Select Page

The importance of politicians supporting manufacturers cannot be overstated. By understanding manufacturers’ unique needs and challenges, politicians can enact policies that foster growth, encourage investment and promote innovation. Core Technology Molding Corporation Founder and CEO, Geoff Foster knows that better than anyone.
Foster accompanied North Carolina State University Industry Expansion Solutions staffers to Hill Day in March 2023 to Washington, DC to visit the NC delegation of U.S. elected representatives in the Senate and the House. Foster brought textiles and golf tees to highlight the wide range of products produced in North Carolina. “I’ve never been to DC in the capacity of being a spokesman for North Carolina manufacturing, it was an eye-opening experience,” Foster continued. “I felt I added something to the conversation and made an impact. I also felt like people were listening. I had my preconceived notions that it would be something of a “dog and pony” show but when I got there I found that wasn’t the case and representatives were eager to learn what keeps us up at night. ”
Core Technology HighlightsBarbara Williams, associate executive of field operations at NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions, who was among the Hill Day cohort, joked, “The representatives did not want to hear from us, they wanted to hear from Geoff. They were all impressed by what he accomplished.” Steven Hughes, director of business development and management at Industry Expansion Solutions, also there on Hill Day, confessed, “Geoff is an incredibly smart man. He talks to people with humility and gratitude so it was great to bring him along and have him represent North Carolina manufacturers.”
Among the representatives who wanted to meet Foster was Representative Katie Manning who represents North Carolina’s sixth congressional district – the district Foster’s company calls home. And a district home to the largest historically Black college/university (HBCU), North Carolina A&T. A university that, with Rep. Manning’s assistance was awarded funding from the US Department of Energy to strengthen STEM education and research in August of 2023.
Foster has a solid relationship with NC A&T, earning his bachelor’s in applied engineering in 1990 and his master’s in the same concentration in 1996. Foster has worked as an adjunct professor at the university and Core Technology routinely brings on industrial, mechanical and applied engineering interns from the college. When Foster heard about the funding, he said his reaction was optimism stating, “They are getting a quality education at [NC] A&T. It’s an HBCU whose application rates go up almost every year and produces the most African American engineers in the world. It opens up doors for internships, especially at our organization. The funding provided by the US Department of Energy will provide a boost to the resources, faculty and opportunities for the engineering department ”
Foster’s Hill Day visit wasn’t the first time he’d met the representative. She had visited the old Core Technology facility ten years before meeting Foster in DC. While Foster attended Hill Day Rep. Manning made him a promise that she’d stop by to tour Core Technology.
Core Technology HighlightsOn Tuesday, August 29, Congresswoman Manning visited the Core Technology facility in Greensboro. “I was eager to show her the advancements we’d made since her last visit,” stated Geoff. One of the developments Foster is most proud of is his workforce’s improved diversity. “Ten years ago Core Technology was predominantly African American, now a large percent of our workforce is Hispanic and Asian,” Foster says a diverse workforce has always been his goal as he sees the value in the perspectives of people from different backgrounds and ways of life. “Different ideas, cultures and viewpoints – that’s our strength. For instance, we have a few employees from Laos, China and the Philippines; they’re always teaching me new things and I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years. Our diversification in all areas has made our growth possible.”
Foster also shared with Rep. Manning that his organization strives to create a more inclusive environment for women in STEM. He said his goal is to bring on female engineers and interns to help expand their opportunities. Foster gets 100 students annually as an adjunct professor; only about 3 are female. “We’re intentional about bringing more women on to intern in professional roles and letting them know there is a place for them to grow, contribute and thrive,” he said matter-of-factly.
During her visit, Rep. Manning was also interested in Core Technology’s non-profit “Molding Kids for Success,” which strives to educate the youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “This initiative allows us to educate kids about STEM that they wouldn’t necessarily get in a classroom or anywhere else,” Foster continued. “Last year ‘Molding Kids for Success’ had 50 kids but this year we’ve had 400 students come through on tours and camps. We have kids from Raleigh and South Carolina come through. Rep. Manning was delighted to hear about our progress with the program.”
Core Technology HighlightsAnother thing Foster noticed was Rep. Manning’s eagerness to learn and know about Core Technology. Foster said many politicians will read about manufacturing and use buzzwords fed to them by their supporting staff. Still, Rep. Manning communicated and comprehended in a way that Foster hadn’t seen from a politician before. “She’s from a manufacturing family based in Detroit. Her father worked for Ford for 30+ years and you could tell she understood manufacturing. I could talk to her more about capacity and floor space than with any other politician I’ve met,” Foster said.
What local, state and federal politicians can do to help manufacturers like Core Technology? Foster says one word, “Visit. Only when they’re at ground level can they truly understand our needs by asking questions and walking the floor.” Foster says politicians being genuinely aware of the state of manufacturing and its operations means the world to manufacturing owners like himself. “If a politician is knowledgeable about manufacturing that means they’re able to support policy that not only helps manufacturers but strengthens the lives of those in our workforce and the communities we’re in,” Foster continued. “My wish is that as we grow as an organization, we get more opportunities to have various politicians stop by or visit them. When we have groundbreakings and open houses, invite representatives to see our improvements. We’re re-shoring and bringing jobs here from Asia and keeping them here. That’s something to be excited about.”