Six Days Remain for Connex FREE National Access, Seeking your Growth Strategy Plan

Six days and counting to take advantage of ONE FREE YEAR of national CONNEX access!

If you've not joined CONNEX™VT yet, it's not too late to take advantage of our FREE YEAR OF FULL NATIONAL ACCESS offer! This valuable online platform connects all Vermont manufacturers, buyers, and suppliers in a single, searchable supply-chain solution.  

If you sign up by the November 20 deadline, using promo code vmec1year, you will have access to the national database of over 20 other states who've also joined the CONNEX Marketplace, a database of 140,000+ U.S. manufacturers and suppliers.

Introduction to CONNEX™Vermont webinar

Are you still wondering why you should be involved in this valuable platform and what’s in it for you and your manufacturing organization? Join us on Thursday, November 15 at 12 Noon for an hour-long introductory session where we can answer all your questions and even help you get your CONNEX™VT account set up. This complimentary session will be delivered via Zoom and presented by Mark O'Hearn, VMEC's Business Growth Advisor - Supply Chain. Sign up on our Training and Events page today!

What are your Growth Strategy plans?

What are you doing to "Scale Up" your business? VMEC can help you provide a roadmap for sustainable growth, helping businesses navigate market changes and create a competitive advantage.

We are seeking your input (no more than 2 minutes of your time) as we pursue offering Growth Strategy solutions to VT manufacturers starting in Q1 2024. Whether it's new product development, project management, goal setting and deployment or introducing new members of your leadership team into your organization, we can help. We would be grateful to you for taking the time to fill in this brief survey on or before November 17.

What's Your Company's International Growth Strategy and Plan?

If you desire to grow your international sales and want to do it right the first time, join us to Plan, Educate, Connect and Execute with ExporTech 2024!  

Tuesdays, January 30 - April 9, 2024

All sessions will be virtual; times vary, ranging from 2 - 3 1/2 hours

$4,000 per company; a $3,000 STEP grant is available for qualifying companies

For many years, VMEC conducted a successful multi-month ExporTech program - and we're bringing it back! If you're not familiar with ExporTech, it's a structured process designed to accelerate export growth for small-to medium-sized (SMM) manufacturers. This 10-week program is specifically targeted at the executive leadership of forward-looking companies that want to develop and execute a strategic growth plan to expand international sales. With group workshops and individual coaching, in just 10 weeks time, you’ll create an export plan specifically for your company.

And with the help of the State of Vermont’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, qualifying companies receive 75% off the cost of the program, bringing the $4,000 fee for company teams (up to 4 people/ company) down to just $1,000. 

The program is jointly offered by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership/ MEP National Network and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), both part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Along with our federal partners, this program is also supported by the State of Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development Dept. of Economic Development and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) Montpelier office

For complete details on the program, schedule, downloadable flyer and STEP grant guidelines, visit our Training and Events page and view ExporTech.

Questions? Contact Lisa Henderson, VMEC Director of Client Services.

Tooling U-SME

With nearly 600 online classes, virtual labs, instructor-led training, certifications, apprenticeships, consulting and more, Tooling U-SME works with thousands of company industry leaders, including more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturers, 1,000+ educational institutions across the country and more than half of the states in our MEP National Network.  

Manufacturers Are Able To:

  • Build a more capable, adaptable workforce with 24/7 flexibility
  • Close and add to targeted, foundational knowledge and skill gaps in real time
  • Free up your internal experienced, value creating, in-demand technical experts
  • Inspire individual, professional growth in a safe, self-paced, on-line environment


Visit our Training and Events page or contact Carla Wuthrich, VMEC Director of Field Operations and People Development Lead, to review the Tooling U-SME curriculum and find out how we can help you to support your people and your company results through these cutting-edge programs.

Save The Date - 2024 Vermont Entrepreneurship Day

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

8:30 - 11:00 am



The “Vermont Entrepreneurs …. Finding Your Groove” competition is an exciting and engaging opportunity for high school students in Vermont to explore the world of entrepreneurship through creative expression. The competition revolves around two main components: graphic design and video interviews with Vermont-based business owners. By connecting with real-life entrepreneurs and expressing their insights through graphic design and storytelling, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the transformative power of entrepreneurship in Vermont. This also gives students greater knowledge and awareness for what’s available right here in Vermont’s workforce or what might be possibilities for one day starting/creating a venture of their own design and building additional workforce opportunities for others. For complete details, visit Vermont Entrepreneurs….Finding Your Groove.

Questions? Contact Laurel Butler, Start up Business Advisor & Student/ Educator Entrepreneur Specialist, Vermont Small Business Development Center, [email protected] or (802) 922-3692.

InnovateNEK Receives $1.5M in Funding

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom selected to receive highly competitive U.S. Economic Development Administration Build to Scale Venture Challenge grant

The Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) has been awarded $1.5 million in federal grants and matching dollars to support local entrepreneurship and innovation. 

It was announced last week that the NVDA has secured a Venture Challenge grant via the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Build to Scale program. NVDA worked with  Do North Coworking, an entity of Vermont State University, and the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) to apply for this grant as part of CORI’s 2023 Rural Innovation Initiative, a technical assistance program empowering rural communities to develop inclusive tech economies that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation.

With the $1,501,427 million provided by the Venture Challenge Build grant and matching funds, NVDA and Do North Coworking plan to launch the InnovateNEK initiative. This effort will cultivate a regional community and culture around tech innovation, build off existing programming to implement a scalable startup support program, and develop a network of mentors and investors to increase access to social and financial capital needed to sustain and scale tech startups in the Northeast Kingdom. To view the complete press release, visit NVDA Press.

Calling All Women Business Owners!

Whether you own your business full-time, as a partnership, or even a side gig, The Vermont Women’s Fund wants to hear from you! This statewide entity has sponsored a website and survey, This Way UP: There’s Power in our Numbers, to identify and map women-owned businesses in Vermont – something that does not currently exist in the state.

Join over 3,000 women-owned businesses who have put themselves on the map. The survey will close on November 30, 2023 but the searchable map will remain viewable for many months.  Be recognized for your business and your achievements. The data collected is available on the website, see results here.

For more information, please contact Meg Smith, Director, Vermont Women's Fund, at [email protected].

Part of the nationwide MEP National Network and hosted by Vermont State University since 1995, VMEC operates as a not-for-profit with a primary mission, “to strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers.”

A local resource and trusted adviser to manufacturing enterprises of all sizes, the VMEC team brings expertise in consulting, coaching, hands-on implementation support, training and education for leaders and workers.  VMEC is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Vermont.

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Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center | Post Office Box 12, Randolph Center, VT 05061