September 2015 - In This Issue:
For a complete listing of events, visit our website 
September 24 @ 3-6:30pm
Fashion Design Center of Denver

The second-annual Summit takes place amid strong demand for U.S.-made goods including those companies leveraging the world-class lifestyle attributes and global cache of the Rocky Mountain West.

The agenda of the 2015 Summit will pick up where last year's event left off and address specific challenges outlined by speakers and attendees. The theme of the event is Power Connections. The objective is to connect apparel and sewn-product brands of all sizes with resources and solutions across the supply chain that reduce or eliminate barriers to growth.
MFG DAY 2015
October 2  

Manufacturing Day has been designed to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers and manufacturing's value to the U.S. economy. Manufacturing Day is for students, parents, educators, media, customers, suppliers and the community at large. Visitors will learn about real career opportunities, training and resources. In addition, manufacturers will learn about business improvement resources and services delivered through manufacturing extension partnerships.

The core element to Manufacturing Day is the schedule of manufacturers' open houses. Manufacturing Day will promote the open house schedule through its planned general and trade media campaign, which will alert thousands of people to the opportunity to visit manufacturers and see for themselves that manufacturing is alive and well in America and needs skilled employees. It will also make it possible for manufacturers to visit other manufacturers in their region that may be potential business partners - either as customers or suppliers.
October 6 & 7 
The Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center | Colorado Springs

Get ready for SOCOM EXPO 2015.
The Southern Colorado Manufacturing Expo & Conference - is an exciting event conceived to showcase the region's growing manufacturing sector and connecting manufacturers, suppliers, service, and capital.
SOCOM EXPO is equal parts exposition, networking and education.
Come and join us and see what's made, and how it's made, right here in Southern Colorado. This event will showcase:
  • Manufacturers
  • Supporting organizations
  • Suppliers
  • Service companies
  • Live product demonstrations
Learn more about how manufacturing is contributing to the current and future growth of our economy. Students and job seekers will have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with representatives from leading employers about growing career opportunities in manufacturing.

Please join us for SOCOM Expo 2015 and support the companies that are driving a manufacturing revival in Southern Colorado!
My Vision for MEP:
Putting People First

By Carroll A. Thomas, MEP Director  
In April 2015, I had the honor of being named as the Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Being a former small manufacturer and having worked in the small business development arena for more than 30 years, this new role invigorates my passion for U.S. manufacturing. It's been an exciting and busy time since I've started this venture, and I am now fortunate enough to lead an extraordinary team of individuals who are working tirelessly to support our manufacturers nationwide.

For more than 26 years, MEP has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more innovative, profitable and globally competitive. Our MEP centers around the country are helping companies with everything from process improvement and supply chain optimization, to exporting and new product development. However, MEP is more than a list of programs and services; MEP is a champion of manufacturers.

In thinking about everything we do for U.S. companies, I suppose I could boil it down to one thing - helping people, those who own businesses and work in the manufacturing industry. As the new Director of MEP, my vision is simple: expand and build upon our programs and services so that we can reach more and do a better job of assisting the people who work in U.S. manufacturing.

Looking Beyond the Numbers

Since 1988, MEP has worked with nearly 80,000 manufacturers, leading to $88 billion in sales and $14 billion in cost savings, and it has helped create more than 729,000 jobs. While these numbers are impressive, they don't paint the entire picture.

U.S. manufacturers are the most creative and innovative organizations in the world! From apparel, furniture, metals and plastics, to medical devices and electronics, we create it all. Manufacturing doesn't just enable our everyday lives; manufacturing transforms our everyday lives. American products keep us safe. American products make our lives more convenient.

But manufacturing is about more than the products we use. Manufacturing is fundamentally about the people who create these products and their stories. We can expand our thinking about manufacturers as more than just "companies where people work." Manufacturers are more than just facilities filled with equipment. Manufacturers are comprised of great people, each with their own story to share.

To me, MEP didn't just help U.S. manufacturers create 729,000 jobs. MEP helped 729,000 people - our parents, children, siblings, neighbors, and friends - find their careers.(...) 
Colorado Space Business Roundtable Takes a Road Trip
CSBR brings aerospace to southeastern Colorado
Manufacturer's Edge was pleased to help sponsor a recent pilgramage across southeastern Colorado that brought aerospace representatives from such places as Lockheed Martin and Boeing to meet with with farmers, entrepreneurs, students, and mayors throughout the rural communities. While discussing the importance of STEM education and aerospace innovation, the group also discovered common ground as well as exciting developments and discoveries taking place throughout the region.

There is a business in Trindad, for example, where they are working with virtual-reality technology. In La Junta, a group of community college students are working with the Air Force to track space debris as part of the planetary defense efforts.

The CSBR road trip was started many years ago in an effort to make connections across the state and extend the Colorado aerospace community beyond the traditional Denver-Boulder-Colorado Springs area.

Check out a cool interactive map of the CSBR road trip here.
Running the Numbers
Use this handy tool to calculate your potential Return on Investment for filling open positions
Finding quality workers takes time and money. Training them up to your standards takes even more. Now consider what happens if you can't fill a position-or if a new hire doesn't meet your expectations or doesn't last. Not only do you have to start the recruiting process again, but in the meantime you will likely pay overtime, increase use of staffing agencies, or simply reduce production until you are back to full strength.

