RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — On Friday, October 2, Spoonflower, a world leader in on-demand digital printing of custom fabric, will host an event at its Durham headquarters celebrating Manufacturing Day, also known as MFG Day, an annual, national recognition of the industry.
“As a successful startup, Spoonflower represents the intersection of North Carolina’s new technology economy and its rich history in textile manufacturing,” notes Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser. “A digital manufacturing process allows us to produce all our products on demand, with far less waste than is typical of traditional textile manufacturing. The Spoonflower website has given creative individuals all over the world the power to harness this on-demand technology to purchase unique fabrics with no minimum quantities.”
Multiple industry and university leaders are slated to speak or attend the event, including NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson; State President of North Carolina for Duke Energy David Fountain; Senior Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship Tom Miller; NC State University Vice Provost for Outreach & Engagement Dr. Terri Helmlinger Ratcliff; NC Chamber VP of Government Affairs Gary Salamido; NCMEP Director and IES Associate Director Phil Mintz and Spoonflower executives. Professors and students from the NC State College of Textiles are expected to attend, as well as students from area high schools.
“Manufacturing Day is an opportunity for students to experience modern manufacturing facilities firsthand,” says Helmlinger Ratcliff. “Companies like Spoonflower underscore the need for increasing diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in order to develop future workers who are adaptable, creative and have the ability to find solutions to challenges in the workplace.”
NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), a member of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP), is co-hosting the event, in addition to promoting other MFG Day activities statewide that highlight the impact of advanced manufacturing in North Carolina.
“Each year that IES has sponsored Manufacturing Day, we have watched opportunities for North Carolinians to learn about advanced manufacturing in their own backyards grow significantly,” says Mintz. “As a North Carolina success, Spoonflower clearly shows what’s possible in the bright future we see for the industry.”
Approximately 75 North Carolina manufacturers and organizations are hosting open houses and virtual events throughout the week. A list of participating locations may be found by visiting mfgday.com/events.
According to the NC Chamber, North Carolina ranks as the fifth largest manufacturing economy in the nation, and the largest in the Southeast. Manufacturing is the leading contributor to North Carolina’s GDP, and the sector employs almost 11 percent of the state’s total workforce. The average manufacturing salary in North Carolina is $66,630, and the need for highly trained, highly skilled workers continues to grow as advanced technologies become more widely adopted.
MFG Day was founded in 2012 by a national coalition including the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International; the National Association of Manufacturers; the Manufacturing Institute; and the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. MFG Day empowers manufacturers to join together to address their collective challenges so they can help communities and future generations thrive.
About NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES)
Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) is the engineering-based, solutions-driven, client-focused unit of NC State University. Its broad portfolio and deep industry expertise help organizations grow, innovate and prosper. Its extensive partnerships with business, industry, education and government generate a unique culture of collaboration that provides access to cutting-edge expertise, research, and technology.
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As the world’s first Internet-based service for creating custom fabric, Spoonflower has been featured on thousands of DIY blogs and in publications as diverse as Martha Stewart Living, BUST Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Making things with Spoonflower is also the subject of a new title from Abrams/STC Craft called “The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap with 30+ Projects.” Triangle Business Journal recently named Spoonflower one of the Best Places to Work, and the company ranked at #1009 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the US.
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