Manufacturing

Pat McCrory
Dave DeWitt

Governor Pat McCrory and Senate Leader Phil Berger expect debate on an economic development measure this month. The powerful Republicans had lunch together Tuesday, and hours later spoke at an NC Chamber event in Raleigh.

McCrory said he “expects action and debate in the next two weeks and I think that’s very good news.”

A picture of a 3-D printer.
Stephen J. Coppedge / Wake Tech

Wake Technical Community College has opened a new advanced manufacturing center in Raleigh.

Along with a cosmetology program and a career and college preparation program, the Beltline Education Center will offer training in machining, automation and circuit technology.

 ""Especially now, with everybody going to higher technology machines, there's kind of a skills gap that we have been addressing," says Industry Training Director Bill Terrill.

Michelle Mills
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina’s manufacturing story is old and complicated.  In just the past decade, the state has seen many traditional manufacturing operations shut down, devastating tens of thousands of workers and their families.

But this decade has also witnessed the growth of a new kind of manufacturing. Next Generation manufacturing is cleaner and more nimble and requires highly-skilled workers.  And you have to start early building a talented workforce.

Obama at Vacon
White House

Manufacturing jobs across the state are holding steady in some regions.  A report released Thursday takes a look at modern manufacturing and how it can help North Carolina thrive.

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) says the formula for creating a new manufacturing platform in the state is re-branding, networking and training youth, as young as possible.

Anita Brown-Graham is director of the Institute.  She says you can also let people know how much money they can make.

A picture of flattened soda cans
gfpeck / Flickr

A growing contingent of manufacturers is working to make products with packaging that won't end up in a landfill.

They'll have a workshop devoted to education and idea-swapping at this week's Zeroing in on Waste Reduction event in Asheville. Carolina Recycling Association hosts the annual conference and trade show, which will gather 700 exhibitors, businesses, speakers and participants.

Diane Davis is the executive director of the CRA. She said making products that limit waste can be cost-effective while being environmentally friendly.

Obama at Vacon
Courtesy of Vacon

North Carolina State University was awarded a big task by The White House this week.

The land-grant institution will house a new public-private manufacturing innovation institute that will focus on getting the next generation of electronic chips and devices into the marketplace. 

President Barack Obama got the biggest applause of his speech when he made this announcement at NC State earlier this week:

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page takes aim at a steel plate during a round of target practice earlier this month. Mayodan, a small town in the county, is the site of a new gun manufacturing plant that will create more than 450 jobs.
Jeff Tiberii

Sam Page steps out of his jeep wrangler wearing a green hunting suit, boots and a black hat. Everything but his hands, face and neck is covered. It’s a sizzling Thursday summer afternoon and Page is dripping with sweat. After a short walk into the woods, he plants his feet, focuses on a steel plate about 50 feet in front of him— and fires.

HanesBrands is based in Winston-Salem.
HanesBrands

Winston-Salem based HanesBrands is buying bra maker Maidenform for approximately $547 million. The deal would add several brands to the company's already existing line of Playtex, Wonderbra and Hanes. The company hopes the acquisition will increase profits as well as production.

North Carolina has a long history in manufacturing.  Thousands of jobs have been lost to competition elsewhere.  But a conference today at the Raleigh Convention Center sets out to show the future is again bright for manufacturing.  Anita Brown-Graham is the Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues.  She says this week’s conference is called “Manufacturing Works.”

A manufacturing plant in High Point will close by the end of next year and more than 600 people could lose their jobs.

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