High Point furniture manufacturer, Custom Contract Furnishings, pivots to making gowns to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Custom Contract Furnishings

According to AARP, the leisure and hospitality industry was the hardest hit by the pandemic.  Our guest, whose business has been focused on supplying a booming hospitality industry, saw three months’ worth of orders dry up—virtually—overnight in March 2020. In this episode, we speak with a leader from Custom Contract Furnishings about how they discovered how to utilize their talents and technology to create a competitive protective gown solution for the healthcare industry.

Custom Contract Furnishings is a furniture manufacturer located in High Point, North Carolina. Established in 1989, the organization makes high-quality upholstered seating for the hospitality, healthcare and senior living industries. Custom Contract Furnishings has been featured in national publications such as Network of Executive Women in Hospitality magazine, Hospitality Design magazine and Boutique Design magazine.

Phil Mintz speaks with the vice president of Custom Contract Furnishings, Chris Morris. Chris has worked many years in the hospitality furniture industry and previously worked for a furniture company in Oakland, California as the director of contract furnishing sales. Chris is a locally grown leader who attended Guilford Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

In this episode, we discuss how Custom Contract Furnishings has been affected by the pandemic, views of the furniture business, the organization’s pivot to making personal protective equipment (PPE), what the future looks like for the organization and more.

LINKS
NCMEP

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Chris Morris
Chris Morris is the vice-president of sales at Custom Contract Furnishings in High Point, NC. Chis has worked many years in the hospitality furniture industry and previously worked for a furniture company in Oakland, California as the director of contract furnishing sales. Chris attended Guilford Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

Spindale North Carolina tissue manufacturer, Cardinal Tissue, works overtime to aid the tissue shortage.

Cardinal Tissue

The pandemic caused a sudden surge in hoarding. As a result of people buying tissue in bulk and manufacturers not being able to keep up with the demand, toilet paper became one of the many products that was hard to find during the pandemic. Today I’m talking to a North Carolina tissue manufacturer that rose to the challenge to get tissue back on grocery store shelves.

Founded in 2018, Cardinal Tissue is a specialized contract tissue manufacturer located in Spindale, North Carolina. The organization specializes in providing tissue suppliers with solutions for contract converting, training and supply chain optimization.

In this installment of Clocking In, I speak with the owner and president of Cardinal Tissue, Vince Reese. Vince has been in the tissue-making business for over 25 years and has previously worked as an executive for another North Carolina tissue company.

In this episode, we discuss how Cardinal Tissue came to be, how the organization has worked to get tissue back into stores, the reason behind the shortage and decreased tissue shortage and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Cardinal Tissue

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Vince Reese
Vince Reese is the founder and president of Cardinal Tissue. Vince has been in the tissue-making business for over 25 years and has previously worked as an executive for another North Carolina tissue company.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

A distillery in Statesville, NC, uses their equipment to produce highly sought-after hand sanitizer.

Southern Distilling Company

Baking flour, paper towels, bicycles and canning jars. What do all these things have in common? They were all scarce at one point during the pandemic. Another item that was really hard to find on market shelves early in the pandemic and came recommended as a means to slow down the spread of COVID-19 was hand sanitizer. In this interview, I talk to one of the hundreds of distilleries who answered the call to assist with the extreme hand sanitizer shortage of 2020.

Founded in 2013, the Southern Distilling Company is an award-winning distillery located in Statesville, NC. Their product line, Southern Star, was awarded thirteen medals in their first year of production by prestigious international spirits competitions. The company supports farms in their community by making their bourbon, rye whiskey and liqueurs with locally-sourced grain.

In this installment of Clocking In, I speak with the co-owner of Southern Distilling Company, Vienna Barger. Vienna has over 20 years of experience working in the health field. Vienna holds a bachelor’s in child development and family studies from Humboldt State University and a master’s in social work and master's of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.

In this episode, we discuss how Southern Distilling Company came to be, the legislative obstacles in place throughout the country concerning the production and distribution of liquors, why they began producing hand sanitizer to combat the spread of COVID-19 and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Southern Distilling Company

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Vienna Barger
Vienna Barger is the co-owner of Southern Distilling Company. Before founding the company in 2013 with her husband Pete Barger, Vienna has over 20 years of experience working in the health field. Vienna holds a bachelor’s in child development and family studies from Humboldt State University and a master’s in social work and master's of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

 

NCMEP Partner, UNC Charlotte Industrial Solutions Lab, collaborates with North Carolina industries to develop solutions

UNC Charlotte Industrial Solutions Lab

No one likes to waste time, especially manufacturers. If there is a more efficient and faster way to conduct operations, manufacturers want in. This is why the Industrial Solutions Lab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) works hand-in-hand with NC manufacturers to create processes that make them more productive.

