RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of the 2015 NCMEP Leadership Awards.

The recipients have proven that business can succeed and thrive in any climate, under any conditions, and can bring prosperity to their communities as well. We congratulate the winners and are honored to share their achievements here.

Leadership in Economic Development – GE Aviation

GE Aviation expanded in a county that had an unemployment rate of 8% and a poverty rate of 20%. The expansion had a major impact on the growth of the county, adding more than 100 jobs to a rural community over a 2-year period. The company also added to the county tax base by investing $110M at the facility, bring the company’s total investment to more than $150M since 2008. The company’s presence is attracting suppliers to the area as well; new suppliers are expected to contribute an additional 30 jobs to the county over the next year.

Leadership in Continuous Improvement – Fiberon

In cooperation with Stanly Community College, Fiberon requested and received Six Sigma DMAIC Cycle Training for 13 of its employees. A Customized Training program was created, which included Green Belt training. As a result of the training, four projects were presented to upper management for review: Reducing Streaker Changeover Time, Reducing Packaging Excess, Reducing Cut Length Variation and Reducing Production Downtime.  The annualized cost reduction for these four projects totaled $877,419.

Leadership in Innovative Practice – AEG International

For AEG, innovation transcends novelty—the company’s products are truly life changing for people in Nigeria, who sometimes walk for four hours in one direction to find electricity to charge their smartphones. AEG’s Firefly—a device that provides twelve hours of light and mobile device charging, at a price affordable to the common person—makes information and communication more accessible to more people.

Leadership in Workforce Development – PEMMCO

PEMMCO has shown exemplary commitment to closing the skills gap and creating opportunities for the citizens of Randolph County. The company has partnered with Randolph Community College, Asheboro City School and Randolph County Schools to expose high school and middle school students to modern manufacturing. In addition, to further strengthen the talent pipeline for their company and create meaningful opportunities for the next generation of manufacturers, PEMMCO is partnering with RCC to develop a registered apprenticeship program.

Leadership in Sustainable Manufacturing – Ann’s House

This company’s commitment to sustainable practices is truly exemplary. Ann’s House is working to reduce fat, oil and grease (FOG) content in wastewater, and has achieved annual cost savings of $120,000 through energy efficiency measures. The process improvements that they have implemented in support of sustainability have allowed Ann’s House to re-invest $3.7 million back into the company.

Leadership in Manufacturing Excellence – Keihin Carolina System Technology

This company excelled across all five areas of leadership. KCST works closely with the community college system to develop curriculums for workforce education, specialized training and Work Keys testing; provides internships and financial support to East Carolina University and a tuition program to qualified employees; uses a Balanced Scorecard to align activities to strategic objectives; and is zero waste to landfill, ISO14001 & ISO 50001 certified. KCST delivers market-leading value through application of, and dedication to, the highest standards for product quality, delivery, precision, flexibility and customer satisfaction.

Contact: IES Marketing Director Teresa Bradford at Teresa.Bradford@ncsu.edu or (919) 515-7885.