Select Page

Manufacturing Contributions Recognized Across the State During Manufacturing Month

On the first Friday in October 2011, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) was established as a day to highlight and celebrate the manufacturing industry in America and has since extended into a full month of activities nationwide. Events vary from region to region but the theme remains the same: each October, thousands of people gather to tour facilities, learn about new technologies, highlight career opportunities in manufacturing for students and celebrate the American manufacturing industry.
On October 3, 2023, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed October 1 through October 7 Manufacturing Week to recognize the manufacturing industry in North Carolina. The state ranks eighth in manufacturing in the country; manufacturing comprises 17.1% of gross state product and provides jobs for over 472,000 North Carolinians. 
During Manufacturing Month this year, companies hosted open houses where visitors toured factories and learned about today’s manufacturing industry. Here are just a few:


MFG Week at Surry County Economic Development Partnership

October 2-6, 2023
On October 2, the Surry County Economic Development Partnership partnered with  the Surry Community College to host a kick-off event with approximately 200 high school students representing five high schools across Surry County. Students toured manufacturing-related classrooms at Surry Community College and interacted with 10 leading manufacturers in various county locations. Over 65 manufacturing and educational representatives and various State and local representatives attended the Kick-Off Luncheon at the Shelton Badgett Viticulture and Enology Center on Surry’s Campus. Speakers included Blake Moyer, Surry County EDP President, Dr. David Shockley, Surry Community College President and Rocky Killon, Shenandoah Furniture Plant Manager. 
October 3-6, 10 manufacturing facility tours across the county were, averaging 15 attendees per tour. Tour participants included manufacturers, state and local representatives, human resources/ workforce development professionals, educators and economic development board members. 

“MFG Week sparked great conversations about industry expansion resources, employee retention efforts and talent attraction. Since hosting Manufacturing Week, the organization received interest from a globally recognized employer about developing and implementing an official apprenticeship program.”

– Catrina Alexander, Industry Initiatives Director, Surry County Economic Development Partnership

Not only did the week-long events give integral partners an inside perspective on the needs of local manufacturers, but they also allowed local manufacturers to communicate and collaborate.


MFG Week in Rowan County

October 2-6, 2023
Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) 2023 in Rowan County wasn’t just a single day of celebration – it was expanded into an entire week, brimming with activities, tours, and interactive sessions that sparked engagement across schools, companies, and the community.
562 Students from Rowan-Salisbury Schools got the golden opportunity to dive deep into the realm of manufacturing, exploring its intricacies, technologies, and career paths.
Participation from 6 High Schools (Jesse Carson, Salisbury, North Rowan, East Rowan, South Rowan, West Rowan) and 4 Middle Schools (China Grove, Erwin, Southeast, West Rowan) enabled students to step out of the classrooms and get a glimpse of real-world manufacturing processes.
21 Companies, ranging from those specialized in concrete and drive shafts to electric and food production, welcomed the curious minds, shedding light on their operations, technologies, and team dynamics. The companies included: Chandler Concrete, Chewy, Daimler, Driveshaft Shop, DuPont, Eastern Fence, Freshouse, Gränges, Henkel, Hexagon Agility, Imperial Brown, Imperial Supplies, Infiltrator Water Technologies, Innospec, New York Air Brake, Pinnacle Corrugated, Power Curbers, Schneider Electric, Shat-R-Shield Lighting and Teijin Automotive Technologies.
210 students also embarked on a journey through the Advanced Technology Center  at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College , exploring the next level of education and technological advancements in manufacturing.

“These annual events inspire the next generation of manufacturing leaders”

– Kendall Henderson, Rowan EDC Director of Business Services



MFG Day at Manufacturing Solutions Center

October 5, 2023
MSCThe Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) at Catawba Valley College hosted a Manufacturing Day event at its Conover facility with over 75 local residents, businesses, and MSC partners in attendance. The event included an overview of Manufacturing Solutions Center operations along with presentations from four companies that reside and operate in the MSC II building which opened earlier this year.


