Statewide contest champions manufacturing community’s impact and innovation
Today, the NC Chamber announced the top four finalists 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 then narrowed to the top 15 semifinalists. Nominees and semifinalists represented a broad range of manufacturing specialties, including food products, handmade soaps, children’s furniture, excavators, home appliances, electric vehicles, and more. 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.
“Congratulations to our incredible top four contenders. As we always say at the NC Chamber: what’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “With more than 30,000 votes cast in this contest so far, it’s apparent that North Carolinians understand the significance of our state’s manufacturing community. When our lives were brought to a near standstill by COVID-19, manufacturers heroically and swiftly pivoted to produce the personal protective equipment needed to keep our state’s people and businesses healthy. We are grateful to the entire manufacturing community – the backbone of our state’s economy for more than a century.”
All are invited to vote for their favorite finalist product at coolestthingmadeinnc.com. The winner will be announced by the NC Chamber and Old Dominion Freight Line 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.
“The Coolest Thing Made in NC” Top Four (alphabetical order by manufacturing location):
- HondaJet Elite – Greensboro, N.C.
- Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley™ Electric Bus – High Point, N.C.
- George’s BBQ Sauce – Nashville, N.C.
- Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader (CTL) – Sanford, N.C.