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Press Releases

NAM Hails North Carolina Manufacturing on State of Manufacturing Tour

Tour Emphasized the Next Frontier of Manufacturing, Showcased the Industry’s Optimism and Underscored Need to Fill Manufacturing Skills Gap

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers today traveled to North Carolina to highlight the state’s manufacturing industry and its promising future as part of the fifth-annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour. During the visit, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee met with students, business leaders and local manufacturers to discuss the industry’s optimistic outlook for the future, manufacturing’s high-tech, innovative nature and the urgent need to recruit the next generation of creators and innovators.

We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, will boost wages and will help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

We should not fear the future. Powered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers in America are keeping our promise to invest in our people and our communities. Modern manufacturing is vital to the North Carolina economy, and we’re driving innovation in research, pharmaceuticals, automotive and more. We’re stronger than ever, and that means we need to hire more innovators and creators than ever. With 428,000 jobs open today and 4.6 million to fill over the next decade, manufacturers across America are saying ‘creators wanted.’

Timmons and Lee began the day at ABB in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a conversation with Alamance Community College students and ABB employees about the rewarding career opportunities in manufacturing. The NAM and ABB shared their efforts to help recruit and inspire the next generation of workers for the skilled jobs that new technologies are creating.

North Carolina’s business community, especially the manufacturing industry, is booming, and employers are looking to hire skilled employees and create new jobs, said David Johnson, president of Johnston Community College. In 2005, our business and industry leaders saw a need to attract and build a strong workforce, and they acted by creating the Johnston County Workforce Development Center. Because of the center, we are meeting the needs of our employers and retaining strong talent in our own community. We are proud to showcase our facility and our students on the NAM State of Manufacturing Tour 2019.

Following ABB, Timmons and Lee visited the Johnston Community College Workforce Development Center, which was formed by a unique partnership between Johnston Community College, the Johnston County Economic Development Office, the Johnston County government, Grifols and Novo Nordisk to help meet the significant talent needs of the bio-manufacturing industry. Timmons and Lee joined Johnston Community College President David Johnson for a tour of the Workforce Development Center and participated in a discussion with county leaders and students to determine the most impactful ways to attract new talent into the advanced manufacturing field.

Timmons and Lee also joined members of the NC Chamber for a productive conversation surrounding the business climate in North Carolina and across the country. To end the day, Timmons and Lee traveled to Protolabs to view its 3-D printing facility and to meet with employees.

Manufacturing is essential to the success of the North Carolina economy—and the entire U.S. economy, said Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Protolabs. And it’s not the industry it was 20 years ago, or even five years ago. It’s powered by new technology that is allowing us to do more, and it’s improving lives beyond our imagination. We need to inspire the next generation to continue this momentum.

For the past five years, the annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour has focused the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of the American economy, highlighting the more than 12.8 million men and women who are building our future and solving tomorrow’s challenges today. The tour has traveled the country, bringing policy discussions and conversations about the future of work in the manufacturing industry to shop floors, schools, economic clubs, television studios, the White House and more. At a time when the future of work is top of mind for workers and thought leaders alike, this year’s tour will spotlight the industry’s next frontier, while also focusing on manufacturing’s well-paying careers, the industry’s diverse workforce and the real-world solutions for manufacturing’s continued growth.

Members of the media interested in covering the tour should contact [email protected]. To learn more about the NAM State of Manufacturing Tour 2019, click here.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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