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MEP to Help Small Manufacturers with Year 2000 Issues

May 15, 1998

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and its nationwide network of centers are stepping up efforts to help smaller manufacturers avoid being bitten by the "millennium bug." The Stamford, Conn.-based GartnerGroup, a leading authority on information technology issues, has reported that as of 1997, 88 percent of all companies with fewer than 2,000 employees had not yet started Year 2000 remediation projects.

"Many companies that are addressing problems with their computer systems may be overlooking potential problems embedded in other systems such as machine controllers and telecommunications," said Kevin Carr, director of the NIST MEP.

MEP centers nationwide will be conducting seminars to raise smaller manufacturers' awareness and understanding of the problem and helping client manufacturers assess their systems to determine if they have problems. If needed, MEP centers also will help smaller companies plan remediation.

Carr has asked each center to designate at least one person as a Year 2000 "champion" to help coordinate center activities and services.

A self-assessment questionnaire and Year 2000 overview information also will be available on the MEP website at www.mep.nist.gov.