This year’s mfgCON was full of firsts

We were honored to have Governor Roy Cooper (and First Lady Kristin Cooper–another “first!”) in attendance at Wednesday’s NCMEP Manufacturing Leadership Awards breakfast. I think it was very meaningful for all of us in the room to hear our governor recognize the manufacturing sector’s contribution to North Carolina’s economy. He told us, “Manufacturing is about 20 percent of our total economic output. You’ve created 460,000 jobs for the people of this state. There’s a $28 billion figure on the exports that your workers create.” It was the first time that our state’s governor has given remarks and presented the recipients with their Leadership awards.

Another first was our new “Meet the Experts” program on Day One of mfgCON. This program paired attendees with experts who could address their specific concerns, whether they related to production, innovation, sustainability or something else altogether. One of the great strengths of NCMEP is our reach; if we don’t have an expert on hand, there is no doubt that we can find one in our statewide network. One of the goals of the conference is to send attendees away with practical, actionable advice, and we hope that Meet the Experts did exactly that.

It was the conference’s first time in Winston-Salem, and we were fortunate to hold it in the newly renovated Benton Convention Center. The $20 million reinvention of the center resulted in wide-open spaces with amazing light and art, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, and a footprint that was modern and easy to navigate. It made for a wonderful conference experience.

This was also the first year we partnered with Business North Carolina to produce mfgCON. They have been a terrific partner and they know the sector inside out; we hope our collaboration will bring our clients many more such events in the coming years.  

Until next year,

Phil Mintz




Phil-Mintz-ncmepAs Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. Phil has 25 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, including 10 years at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions as an IES Regional Manager and specialist in quality management and Lean Six Sigma services. Before joining IES, he held posts as an industrial and systems engineer and engineering cost specialist for clients including the US Navy Procurement Office in Norfolk, VA; Lockheed-Martin Engineering and Sciences Company at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA; and Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s Electronic Systems Division in Baltimore, MD. Phil has a B.S. degree in engineering operations from North Carolina State University and an MS in industrial engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.