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What’s the “Coolest Thing Made in NC?”

| Manufacturing

For the third year, the NC Chamber is asking the public to name the Coolest Thing Made in NC.” The nominating period is officially open for the popular public-driven contest, which spotlights North Carolina’s cutting-edge manufacturing industry—an industry that generates more than 17% of the gross state product and employs more than 10% of the state’s workforce.

New for 2022, the contest will recognize two winners as opposed to one: one for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and one for businesses with 100+ employees.

“As we always say at the NC Chamber: what’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary J. Salamido. “We launched the “Coolest Thing Made in NC” statewide competition in 2020 to celebrate North Carolina’s innovative manufacturing community and champion the next generation of manufacturers and creators. And we want to continue raising awareness about the rewarding careers of modern manufacturing. This annual contest is an effective and fun way to do just that.”

The North Carolina Farm Bureau is serving as the Presenting Sponsor of the online competition, and Business North Carolina is this year’s 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.

“The ‘Coolest Thing Made in NC’ competition presents a valuable opportunity to support North Carolina manufacturers in doing what they do best—inventing, creating, refining and improving the NC-made products that make all of our lives better every day,” said North Carolina Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding. “We are proud to sponsor this NC Chamber initiative offering critical exposure and engagement for the winning manufacturer.”

How to Vote:
All are invited to go to by Friday, August 19, to nominate any product that is made in North Carolina (company’s headquarters do not have to be in-state). On Thursday, August 25, the NC Chamber will announce online the full field of nominees, and the public may 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 products being announced on Thursday, October 6, the day before 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 companies will be featured in NC Chamber and Business North Carolina publications and promoted across social media and other statewide publicity efforts.

Information on last year’s winner and runners-up can be found here.


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 North Carolina Farm Bureau
North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation was formed in 1936 as a non-profit general farm organization to serve farmers and provide a unified voice for the interests and needs of the farming community. For more information, visit