Rhode Island MEP Center Director

Posted: 08/16/2022

Polaris MEP seeks a strategic, visionary MEP Center Director to help the organization deliver on and advance its mission of supporting and promoting Rhode Island manufacturers.

Polaris MEP, a division of the URI Research Foundation (URIRF) and a MEP National Network affiliate, guides Rhode Island manufacturers to sustainable growth, innovative technology strategies and cost-efficient operations.



The Center Director leads Polaris MEP programs that are supported by funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program to strengthen small and medium-sized manufacturers within Rhode Island.

The MEP Center Director collaborates with community leaders in economic development roles and with other organizations to engage and leverage assets in support of economic development and manufacturing priorities.

The MEP Center Director leads and manages the delivery of appropriate continuous improvement and other initiatives that supports clients’ commercial and process improvement goals. The MEP Center Director, working together with the staff, is responsible for generating sufficient project and grant revenue to ensure financial sustainability and for impacts performance to meet the requirements of stakeholders in accordance with scope of specific grants and partnership agreements, specifically NIST MEP.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manages relationships with NIST MEP as well as federal and state peer organizations.
  • Identifies and develops partnerships with other training organizations and vendors and oversees the internal execution of the Center’s commitments within all partnership and vendor agreements.
  • Identifies the center’s responsibilities as specified in grant documents and partnership agreements, assigns responsibilities within the center accordingly and follows up, directly and through intermediate supervisors, to ensure the execution of all scope of work on grants and commitments.
  • Responsible for developing and executing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies for the MEP Center staff and board members.
  • Translates strategies into tactical plans with clear actions, accountability, and goals to promote best in class equitable DEI practices.
  • Works with Project Managers to identify new projects and drive revenue.
  • Responsible for the development of the Board of Advisors and potential committees.
  • Develops budget for Polaris MEP Center activities and manages the day-to-day operations of the Center to ensure that monthly, quarterly, and annual sales, revenue and expense objectives are met.
  • Implements corrective strategies and reassigns responsibilities and budget priorities to account for revenue shortfalls.
  • Determines the staffing and operating requirements. Oversees the planning and deployment of resources within the Center to ensure that objectives are met, including recruiting, training, development, setting objectives, measuring, and evaluating performance, and providing feedback.
  • Makes compensation & employment decisions.
  • Leads and coaches field staff on the role of “Trusted Advisor” to provide the client’s Senior Management with suggested strategic direction to ensure appropriate, and specific to the business, initiatives are delivered to enhance the continuous improvement and innovation of the business processes.
  • Represents the MEP Center at State and National events/activities as required.
    Manages and executes metrics required for NIST grant.
  • Develops and maintains relationships and partnerships with community stake holders through active engagement and community outreach to foster a positive referral system and financial support for programs.
  • Approves proposals/contracts for delivering services to client companies.
  • Performs other tasks and projects as assigned.
  • Works with staff to set internal strategic goals and guide Polaris MEP’s continuous improvement through ongoing progress towards internal goals and objectives.

The above listed duties and responsibilities are for reference only. Additional duties and responsibilities may apply.

Desired Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Engineering, Education or Quality or another related field preferred. MBA desirable. Experience may be substituted for field of study.
  • 10 years of experience in a manufacturing environment, with some supervisory experience. (Leadership/Management role in manufacturing environment highly desirable.)
  • Strong and effective strategic management skills are required, including long range planning, organizing, facilitating, communicating, influencing, gathering and using information, and motivating a team to achieve results.
  • Prior experience managing others including recruiting, developing, setting objectives, measuring performance, and providing feedback.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including the ability to influence external and internal decision-makers and to provide direction and feedback to others.
  • Skilled in the use of computer for communication, data management and reporting including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
  • Must be able to work well under pressure, manage and prioritize multiple tasks, and have a flexible schedule.
  • Experienced with manufacturing industry equipment and regulations preferred but not required.
  • Lean and or Six Sigma Methodology experience highly desirable. Problem solving experience highly desirable.
  • Financial management highly desirable.
  • Previous knowledge/experience of Economic Development is highly desirable.
  • Previous Consulting experience highly desirable.

Polaris MEP follows safe COVID practices and is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected].


Polaris MEP, a business unit of URI Research Foundation, recognizes that the field of manufacturing needs to be strengthened by contributions from a broad range of perspectives. The URI Research Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks to serve as a representative inspiration for the next generations.

As such, we particularly welcome candidates from groups that are underrepresented, marginalized, and/or excluded in manufacturing who will support the mission of both URI and the URI Research Foundation to expose manufacturing to different perspectives. Candidates will demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and will enhance a sense of belonging and success.

We are Equal Opportunity Employers. No persons will be discriminated against in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

Every employee is expected to carry out and support these policies.

Our Vision

Polaris MEP, 401 Tech Bridge and the URI Research Foundation together have a clear vision: to be a community in which a diverse mix of talented people come together to make a lasting difference. Our success comes only through the dedication of our employees and thoughtful, creative collaboration. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.