MEP focuses on creating value and strengthening manufacturers’ competitiveness by boosting growth, improving productivity, reducing costs, and increasing capacity through customized and hands-on Solutions and implementation. TN MEP empowers Tennessee’s manufacturers.

The nationwide MEP Program is a partnership between the Federal Government and all 50 states, and offers a range of resources to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers identify and accelerate growth and competitiveness. Last year, MEP Centers interacted with 26,313 manufacturers, leading to $12.6 billion in sales, $1.7 billion in cost savings, $3.5 billion in new client investments, and helped create and retain more than 100,000 jobs.

The product of a Federal Manufacturing Technology Acceleration Center (MTAC) grant designed to encourage investigation into manufacturers’ technology-transfer needs, MEP facilitates technological progress in manufacturing.

Administered by the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) within the U.S. Department of Commerce, MEP serves as a trusted business advisor, supporting supply-chain integration and access to new technology, while helping domestic manufacturers to transform productivity and compete globally.

Excellence in manufacturing comes from dedication to leading-edge management and operational practices that keep you ahead of the competition. Our experienced staff is committed to helping build a thriving manufacturing industry across the entire State of Tennessee by providing a wide-array of management and operational services tailored to small - and medium - sized manufacturers. Our expertise and federal, state, and local resources make improvement, growth, and sustainability possible for manufacturers ready to advance their competitive edge in today’s global economy.

The TN Manufacturing Extension Partnership (TMEP), housed within the UT CIS, leverages university resources, government relationships, and economic development partnerships to provide excellence in training, consulting, and customer service.

Meet the TMEP Director

Dwaine Raper UT CIS

Dwaine Raper leads the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner Center serving the state of TN.  Before joining CIS in 2007, Raper attained 15 years of manufacturing operations and supply chain management experience with manufacturing companies in the automotive and electronics industries.

Raper holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University.  He also maintains supply chain management related professional certifications; Certified Production and Inventory Manager (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), both from APICS – The Association for Operations Management.