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April 2021


The Manufacturing Update is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter from Industry Expansion Solutions with up-to-date manufacturing news. Below you can view past issues.

Lead Stories

Save The Date: MFGCON 2021

Join the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) for its annual manufacturing conference, MFGCON, on November 3–4, 2021 at the Durham Convention Center. Come network and learn from industry experts across the four manufacturing tracks of workforce excellence, operational excellence, leadership and culture and technology, innovation and strategic growth.

Subscribe to the MFGCON mail list to receive updates on registration, breakout sessions and more »


NCMEP Supplier Scouting

NCMEP administers the national NIST MEP Supplier Scouting service to assist North Carolina’s small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in helping to find vendors who can provide parts and products to rebuild the backbone of U.S and North Carolina supply chains. As a member of the MEP National Network, NCMEP has extensive relationships with manufacturers across the U.S. who can meet your organization’s needs.

Contact NCMEP and get started on your supplier scouting today »


Critical Manufacturing Sector Security Roundtable

Join the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Critical Manufacturing Sector on April 14 at 1 p.m EST for the Critical Manufacturing Sector Security Roundtable virtual webinar. The round table will address cybersecurity risks, natural hazards, the effects of local disasters and physical security of supply chains.

Register Here »


NCMEP Grant Supports Small Business Senior Design Projects at UNC Charlotte

A funding agreement with NCMEP has helped UNC Charlotte extend the Industrial Solution Lab’s Senior Design program. The Senior Design program is an initiative that allows engineering students to participate in research projects and assist manufacturers across North Carolina.

Read More »


New! NC State College of Engineering Launches Master of Engineering Management Program

Engineering Management is a specialized kind of management needed to successfully lead engineering in manufacturing and other technical employees and organizations. It brings together the problem-solving skills of engineering and the administrative and planning abilities of management. The degree has seven concentration areas including supply chain, analytics and entrepreneurship and is available on campus and online.

Read More »

Seeking Speakers for MFGCON 2021

Are you a manufacturer who wants to share your expertise, insights and best practices with peers? NCMEP is searching for manufacturers to speak at the annual MFGCON on November 3–4, 2021 at the Durham Convention Center. Our four available speaking topics are workforce excellence, operational excellence, leadership and culture and technology, innovation and strategic growth. Don’t wait! The call for speakers closes on May 28, 2021.

Apply Now »


Grant Funded Services Available for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Through the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funding, NCMEP has launched the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to provide grant-funded services that support manufacturers’ ability to respond to the coronavirus and improve their competitiveness as the market adapts to the disruption. 

To determine your eligibility for the funding, the first step is to complete the NCMEP EAP survey. This survey confidentially assesses the impacts of COVID-19 on your business and serves as input for future NCMEP grant needs or new services that may be developed across the MEP National Network. Taking the survey will help us identify those who may qualify for CARES assistance.

Once you complete the survey, an IES Regional Manager in your area will contact you. 

Take the Survey and Get Started

NCAfE Accepting Applications

The North Carolina Awards for Excellence (NCAfE) is partnering with the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence to provide examiner training. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the registration deadline has changed to May 31, 2021. Training will be held both in-person (if appropriate) and virtually, with more details to come.

Learn more about how to apply »


New Episode of Clocking In

In the latest episode of Clocking In, Phil Mintz sits down with Vince Reese, the founder and president of Cardinal Tissue, a Spindale, North Carolina paper towel and tissue manufacturer. Phil and Vince discuss how Cardinal Tissue came to be, how the organization has worked to get tissue back into stores, the reason behind the shortages and more.

Listen Now »



We engineer success for manufacturing businesses one solution at a time by understanding our clients’ needs and then crafting meaningful and sustainable solutions to address their business requirements. Through our tailored programs and research-based, time-tested methodologies, we provide solutions to assist in strategic direction, improve performance and processes and address top line growth. We collaborate with clients to develop and implement comprehensive services and solutions across:

Upcoming Courses

Innovation Management Workshop

April 13 | Virtual 


ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Training

April 20–21 | Virtual


ISO 45001 Internal Auditor Training

April 28–29 | Virtual 


ISO 45001:2018 Overview

April 28 | Virtual


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