The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) began hosting an annual manufacturing conference (MFGCON) in 2015. Overtime, the conference has grown and in 2017, Business North Carolina joined us as a co-host. While we were unable to gather in person in 2020, we were able to co-host a mini virtual conference. In 2021, we hope we can gather in person once again. MFGCON is currently scheduled as a live event for November 3-4 at the Durham Convention Center.

The goal of MFGCON has always been to bring North Carolina’s manufacturing community together for educational and networking opportunities. The conference is designed to be a peer-to-peer learning and sharing experience. We invite manufacturers to share their best practices/learning experiences with their peers through presentations as well as in conversations during breaks and lunch. The call for speakers is currently open and we invite manufacturers to consider speaking at this year’s event. We have four tracks for which we are seeking abstracts. Descriptions of the tracks as well as the submission forms can be found here.

Did your company implement a new lean program? Develop a new employee retention strategy? Added robotics/automation to your facility? Consider submitting an abstract! Do you have a success story about how your company responded to the pandemic? Why not share what you learned at this year’s MFGCON? The more we can learn from each other, the stronger our manufacturing community will be.

The deadline to submit an abstract for consideration is May 28th. Selected speakers will be notified in mid-June. All selected speakers will receive a complimentary registration to the conference and discounted pricing for others in their company. Additional benefits of speaking include valuable marketing exposure to promote your company and its products, not only at the conference but through social media as well. You’ll also receive networking opportunities with your peers and the chance to meet with potential customers and vendors. I hope to see you in November!


Susan Barber

Susan Barber is assistant director for manufacturing programs for Industry Expansion Solutions (IES). Susan is responsible for leading and improving existing state-wide manufacturing programs as well as developing and managing new programs to serve the manufacturing sector. Susan has more than 15 years of event management experience including serving as the director of business education at the NC Chamber and as manager of special projects at the NC Department of Commerce. Susan received a B.S. in education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and has completed certificate programs in event planning, non-profit management and basic economic development.