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Raleigh, North Carolina – An informative and engaging industry event focused on workforce solutions was held on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at the Catawba Valley Community College, co-hosted by Michael Mullins, Director of Defense Industry Initiatives at NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Tammy Everett, Executive Director of Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC). Presenters provided exciting new information and ideas for managing the labor shortage and were able to network and engage in question-and-answer sessions about resources available to the North Carolina manufacturing industry.

Many thanks to:

  • Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College, for hosting the event.
  • Denny Lewis, Business Development Manager, Military/Defense Industry Economic Development Partnership of NC who shared valuable resources for North Carolina manufacturers
  • Leressa Suber, Senior Evaluation Specialist, NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions, Jasmine Cox, Director of Textile Technology Programs & Business Innovations, Textile Technology Center at Gaston College and Melissa Sharp, Associate Director of Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, who shared the collaborative in-depth research study,  “RESHORING” A TALENT ECOSYSTEM IN NORTH CAROLINA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY: Establishing a Model for Workforce Development
  • Benjamin Edwards, Program Director, Department of Public Safety Work Release Program, who shared the resources for placing offenders within the work community to earn income for their families and build skills to use on release and help improve manufacturing labor options.
  • John H. Oswald, III, President/CEO of Mills Manufacturing, who shared the challenges and successes of integrating culture and community in the workplace to hire immigrants in his manufacturing facility, reducing workforce shortage.
  • Nathan Huret, Co-founder & Chief Engagement Officer of HKY4Vets, connecting Catawba County’s employers  to transitioning veteran and military spouse talent.
  • Jeffery Neuville, Director of the Manufacturing Solutions Center, who shared an overview of the product development, testing, and research resources available for the manufacturing industry.
  • Jennifer Jones, Chief Development Officer, Catawba Valley Community College, who hosted a tour of the Workforce Solutions Center following the presentation.

View a photo gallery of the event here.

NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions Defense Industry Initiatives division will present quarterly forums as outreach for the  Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP).

In September 2021, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation awarded North Carolina State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) one of the five grants under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP). The purpose of the DMCSP is to make long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, research and development in advanced textiles, and small business support to strengthen the national security innovation base. 

Over twenty leading organizations in government, academia, economic development, manufacturing and technology are collaborating to assist North Carolina manufacturers and entrepreneurs to develop new and improved defense technologies, advanced textiles and wearable device products. Industry experts advise program participants in 5 areas of new product and technology exploration:

  • Modernization & Manufacturing Innovation
  • Ideation & Product Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship & Commercialization
  • Workforce Development
  • Defense Manufacturing Advocacy & Outreach

NC DMCSP is seeking:

  • North Carolina innovators with relevant technology interested in exploring commercialization
  • North Carolina entrepreneurs seeking opportunity with relevant background
  • Established North Carolina manufacturers with R&D capability, looking for new advanced textiles or wearable technologies to develop new products
  • North Carolina manufacturers or entrepreneurs planning to enter the defense supply chain in advanced textiles or wearables, or bringing similar product manufacturing back to the United States from overseas

If you missed the event and would like more information and the resources that were shared during this event, please contact Michael Mullins at