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What’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina.

Manufacturing plays a significant role in North Carolina’s economy, accounting for nearly 17% of North Carolina’s total output and employing nearly 10% of our state’s workforce. As the exclusive state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NC Chamber works every day to advocate for small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector across North Carolina. From producing lifesaving vaccines, to making the personal protective equipment for our health care heroes, and creating new jobs every day, North Carolina’s manufacturers are vital to the health of our people and our economy.

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Challenges and Solutions

While the state’s traditional manufacturing sectors continue to evolve, North Carolina has reinvented itself as a leader in high-tech manufacturing across an array of business sectors, including biotech, pharmaceutical, and aerospace. However, what many may see as a boom for an industry is in fact a double-edged sword: job openings have been growing at double-digit rates in recent years, but so too has the skills gap, which leaves employers unable to fill critical jobs. In fact, Deloitte finds that the skills gap “may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of 2.5 trillion.”

The NC Chamber works closely with our manufacturing members to identify solutions to their most pressing problems. Crucial to these efforts is collaboration with employers, community colleges, apprenticeship programs, and education partners in efforts to bridge the skills gap. Removing stigma is key to getting more students enrolled in certification and training programs that ready them for manufacturing careers.

The NC Manufacturing Council

In March 2022, the NC Chamber launched the NC Manufacturing Council for our Cornerstone Members. Each quarter, the Council shares insights on timely topics with the help of subject matter experts on issues including workforce challenges, future talent pipeline, supply chain, and recent trade trends.

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The “Coolest Thing Made in NC” Annual Competition

Each fall, the NC Chamber hosts its annual Coolest Thing Made in NC contest — a statewide celebration of North Carolina’s manufacturers that simultaneously educates future workers about the rewarding careers of modern manufacturing. The winner is announced on Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), a day which is organized nationally by the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute. It champions the next generation of creators to change perceptions of manufacturing and highlights the exciting careers in manufacturing, with an ultimate goal of closing the widening skills gap. Similarly, it is the NC Chamber’s intention to drive fruitful engagement between North Carolina employers and today’s students (tomorrow’s talent).

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The Agenda

  • View our 2024 Legislative Agenda to learn how the NC Chamber will advance manufacturing in North Carolina this legislative session and drive solutions to the primary problems facing this important sector.
  • Learn how the NC Chamber championed issues for NC’s manufacturers in the 2023 edition of How They Voted.

Join the Effort

Do you want a seat at the table as we work to advance the manufacturing industry in North Carolina? Add your voice to our NC Chamber member family today.

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