Manufacturing Matters – Roundtable

The manufacturing policy academy team for North Carolina consists of leaders from workforce and economic development, government, and industry. The NC Manufacturing Policy Academy will now be known as the NC Manufacturing Matters Roundtable.

Manufacturing Matters

Manufacturing Matters – Roundtable

NC Manufacturing Matters Roundtable – Team Charter / Prospectus



In 2019, North Carolina was chosen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) Policy Academy for Strengthening States’ Manufacturing. North Carolina was one of 10 states in the 2019-2020 cohort. The purpose of the Policy Academy is to help states “build upon existing strategies, leverage available resources, and spur creative new ideas about how to address major challenges or leverage opportunities around the manufacturing sector.”

The manufacturing policy academy team for North Carolina consists of leaders from workforce and economic development, government, and industry. Over the course of the year and a half long effort, the group developed, and acted on, a State Action Plan (Appendix A) organized around three themes: better understanding the current landscape of manufacturing supports and resources that exist in the state, partnering to raise awareness and increase reach to manufacturers in rural areas, and advancing manufacturing innovation. Halfway through the 2019-20 academy, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

While some may have decided to divert all energy to the ‘day job’ outside of the Academy, the NC Core Team took it as an opportunity to ‘triage’ and leverage resources to maximize our support for NC businesses. Though the official policy academy is completed, the team sees the need to continue meeting, broadening participation and engagement with targeted guest speakers, and advance a manufacturing strategy for NC. The NC Manufacturing Policy Academy will now be known as the NC Manufacturing Matters Roundtable.

Purpose and Vision 2021-Beyond

A continuation of regular convenings among the existing Manufacturing Policy Academy Core Team, periodically inviting experts from various backgrounds to foster discussion on the economy, technology, and policies important to the advancement of manufacturing in the state of North Carolina. Ideas are shared and strategies are discussed that can inform broad areas of state agency and governmental leadership for relevant decision-making. Special invited guests will provide national, regional, and industry-based insights on manufacturing matters in connection with regular state roundtable participants.

Frequency of Meetings

At least monthly – starting March 2021

Roundtable Interviews

Core Discussion Group Members

John Loyack

Manufacturing Growth and Economic Development

John Loyack is the Vice President of Global Business Services at The Economic Development Partnership of NC (EDPNC). In this role, John leads the department composed of the EDPNC regional offices, the International Trade Division and the small business counseling team known as Business Link North Carolina. This team supports North Carolina businesses in everything from starting up a new enterprise to expanding an existing business to the development of export strategies aimed at increasing international sales.

Phil Mintz

Manufacturing Technology and Technical Assistance

As Executive Director of Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) at NC State University, Phil’s team is an outreach unit of the College of Engineering with a focus of providing technical assistance to small and midsized manufacturers helping them with applying best practices to ensure competitiveness and profitable growth. His team also provides education and resources that allow smaller manufacturers to understand and make decisions on using next generation techniques and technologies within their production operations. IES also administers the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) which is the state affiliate of the MEP National Network at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) providing coordinated access to resources and solutions that serve to ensure competitiveness for smaller manufacturers.

Dr. Jenni Harris

Manufacturing Workforce Business Solutions

Dr. Jenni Harris is the Executive Director of Business Services for the Division of Workforce Solutions, which is the workforce development arm of the NC Department of Commerce. The Division of Workforce Solutions oversees federal funding to train and place workers into jobs across the state. Dr. Harris’ office also manages a layoff aversion program, which has funding to assist manufacturers across the state grow and strengthen their business, rather than downsizing.

Jeff DeBellis

State Manufacturing Data and Trends

As the Director of Economic & Policy Analysis in Commerce’s Labor & Economic Analysis Division, Jeff leads a team of analysts and economists in assessing North Carolina’s economy and workforce. He regularly advices local and state leaders on current conditions and trends. He also oversees the development of industry and occupational employment projections; the identification of growing jobs and employers’ workforce needs; economic impact analyses; NC’s career information system,; and various publications and tools to help economic development, workforce development, and education entities, as well as the people of North Carolina, make informed economic decisions.

Dominick Stephenson

Research Development and Evaluation

As the Assistant Director of Research Development and Evaluation at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions, Dominick Stephenson is responsible for managing grant and program evaluation projects throughout the lifecycle including client engagement, evaluation design, data collection and analysis, instrument design and report writing. His current work focuses on workforce development, community college and STEM programs and it crosses over local, state and federal agencies. Dominick also has a background in strategic planning and supports grant writing for IES and NCMEP strategic initiatives.

Invited Guests (Based on Topics)

Mark Troppe

Topic – National Manufacturing Policy Perspective (regular)

Bill Bullock

Topic – NC Biotechnology Center (NC Biopharmaceutical Mfg – 4/28/2021)

Cecilia Holden

Topic – MyFuture NC (Credentials and the Manufacturing Sector – 8/18/2021)

John Hardin

Topic – NC Department of Commerce (NC Offshore Wind Development – 10/27/2021)