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Semifinalists Revealed for “Coolest Thing Made in NC”

| Manufacturing

Statewide contest champions manufacturing community’s impact and innovation

Today, the NC Chamber announced the 15 semifinalists for its inaugural “Coolest Thing Made in NC” competition. Presented by Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., the statewide online contest began with 70+ nominees, and after the first round of voting, compiled the top 15 winners. From buses to butter, bacon, and BBQ sauce, child couches to the Compact Track Loader, supreme fruitcakes to silicon carbide, dishwashers to double wall ovens, pickles to Pepsi, healing salve to handcrafted tables and the HondaJet Elite, the semifinalists showcase the vibrant variety of products made across the state. The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) is also collaborating on this initiative as a Supporting Organization.

North Carolina’s cutting-edge manufacturing industry generates more than 18% of the gross state product and employs more than 10% of the state’s workforce. As the exclusive North Carolina affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NC Chamber recognizes that a strong manufacturing industry is central to the state’s economic and competitive success.

“When our lives were brought to a near standstill by COVID-19, manufacturers heroically and swiftly pivoted to produce the personal protective equipment needed by front-line workers, vulnerable populations, medical facilities, and countless businesses in every county,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “We are grateful to the entire manufacturing community – the backbone of our state’s economy for more than a century. Congratulations to the semifinalists! As we always say at the NC Chamber: what’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina.”

All are invited to vote for their favorite semifinalist product at The top four finalists will be announced by the NC Chamber and Old Dominion Freight Line on September 21 via social media. The inaugural winner will be revealed on October 2, MFG Day – an annual event organized by the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute highlighting the rewarding career opportunities of modern manufacturing.

“North Carolina has a rich manufacturing history and it plays an important part in our economy,” said Greg Plemmons, senior vice president of sales for Old Dominion Freight Line of Thomasville, North Carolina. “As a less-than-truckload carrier, we see many unique and innovative products shipped on our trucks. Promoting North Carolina goods and services is a benefit to all residents, so Old Dominion is proud to partner with the NC Chamber in a creative way to showcase the cool things made in our state.”

Join the contest’s social media campaign by following #CoolestThingMadeinNC. In addition to receiving a trophy, the winning company will be featured in various NC Chamber publications and promoted across its communications channels and statewide publicity efforts.

Vote Now!

“The Coolest Thing Made in NC” Semifinalists (alphabetical order by manufacturing location):

Company and Product Manufacturing Facility Location
Southern Supreme Fruitcakes Bear Creek
Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butter Durham
Cree | Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide Durham
Benevolence Farm Chamomile & Lavender Healing Salve Graham
HondaJet Elite Greensboro
Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley™ electric bus. High Point
Nugget Kids Couch Hillsborough
Mt. Olive Pickles Mt. Olive
George’s BBQ Sauce Nashville
Bosch Stainless Steel Dishwasher SHX88PZ55N New Bern
Thermador Double Wall Oven PODS302W New Bern
Pepsi New Bern (originated); Bottled throughout NC
Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader (CTL) Sanford
Smithfield Bacon Tar Heel
Artisan Leaf Handcrafted Tobacco Leaf Tables and Surfaces Wilson