Manufacturing Industry Evaluation Essay

The expansion of public policies and programs to promote the technological modernization of small and mid-sized manufacturing enterprises in the United States has been accompanied by an increased interest in assessing the effectiveness and impact of these initiatives. This article examines current practices used in the evaluation of US industrial modernization programs at state and national levels, drawing on interviews with program managers, site visits, and scrutiny of available studies. Issues related to the meaning of evaluation in the context of industrial modernization, the scale and scope of existing programs, and the definition of metrics are considered. A series of evaluation approaches, methods, and studies are identified and reviewed, including the role of program monitoring, customer valuation, external reviews, economic impact studies, control groups, and assessments of best practice. The authors address the use of evaluation results and discuss key challenges and directions relevant to the development of more robust evaluation procedures.

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