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December 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


Make striving for better manufacturing one of your New Year’s resolutions. Start off the New Year with a ticket to the premier manufacturing conference, MFGCON! Join the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) and Business NC for MFGCON on March 24-25, 2022 in Durham at the Durham Convention Center for two days of influential networking and knowledge-sharing. Register Today »

Are you or do you know a manufacturer who demonstrates excellence? The deadline to submit a 2021 NCMEP Leadership In Manufacturing Awards nomination is Tuesday, February 1, 2022. Manufacturers are invited to self-nominate. The winners will be announced at MFGCON in March.

NCMEP Success Story: MEMS Manufacturer Taps NCMEP Partner for Internal Auditing Support

North Carolina Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) manufacturer, MEMSCAP, talks about their collaboration with NC State IES to renew their ISO 9001 certification in the latest NCMEP success story. Read Full Story »


IES Offering New Introduction to OSHA for Small Businesses Course

IES is offering a new OSHA course entitled, “OSHA #7510 Introduction to OSHA for Small Businesses” starting on February 24, 2022. This course covers an introduction to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the OSH Act for owners and managers of small businesses.

Learn More »


Made in North Carolina Gift Guide

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays, and it’s a thrill to see Made in America gift guides making the rounds. I have seen at least three in the last few weeks. I would be remiss if I did not highlight a list of gift ideas that are made in North Carolina. Take a look at the list below and become inspired. Maybe you can find a gift for everyone on your “Nice” list this year.

Read More »


First Flight Venture Receives ECOSYSTEM Grant

North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership partner, First Flight Venture has received one of NC IDEA’s ECOSYSTEM grants. The grant program implemented by NC IDEA required at least two organizations within a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to collaborate on a program supporting entrepreneurs that were building scalable businesses, with a goal of spurring and strengthening collaboration and resource sharing within regions across the state.

Read More »

Clocking In Podcast: Economic Check-Up With Dr. Walden

In the latest episode of Clocking In, Phil Mintz sits down with economist Dr. Michael Walden. They discuss where the NC and US economy stands today. Also, about how different factors including the continued global uncertainty of the virus may continue to have an impact for several months to come and more.

Listen Now »

AFFOA, Partners Hold Convening on Workforce Development Study

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) and some of its partners—including NC State, the Manufacturing & Textile Innovation Network (MTIN) and RTI International—held the first of two textile manufacturing convenings on November 9 on the Textile Technology Center’s Kimbrell Campus. The event, which focused on technology and innovation, is part of a workforce development study to determine the level of readiness N.C. textile manufacturers have to meet current and future workforce development needs.

Read More »

Rural Works! Internship Program

The Rural Works! internship program supports NC State’s commitment to social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina by offering an engaging internship experience for high-caliber students who work with employers to achieve their workplace goals in rural counties.

Rural Works! welcomes private, public, government, and non-profit organizations in rural communities to host an intern for summer 2022.  Contact your local regional manager for more information on how to get started »

Rural Resiliency

The NC Rural Center, an organization whose mission is to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians, has released its 2021 NC Rural Center Impact Report.

View the Report »

NCMEP Spotlight: Claire Pickrell 

The NCMEP spotlight is a new feature interview created to highlight the lives of NCMEP employees.

Management systems and quality improvement specialist, Claire Pickrell is an integral part of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership and NC State Industry Expansion Solutions team. She has used her over 25 years of engineering and manufacturing experience to provide implementation, facilitation and training for core quality management systems and tools including problem-solving methodologies to organizations across North Carolina.

Read more about Claire »


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

Featured Courses

OSHA #7845 Recordkeeping Rule Seminar
January 13, 2022 | Virtual 

This course is designed to assist employers in identifying and fulfilling their responsibilities for posting certain records, maintaining records of illnesses and injuries and reporting specific cases to OSHA. This course is recommended for small business owners and leaders, personnel responsible for safety and OSHA recordkeeping, and Human Resources professionals responsible for OSHA recordkeeping.


OSHA #7510 Introduction to OSHA for Small Businesses
February 24, 2022 | Virtual 

This course covers an introduction to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the OSH Act for owners and managers of small businesses. This course is designed for the owners and managers of small employers and businesses who are responsible for developing safety plans and procedures.


Upcoming Courses

OSHA #503 Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers
January 12-14, 2022 | February 15-17, 2022 | Virtual


OSHA #7105 Evacuation and Emergency Planning
January 20, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #7500 Introduction to Safety and Health Management
January 27, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #7210 Pandemic Illness and Workplace Preparedness
February 3, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #7120 Introduction to Combustible Dust Hazards
February 10, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #7205 Health Hazard Awareness
February 16, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #7505 Introduction to Incident Investigation
February 17, 2022 | Virtual 


OSHA #511 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry
February 22-25, 2022 | Raleigh, NC



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