On May 13-14, 2024, MFGCON, The North Carolina Manufacturing Conference, hosted by the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) and Business North Carolina Magazine, was held at the Durham Convention Center. The purpose of the statewide manufacturing event was to bring together manufacturers, suppliers, educators and policymakers to advance the manufacturing industry.

Keynote Speakers and General Sessions

Keynote Speakers and General SessionsThe conference featured insightful keynote speeches from industry leaders such as John McGirr, SVP and GM of Optical Fiber and Cable at Corning Incorporated and Lynn Crump the president of Cross Company. Crump touched on how recruiting, retaining and automation can combat the labor shortage within the manufacturing sector. McGirr summarized global, corporate strategy and how to navigate, implement and customize from a local manufacturing perspective. 

KeAnne Hoeg the Director of Data Management Systems, Supplier Matching and Reporting at NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions spoke about the MEP Supplier Matching ProgramKeAnne Hoeg the Director of Data Management Systems, Supplier Matching and Reporting at NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions spoke about the MEP Supplier Matching Program. Eric Lawrence, Director of Growth and Partnerships for Imaginovation discussed how to streamline success and how software modernization elevates manufacturing efficiency and scalability.


Workshops and Breakout Sessions

MFGCON 2024 offered numerous workshops and breakout sessions, allowing participants to dive deeper into specific areas of interest. Attendees received ideas and resources for market expansion, workforce solutions, leadership excellence, culture transformation, innovation, technology and advanced manufacturing, strategic business growth and process and quality optimization. These sessions included hands-on demonstrations of the latest manufacturing technologies, detailed analyses of market trends, and interactive discussions on best practices for operational efficiency. 
Post-conference slide presentations are available on the MFGCON website.


Networking and Exhibition Hall

The exhibition hall was a bustling hub of activity, showcasing cutting-edge products and services from leading manufacturers and service providers. The exhibition hall was a vibrant networking venue where attendees could engage with exhibitors, explore new technologies, and discuss potential business collaborations. Exhibitors often hosted mini-events and demonstrations that encouraged interaction. Attendees had the opportunity to explore the latest in machinery, software, and materials and to engage directly with innovators driving the industry’s future.

MFGCON 2024 TechnologyThe Day One Evening Social was a highlight of the conference, providing a relaxed and enjoyable setting for attendees to network and unwind after a day of intensive sessions and discussions. View photos on the MFGCON website gallery page.


Awards and Recognitions

The conference also celebrated excellence in manufacturing with the presentation of the NCMEP annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards. Awards were given for outstanding achievements in innovation, sustainability, and workforce development, recognizing companies and individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry.


2024 Award Winners:

Manufacturing ExcellenceTeijin Automotive
Sustainable ManufacturingCarolina Timberworks
Workforce DevelopmentMachine Specialties Inc.
Developing MarketsZiehl-Abegg
Continuous ImprovementPower Curbers 
Community OutreachWieland 
Nominations for the 2025 NCMEP Manufacturing Leadership Awards are now open. If you know a manufacturer who deserves recognition in manufacturing excellence in sustainability, workforce development, innovation, developing markets, continuous improvement or community outreach, please submit a nomination on the NCMEP website awards page.
View previous winners.
As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve the annual North Carolina Manufacturing Conference plays a crucial role in fostering innovation, collaboration, and growth.
Watch for more information about MFGCON 2025 soon!
Be sure to check out MFGCON 2024 photos and post-conference session slideshows.