FCEDC is proud to celebrate Friday, October 5th as National Manufacturing Day. Across the country, advances in modern manufacturing are being showcased to students, job seekers, and communities. This event is an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of how things are “Made in America,” and highlight the diverse careers and people that make up this important industry.
Not many know that for every manufacturing worker in the U.S., another four employees are hired in other sectors. This means that every $1.00 spent in manufacturing generates $1.89 in local economic development activity. Manufacturers also perform more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D), driving more innovation than any other industry.
In Cumberland County, these companies make up one of the largest sectors of our economy. They provide more than 6,200 jobs, representing over $371 million in earnings each year. Many of these positions are highly technical and require specialized skills and training. Careers in engineering, computer operations, robotics, maintenance, safety, human resources, management, and logistics are all found in today’s industrial operations. Our excellent educational partners offer programs that prepare students for opportunities in these fields.
Local firms vary in size and produce a wide range of products. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Plant has been a staple of our economy since 1969. Its 2,500 employees produce replacement and original equipment tires for vehicles across North America. The DAK Americas plant manufactures PET Resin, a main component of water bottles, peanut butter jars, and other food-grade plastics. Clear Path Recycling, LLC, a joint venture between DAK Americas and Shaw Industries Group, Inc., annually recycles 280 million pounds of these bottles into RPET Flake for polyester carpets.
Other businesses develop innovative solutions that fulfill specific needs for industrial and commercial operations. Headquartered in Downtown Fayetteville, U-TECK manufactures specialized products for the telecommunication, utility, municipal, and transportation industries.
Beyond providing jobs and investment, manufacturers regularly give back to our community through disaster relief and financial support of local, state, and national organizations. The Fayetteville Area Plant Managers Association annually supports the South-Central Chapter of Professional Engineers of North Carolina’s MATHCOUNTS competition, an enrichment program that prepares middle school students for engineering and technical professions.
For Manufacturing Day in our community, Restonic, a mattress and box spring manufacturer in Fayetteville, spoke to students at E. E. Smith High School. They discussed how to be prepared for future employment and the technical skills needed to succeed. While a full day of plant tours and events were in the works for today, Hurricane Florence had other plans.
On October 19th, Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) and FCEDC will be hosting a Manufacturing Information Day. Students will have the chance to tour FTCC’s campus and learn about careers in this industry. Manufacturers will also be on-hand to meet students and talk about their state-of-the-art operations. We look forward to planning more tours and events like this in the future. In the meantime, a wealth of resources is available at www.mfgday.com, including more facts about manufacturing in the U.S. and an interactive, augmented reality app.
FCEDC greatly appreciates the companies that develop, produce, and recycle products in Cumberland County. On National Manufacturing Day, we are proud to recognize them for their many economic and social impacts, felt across our community.