Attendees also toured both MSC buildings including MSC’s testing labs and product development facilities.  Manufacturing still makes up almost 25% of the jobs in the community.  The services provided at Manufacturing Solutions Center help to retain these jobs and add new jobs to their community and throughout North Carolina.  

“It’s important for our community and our partners to see the work going on in our Center to support US manufacturers.”

– Jeff Neuville, Director of the Manufacturing Solutions Center




MFG Day at Ketchie Precision Machining Solutions

October 5, 2023
Business professionals gathered at Ketchie to network and celebrate MFG Day with life journey presentations and tours for the facility. 
One of the standout moments was the introduction of two remarkable individuals, Josh and Migel. Josh shared his incredible journey from a challenging background to becoming a skilled machinist at Ketchie. His story resonated with us all, illustrating how Ketchie provided him with a life-changing opportunity, and he now thrives professionally and personally.
Migel, on the other hand, represents the first graduate of the innovative “Opportunity Knocks” program, a collaboration between Ketchie and CTE AL Brown High School. This program entails students spending four days a week at Ketchie, where they shadow various job roles. On the fourth day, they engage in a two-hour classroom session, known as “Character Training,” which covers essential topics such as character building, resume writing, and effective business communication. This training program, aptly named “Character Traits,” was thoughtfully developed by Dave Haytag.
KetchieCourtney Silver, the owner of Ketchie, shared valuable insights into the tax policy changes necessary for the growth and sustainability of small manufacturers like Ketchie.
The event concluded with a tour of Ketchie’s facility, showcasing their automation technology. The event highlighted the power of opportunity and education, reinforcing the commitment to manufacturing.




MFG Day at Central Carolina Community College

October 6, 2023
Over 700 students from nearby schools participated to meet and interact with local manufacturers. The expo included nearly 30 participating manufacturers including Wolfspeed, VinFast, Caterpillar, Mertek  and Coty. When asked what they look for when recruiting for their workforce, multiple manufacturing organizations responded, “We’re looking for folks with a good attitude because skills can be trained, a good work ethic and cooperative personality can’t.” 

“It’s great to see the local manufacturing community’s commitment to being part of it and the breadth of manufacturing that calls the area home.”

– KeAnne Hoeg, NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions, Director, Data Management Systems, Marketing and Reporting




MFG Day at Industrial Reliability and Repair

October 17, 2023
Hosted by Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership 
Multiple opportunities for networking, Industrial Reliability and Repair facility tours and informative presentations were part of the Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership MFG Day event. The event launched with Industrial Reliability and Repair leadership spoke briefly about their company and their journey.


“Quite inspiring, and they have a great facility!”

– Jim Flock, General Manager of HSM Machine Works and Chairman of the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board

Phil Mintz, the Executive Director of NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) gave an informative presentation on the evolution of IES and the NCMEP and an overview of their services. 

Phil Mintz, NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions and North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Phil Mintz, NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions and North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership




MFG Month / STEM Event at Core Molding Technology

October – November, 2023
Core Molding Technology hosted over 600 students from nearby schools in the month of October. Tours of their advanced manufacturing facility highlighted many different career opportunities for students who attend Simkins Elementary, Northern Middle, Peck Elementary, Alamance Elementary, Pleasant Garden Elementary, Alamance Elementary, Eastern Guilford High, Dudley High, Ragsdale High and Smith High.
A special STEM Event was held in partnership with Core Molding Technology’s “Molding Kids for Success”, Accelerate NC and the Franklin County United Way Mobile Innovation Mobile Lab  with visits from two schools during the first week of November.
The fifth grade students participated in activities at three different stations: The Mobile Innovation lab bus, a tour of the production floor and time to learn about the equipment and output in the machine shop. Each student received a custom engraved block with their first and last name, the school and date of visit.

“We hope that one of the key takeaways is that advanced manufacturing is a high skill high wage career that has become a viable career option. We also realize that not every student is into manufacturing but at least they’re able to see how the things they’re learning in the classroom are used in real world problem solving.”

– Brandon Frederick, Core Molding Technology