Peters Tours Fullerton Tool West & Highlights Bipartisan Bill to Support Small and Medium Manufacturers

THOMAS TOWNSHIP, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today toured Fullerton Tool West in Thomas Township, MI to highlight bipartisan legislation he recently introduced to strengthen and improve the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – a public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers. Michigan’s MEP affiliate, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), has been working with small and medium-sized businesses since 1991, and they currently serve more than 470 Michigan companies, including Saginaw-based Fullerton Tool Company.

"Small and mid-sized manufacturers like Fullerton Tool Company help foster economic growth and create good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and it is critical that we bolster programs like the MEP and MMTC that give these businesses the support they need to expand operations and hire more workers," said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. "I was pleased to visit Fullerton Tool Company's new facility, and I am committed to strengthening the MEP program so businesses like Fullerton Tool Company can continue to develop world-class products and drive innovation."

“The MMTC has helped Fullerton Tool Company expand its operations, improve workplace efficiency, and create new manufacturing jobs in Saginaw County,” said Patrick Curry, President, Fullerton Tool Company. “We were happy to welcome Senator Peters to Fullerton Tool’s new facility at the Great Lakes Tech Park, and we appreciate his efforts to expand access for small businesses to critical tools and resources from the MMTC.”

MEP centers across the country offer resources that enable manufacturers to compete globally, support greater supply chain integration, and provide access to information, training, and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.  

Built on a nationwide network of centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP program is a partnership between the federal government and a variety of private sector entities that serve as trusted business advisors and technical experts to a variety of small to medium-sized manufacturers.

 The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Improvement Act would:

  • Permanently adjust the federal MEP cost share to one-to-one.
  • Strengthen and clarify the MEP Center review process and require re-competition of MEP Center awards every 10 years.
  • Authorize MEP Centers to support the development of manufacturing-related apprenticeship, internship and industry-recognized certification programs.
  • Increase the MEP program authorization level to $260 million per year through 2020.
  • Require the MEP program to develop open-access resources describing best practices for America’s small manufacturers. 

Established in 1942, Fullerton Tool Company manufactures solid carbide cutting tools, and has been a Saginaw-based, family-owned business for over 70 years. In December 2015, Fullerton Tool Company expanded operations by opening a new, 35,000 square foot facility on a 35-acre parcel at the Great Lakes Tech Park in Thomas Township. This new facility includes manufacturing and office space and has allowed the company to bring a coating center in-house. Fullerton Tool Company utilizes resources from MMTC for employee trainings on safety, efficiency, and organization, and collaborates with MMTC on opportunities for economic development, including international trade missions.