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What’s the Coolest Thing Made in NC?

| Manufacturing

Annual contest champions the state’s vital manufacturing community

For the second year, the NC Chamber is asking the public to name the Coolest Thing Made in NC. The nominating period is open for the popular public-driven contest launched last year to spotlight North Carolina’s cutting-edge manufacturing industry, which generates more than 17 percent of the gross state product and employs more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce. Old Dominion Freight Line is the Presenting Sponsor of the online competition, and Business North Carolina is serving as Media Partner. As the exclusive North Carolina affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NC Chamber knows that a strong manufacturing industry is crucial to the state’s economic and competitive success. The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) is collaborating on the annual contest as a Supporting Organization.

“Our state’s manufacturers are not only the backbone of North Carolina’s economy; they have been saving lives since the start of the pandemic. From producing safe and effective vaccines, to making the personal protective equipment for our health care heroes and others, North Carolina’s innovative manufacturing community has been vital to our state’s resilience and relaunch,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “The NC Chamber is thrilled that the first ‘Coolest Thing Made in NC’ contest received a tremendously positive response. We’ve been looking forward to bringing it back and celebrating the variety and quality of products manufactured statewide; what’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina.”

The “Coolest Thing Made in NC” 2020 competition started with 72 nominees, and after two rounds of voting totaling 58,000 votes, the Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley™ Electric School Bus, manufactured by High Point-based Thomas Built Buses, won the inaugural title.

All are invited to go to to nominate any product that is made in North Carolina (company’s headquarters do not have to be in-state). After the nominating period closes on August 17, the public will go to the site to vote on the Coolest Thing Made in NC. The field of candidates will narrow with each round of voting, with the winning product being announced on October 1, National Manufacturing (MFG) Day. October is Manufacturing Month, and MFG Day, organized nationally by the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, highlights the rewarding career opportunities of modern manufacturing.

Join the contest’s social media campaign by following #CoolestThingMadeinNC. In addition to receiving a trophy, the victorious company and product will be featured in NC Chamber and Business North Carolina publications, podcasts, social and digital media, among additional statewide publicity efforts.

About the NC Chamber

The NC Chamber works to research, develop, advocate, and communicate for solutions and policies that produce a nationally competitive business climate in North Carolina. For more information, visit

About Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. is one of the largest North American less-than-truckload (“LTL”) motor carriers and provides regional, inter-regional, and national LTL services through a single integrated, union-free organization. Our service offerings, which include expedited transportation, are provided through an expansive network of service centers located throughout the continental United States. The Company also maintains strategic alliances with other carriers to provide LTL services throughout North America. In addition to its core LTL services, the Company offers a range of value-added services including container drayage, truckload brokerage, and supply chain consulting.