Complete this easy-to-use Return on Investment Calculator to add up the costs to your operation. Plus see how some proven HR solutions can improve your efficiencies, reduce recruiting expenses, and likely pay for themselves.

OEDIT Announces Colorado's New Enterprise Zones
From the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper
After extensive review and collaboration with local communities and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the Colorado Economic Development Commission has approved 14 Enterprise Zones to be effective Jan. 1, 2016. 
The 14 Enterprise Zones are: 
Central and Southern Jefferson County, Larimer County, Mesa County, North Metro, North-East-Central, Northwest, Pikes Peak, Pueblo, Region 10, South Metro, Southeast Central, Southwest, and Weld County. Zone maps can be found at
Enterprise Zones encourage business development in areas of economic distress. Businesses in the zones are eligible for state income tax credits when they create new jobs, invest in business property and job training, and other development activities encouraged under the program. Program information is available at
Local representatives and Enterprise Zone administrators worked to evaluate their communities, identify areas of economic distress, and distill objectives for those areas. The administrators will be focusing on fulfilling the stated objectives for these designated areas in the years ahead.

Proposals for Adams County and Denver are still in review and are expected to be approved in October.
Kids Connection: NoCo Mini Maker Faire
Mini Maker Faire to be held October 9-11
Calling all makers, volunteers, and families with children! The NoCo Mini Maker Faire is set to take place October 9th through the 11th. There are still spots available for makers to showcase their creations and also for volunteers to help out. And, of course, anyone and everyone is invited to attend!

The Faire kicks off on October 9th with a Makers After Dark event featuring a craft distillery tasting. T
here will also be an Inventor Showcase, a Youth Entrepreneur Pavilion, and  much more!   
If you are interested in volunteering for the Faire, anyone age 15 and up can sign up for shifts by visiting the website.

Sign up to volunteer and find out more about the event here
Mayor Wade Troxell Issues Proclamation Designating October 2 Fort Collins Manufacturing Day
Be sure to register your MFG DAY event and find out about other offerings around the state at
Manufacturer's Edge CEO, Tom Bugnitz, met with Fort Collins Mayor, Wade Troxell, on September 1st to receive the City of Fort Collins' proclamation declaring October 2, 2015 as Fort Collins Manufacturing Day. 

Northern Colorado has more than 26,000 manufacturing employees who create everything from microbrews such as New Belgium to robotic welding machines at Wolf Robotics to advanced energy controls for power equipment used around the world at Woodward. 

Make sure to register your Manufacturing Day event and find out about other events taking place around the world on October 2nd at
FRCC Sees Record Numbers and High Employment Rates for Machining Program
Program Director, George Newman, urges companies to send job descriptions early
Front Range Community College's Precision Machining Technology fall classes will be starting at the Advanced Technology Center in Longmont in August and September. George Newman, Program Director reports that the incoming class is full with 24 students and that the enrollment in the noncredit Introduction to Machining and Intermediate Machining modules are also at a high level.

Last year the program cancelled its May Machining Career Fair because all the students were already employed. "I urge all companies who are seeking employees to email us their job descriptions as soon as possible. We also are inviting companies to meet our students before class to promote their employment opportunities," Newman said. He suggests sending job descriptions to Nicole Gervace, Employer Outreach Coordinator at
Munro Companies
Company Week and Manufacturer's Edge Innovative Manufacturer  
By Eric Peterson
Grand Junction, Colorado
Founded: 1965
Privately owned
Employees: 50
Katie Munro Powell and her father, founder Allen Munro, are diversifying the family business into new markets with innovative pumps and valves.

Allen and his father, Jack Munro, started distributor Munro Supply a half-century ago. "They were a pump specialty house," says Powell.

Jack's experience with mining and reclamation led him to start the company, and that was a prime market for the company, which soon expanded into the distribution of hoses, valves, and related fittings.
In the 1970s, the business started assembling pump stations for customers, which led to broadening into manufacturing in the '80s -- thus, the moniker Munro Companies: One is the legacy distributor and the other is the manufacturing operation.

To set the stage for the sister businesses, pump manufacturers were making cheaper and cheaper pumps, which meant more returns for Munro Supply. The distributor helped its manufacturers improve their designs, but the resulting pumps were carried by other distributors, so going into manufacturing was a natural move to capitalize on innovation.

"We have really evolved," says Powell. The company still distributes pumps, hoses, and valves to customers in Colorado and Utah, and the manufacturing business makes pumps and relevant subsystems and components. "One of our specialties is the electrical controls for the pumps," she says.

Irrigation is a primary market for Munro Companies. It also sells into the mining and energy markets. Its products are sold through a national network of wholesalers.

Manufacturing and distribution "are getting to be on equal footing," says Powell, noting that each business has about 25 employees. That may not be the case for long, she adds. "We definitely see our future in manufacturing. We're focusing a lot more on sales. We're finally getting a lot more adoption from bigger irrigation wholesalers and distributors across the country."