WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today congratulated four employees of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPOL) who recently received awards at the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Conference. Through its headquarters at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its field offices throughout the state, MEPOL is dedicated to promoting Louisiana’s manufacturers and is part of the greater MEP. MEP centers provide manufacturers with an array of services that focus on growth, productivity and efficiency.

“Manufacturers employ thousands of workers throughout Louisiana, and they create business for suppliers, restaurants and Main Street shops,” Sen. Landrieu said. “While manufacturing closures have threatened the jobs of many Louisianians, MEPOL continues to fight for their growth and success. I was pleased to have MEPOL Director Corinne Dupuy, who won this year’s Champion of the Year award, testify before my committee last month because I understand how important their work is to Louisiana businesses.

“The other winners – Dave Thomas, Connnee Byrd and Wynn Landry – should also be commended for the hard work they do to assist our manufacturers.”

Louisiana MEP award winners include:

Corinne Dupuy, Champion of the Year: recognizes outstanding advocates of the manufacturing extension mission. This individual has demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to the business growth and transformation of U.S.-based small- and mid-sized enterprises through their continued support of the MEP system.

Dave Thomas, Newcomer of the Year: recognizes the significant contributions of an MEP Center individual who has worked in the manufacturing extension network for less than 18 months. This individual has embraced the MEP system philosophy and has endeavored in their first few months to enhance services provided to MEP clients or improve operations within the MEP network.

Connee Byrd, Unsung Hero of the Year: recognizes individuals from the marketing, reporting, administrative, or human resources staff or other behind the scenes support roles whose special efforts behind the scenes allowed a center to excel in the eyes of a customer.

Wynn Landry, Practitioner of the Year: recognizes individuals and groups whose specialized contributions have made a significant impact in the MEP system. These individuals and groups may have come up with a new product or service, improved an important process, or developed and expanded knowledge management and sharing within an organization or across the enterprise.