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 2019-20 cohort. The Policy Academy’s purpose 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 consisted 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 of 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, and the NC Core Team took it as an opportunity to ‘triage’ and leverage resources to maximize our support for NC businesses. 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. Invited guests will provide national, regional, and industry-based insights on manufacturing matters in connection with regular state roundtable participants.

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