Center Staff Highlight: Scott Schein | GENEDGE


Tell us about your MEP Superpower - What impact do you bring for your center or clients

Working with our clients is a team effort at MEP with the sum being much more powerful than the individual parts across the network.  Regarding my personal contribution, I have worked in a wide range of roles in my professional career – aerospace engineer, management consultant, industry executive, small business owner/operator.  I think that eclectic mix of experiences allows me to relate to our clients and speak to them as someone who has been in their shoes.  It also permits me to work with our team here at GENEDGE on various client needs, programs, and business development initiatives.  

What did you want to be when you were 16 years old? And, what professional decision or opportunity helped lead you to your current role?

I wanted to be a major league pitcher when I was 16 years old.  Sadly, I did not achieve that goal.  But I also had an interest in aviation and how things were made.  That eventually led to a career in manufacturing and acquiring my own aerospace company.  I think that background was a natural fit for the MEP mission. 

What one tool, real or imaginary, would double your effectiveness?

A time machine.  It would be great to accurately forecast the future to better assist our clients.

What was the biggest mistake you made early in your MEP Career? What did you learn from it?

In my role. I interact with MEP centers across the country.  Coming into GENEDGE, I thought there was an “MEP way” of doing things.  Well, that was clearly mistaken.  While we like to share best practices, each center is configured in ways to serve the needs and satisfy the operating requirements of their individual states.

With a short explanation, share one industry trend you are excited about and one that concerns you.

I think a trend that concerns all MEP centers and manufacturers across the country right now is our aging manufacturing workforce and the increasing difficulty in retaining, training, and attracting talent.  I am excited how different manufacturing technologies – virtual reality, co-botics, additive, metrology, autonomous vehicles – can possibly address part of these workforce issues by enabling companies to increase the skills of their current employees and ultimately attract young talent to grow U.S. manufacturing in the long-term.  Maybe break some stereotypes and make manufacturing “cool” again to high school students contemplating their career paths.  NIST-MEP will play a pivotal role in working with small and mid-sized manufacturers to evaluate the business case for implementing manufacturing technology in their operations and how it can be used to grow profitability and manage workforce risks.  Ultimately, CEOs and owner/operators must invest to make this a reality and NIST-MEP can partner with them to inform them and increase their confidence in making those financial commitments.

What is your proudest moment or biggest success as an MEP Center Staffer?

I have only been at GENEDGE a little more than a year but the best moments are when I am able to directly contribute to the success of our clients or my colleagues.  That’s why we are here.  I have had numerous conversations with clients in the last few months on addressing their supply chain challenges as part of a new program we are launching in Virginia.  It is satisfying if our clients find value in using me as a sounding board or considering some of my recommendations.

What is one question you have to ask MEPU?

While MEP centers across the country approach their markets in various ways, we are all working every day to increase our market penetration and awareness.  Some of the most challenging clients to reach and serve can be those with the fewest employees – but they are the largest employers in the country in aggregate.  They are our economic backbone.  How can MEP Centers cost effectively serve these smaller manufacturers? Facilitating peer groups, developing learning management systems, or possibly establishing visibility to a true national network of internal MEP and third party resources positioned to serve these types of clients? Does NIST need to consider adjusting their MEP metrics to motivate more small business engagement?