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How WIB's and Western TAAC can work together.

Grant Program creates and retains jobs at half the cost of other government manufacturing assistance programs

Paramount Machine in Rancho Cucamonga, CA has seen an increase of 9 employees and over a half million dollar in sales in a one year period. Although this may not appear monumental, this increase signifies a huge step for this small manufacturer of precision hydraulic components for aircraft. Undoubtedly, the surrounding community in this inland California city of 147,000 would feel the pinch of losing the 39 jobs that employ Cucamonga locals.

Since Paramount applied for the TAA program, the technical assistance that they received as a result of this cost shared program not only kept their doors open by increasing their competitive edge, but also defied the odds in California, a state where manufacturers are leaving in an effort to keep costs down.

The story of Paramount is not unique, but consistent with other alumni companies who have completed the TAA program. Retaining and creating American manufacturing jobs is critical. Creating a job, “at any cost”, however, can still be a deal breaker in a time of increasing budget deficits and cascading requirements for existing federal dollars.

The TAA model has been successful since its inception in 1978. Small, consolidated, and dedicated to assisting the most challenged in the manufacturing world, the 11 center TAA national organization is cost effective in providing targeted technical assistance to a specific manufacturing sector.

Although the TAA staff provides assistance to companies in qualifying, the actual technical assistance is implemented by independent consultants of the company’s choosing. Technical assistance is in no way limited by the experience base of the TAA staff. This is a unique and critical program strength. The import impacted firm is allowed to contract with any consultant across the U.S. to be their vendor.

During the period between 2000 and 2004, the 11 TAA centers across the nation impacted the economy by retaining or creating 41,630 jobs. Given the $12 million dollar funding level, the federal investment for retaining or creating each job is $1,200.

The characteristics which make the endangered manufacturers most vulnerable, small, family owned, and dedicated to what they do, makes them formidable opponents when faced with the fight for economic survival. They have made a commitment to their company. But, they need the cost shared infusion of expertise to give them the competitive edge. This target manufacturing sector is an important part of the model enables the TAA to be an effective retainer and creator of jobs.

Focusing on program implementation, marketing is not a primarily function. TAA centers rely mostly on word of mouth from consultants, alumni companies, or third parties who are keenly aware of the program effectiveness. TAA is not a program likely to blow its own horn. The small staffs across the country are involved in hands on development of recovery plans and identification of a cadre of consultants who can best serve their client base.

The evaluation of the TAA program conducted by the Urban Institute for the Department of Commerce speaks for the success of the program. Although the report is comprehensive and well documented with statistics, the below chart comparing federal manufacturing assistance programs clearly sums up the report.

A Comparison of  TAAC program to the MEPs, and SBDCs

Western TAAC information brochure

To learn more detail about the program, please contact:

Conchetta Fabares
Western TAAC
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-7703

phone: (213) 743-4443
 email: fabares@usc.edu

 
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