Opening the Door. . .

The Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) at the former Naval Ordnance Station in Louisville, Kentucky, is now open for business. The Manufactuing Technology Transfer Center team seeks to become an invaluable asset for regional small and medium-sized companies, providing:

Innovative Productivity, Inc., a private non-profit corporation, manages the Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center. Its history reflects the committment of many individuals.

In early 1993, concerned business, government and academic leaders in the Kentucky Region met with the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet to discuss how to use the extensive resources at the Naval Ordnance Station in Louisville (NOSL) to help small companies thrive and grow. George Sotsky, President of Republic Industries in Louisville, served on the original committee to evaluate how a partnership of public and private entities could obtain Department of Defense (DoD) funds for Kentucky business and industry. Other states had obtained financing from DoD sources to develop centers designed to bolster regional economies. However, Knetukcy never benefitted from thse type of programs and according to Mr. Sotsky, the challenge was to develop a technology center in Kentucky that would be productive for the businesses it served.

The result of this meeting was creation of Innovative Productivity, Inc. (IPI), a private non-profit corporation designed to manage and direct the Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center at NOSL. IPI's mission is to promote the growth of high-wage jobs in manufacturing and metalworking industries. The means to obtain this goal is the successful evaluation and delivery of quality training, services, technology produts and assistance to the Center customers.

The training and consulting services offered by the Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center are not set in concrete. Rather, these services are fluid and designed to meet specific and individual needs of business and industry, regardless of size or technical expertise. George Sotsky, Chairman of the IPI Board of Directors, recently reflected upon what will make this technology tranfer center a success: "The Technology Transfer Center is a very flexible concept - it is fashioned by each potential user. It's going to take involvement by the business community to shape the center into a thing of value. The interest or needs of a small machine shop with 10-15 employees may vary widely from the interest and needs of a 100 employee machine shop - but each can benefit if they are willing to establish a "tradition" of seeking assistance from the Technology Transfer Center. "

Mr. Sotsky views the development of a Skills Training Center as one of the most exciting projects in the Center's plans. Having been deeply involved in vocational education for a number of years, Mr. Sotsky views the programs offered by the Center as a healthy supplement to the training programs being offered various vocational education schools. In addition, customized skills training curriculum can address specific training needs of a particular industry. Again, Mr. Sotsky notes that "The success of these training programs is not in the delivery but in getting industry to accept and support the programs."

To achieve the goal of offering high quality services, IPI has taken several significant steps - a civic-minded Board of Directors directs the operations of the corporation. IPI Board Members have years of experience in industry and academia - these Board Members provide practical guidance for IPI, ensuring that it truly meets the needs of its customers.

In cooperation with the Navy and other organizations, IPI has built a solid team of technical experts to provide essential services and assistance to MTTC customers. Based upon IPI's experience in other related initiatives, it selected MTTC partners because of their exceptional technical expertise and effective client services.

MTTC partners include: Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology, Edison Welding Institute, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, Jefferson Community College, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Kentucky Technology Service, Geo-Centers, Isoqual, Clark Communications Corporation, and Associated Industries of Kentucky. This Team provides proven MTTC customers technical expertise in the following areas:

To ensure that the Center is responsive to the needs of its DoD and industry customers, IPI has assembled a Technical Advisory Board that will review the operation of the Center, provide technical guidance on selecting and conducting projects and establish connections with industry and DoD organizations.

Ray Zavada, President of IPI, serves as Project Manager for the Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center and has full program responsibility and authority, including program planning, subcontractor and partner coordination and project execution. Ray has extensive experience in managing major Navy MANTECH, DoD and private sector programs.

Are you a small or medium-sized manufacturer, involved in DoD industrial activities or a defense contractor or vendor? Are you interested in increasing profits, resolving technical problems, reducing scrap rates, upgrading worker skills, implementing new technologies, developing new customers, or increasing productivity? If so, the Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center welcomes your call. Please contact Ray Zavada, Project Manager at IPI, 1930 Bishop Ln, Watterson Tower, Suite 1011, Louisville, Kentucky, 40218; by telephone at (502) 452-1131 or by email [email protected].