Feb. 12, 2013 – The Institute for Emerging Issues hosted its 28th Annual Emerging Issues Forum, Manufacturing Works, Feb. 11-12 in Raleigh.
More than 1,000 people attended the Forum, and another 2,000 participated online, to hear from manufacturers, support organizations, government officials and educators. In breakout sessions, sponsored by each of the state’s seven regional economic development partnerships, Forum attendees considered how to grow specific types of manufacturing in their regions.
Attendees identified three strategies to build the manufacturing economy in North Carolina:
- Better align manufacturing businesses and North Carolina’s educational systems.
- Develop a long-term infrastructure plan for North Carolina, one that includes deep-water ports, air travel, roadways, highways/interstates, railroad systems and broadband.
- Rebrand manufacturing as a career option promoting the value of careers and related training in manufacturing.
Governor Pat McCrory spoke to attendees about each of the three priority strategies at the close of the Forum. Governor McCrory announced that he would create a new position, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing, in the North Carolina Department of Commerce to maintain focus on the manufacturing sector.
IEI will follow up by offering local manufacturing forums in counties across the state this spring. Specific dates for county forums will be available in March.
More information about IEI and the 28th Annual Emerging Issues Forum can be found at http://iei.ncsu.edu/.