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Agribusinesses to Benefit from New Business Development Partnership at UH

University of Hawaiʻi
Barry Brennan, (808) 956-8397
Associate Dean for Cooperative Extension
Jody Moore, (808) 956-6016
Public Information Officer
Posted: Aug 5, 2002

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and College of Business Administration have been awarded a $485,046 U.S. Department of Commerce grant to manage the department‘s Manufacturing Extension Program in Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiʻi Manufacturing Extension Program will be part of a new Business Development Partnership being created at UH to help agribusinesses become more successful in Hawaiʻi.

The Manufacturing Extension Program is part of a nationwide network of more than 70 not-for-profit centers whose purpose is to provide small and medium-sized businesses with operational solutions they need to succeed. The centers are linked through the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an arm of the Department of Commerce. The ultimate goal of the program is to help ensure a nationally and globally competitive economy. Assistance is offered in such areas as instruction in lean manufacturing principles, marketing and business development, strategic planning, product development, technology transfer, and supply chain management.

The Hawaiʻi Manufacturing Extension Program has been in operation for five years. It has had considerable success in helping Hawaiʻi‘s billion dollar manufacturing industry. Small businesses that have taken advantage of its services have realized remarkable results, in some cases improving productivity by as much as 50 percent or reducing lead-time by 90 percent.

The Business Development Partnership will allow Hawaiʻi‘s Manufacturing Extension Program to continue to assist in the manufacturing sector and also to expand its assistance to the state‘s agricultural sector through its alliance with CTAHR‘s Cooperative Extension Service. In turn, the Business Development Partnership will benefit by being able to tap into the more than 2,000 manufacturing and business specialists at the Manufacturing Extension Program‘s disposal through its national connections. The Business Development Partnership will also acquire access to expertise within the College of Business Administration, particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship and international marketing.

Hawaiʻi‘s small agribusinesses will benefit from the services offered by the Business Development Partnership. As has already been demonstrated in manufacturing, the network will help to build agribusiness production efficiency and profitability, as well as connecting producers to suppliers and markets.