The UNC Charlotte Industrial Solutions Lab is one of the nine partners that make up the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). The Industrial Solutions Lab is an extension of the UNC Charlotte Lee College of Engineering which is designed to provide low-cost innovative solutions for North Carolina industries through advanced facilities, technical expertise, senior and graduate student educational projects, research and development and consulting with faculty.

In this installment of Clocking In, I speak with Industrial Solutions Lab director, Jim Hartman. Jim has been with UNC Charlotte since 2017, has more than 20 years in technical businesses across multiple industries and has a background in marketing and business development. Jim has a Bachelor's degree in engineering from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.

In this episode, we discuss the services Industrial Solutions Lab provides, the job responsibilities of Industrial Solutions Lab director, Jim Hartman, how North Carolina organizations have benefited from working with UNC Charlotte engineering students and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
UNC Charlotte Industrial Solution Lab

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Jim Hartman
Jim Hartman is the director of the UNC Charlotte Industrial Solutions Lab. Jim has been with UNC Charlotte since 2017 and has more than 20 years in technical businesses across multiple industries. Jim has a Bachelor's degree in engineering from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

December 8, 2020

E-16: Precision Prototyping

Durham-based NCMEP partner, Hangar6, is working to assist North Carolina manufacturing in achieving their product design goals.

Hangar6

Imagine you manufacture a product advertised to help install doorknobs. Customers order the product, but there’s a major problem. It doesn’t work. Embarrassingly, you recall the product and your organization’s customer loyalty suffers. You do a deep dive and track all your product’s defects back to the fact you missed steps in the prototyping and testing process. This is why prototyping is so important. Proof that a product works as intended in the form of a prototype is the foundation of every successful product. Today, we’re talking to an organization that helps inventors get their designs off of the napkin and onto the assembly line.

Hangar6, a First Flight Venture Center program and NCMEP partner, is the Research Triangle region’s premier prototyping and design assistance space for technology-based companies. Hangar6 enables designing, building and modeling product prototypes using tools, such as 3D scanners, CO2 lasers, metal fiber lasers, CNC mill, 3D printers and more. Hangar6’s partnership with NCMEP provides North Carolina manufacturers access to Hangar6’s additive manufacturing machines with various design capabilities.

In this installment of Clocking In, I speak with Hangar6 shop manager, Sam Dirani. Sam manages the day-to-day operations, equipment at Hangar6. He also trains and works directly with all members to help ensure their project success. In the latter part of the episode, we talk to the program manager, Emil Runge from Hangar6’s parent company, First Flight Venture Center.

In this episode, we discuss the services and technologies Hangar6 provides, what to expect when working with Hangar6, the steps it takes to create a prototype, First Flight Venture grant initiatives and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Hangar6
First Flight Venture Center

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Sam Dirani
Sam Dirani has been the shop manager at Hangar6 since 2017. He has previously worked as a structural designer and lead fabricator in the industrial design industry. In 2008, Sam created a non-profit children’s science program, Light Up Education LLC, the program has reached 3000+ kids in four states.  Sam graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Biological Science and a Masters in Industrial Design.

Emil Runge
Emil Runge is a program manager at First Flight Venture Center. He has consulted, advised and assisted elected and appointed officials in capacities at the federal, state and local level for nearly 20 years. Emil graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

Dr. Michael Walden, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and extension economist, discusses how the economy and jobs have been affected by the pandemic.

Dr. Michael Walden

The pandemic has done a number on our economy. The shut down necessary to stem the spread of COVID-19 caused the economy to recede and led to massive layoffs. To dissect the status of the economy, the manufacturing industry and the possible track to recovery, we're talking to someone we had on the podcast a year ago under different circumstances—economist Dr. Michael Walden.

Dr. Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and extension economist at North Carolina State University. Dr. Walden’s role at NC State is composed of teaching, research and extension responsibilities in consumer economics, economic outlook and public policy. He’s an accomplished author who has published eleven books and over 300 articles and reports.

In this episode, we discuss how the pandemic has affected our economy and North Carolina manufacturing, our economic recovery outlook, the positives and negatives of the US trade deals, Dr. Walden’s new publications and more.

LINKS

Michael Walden
NCMEP
IES

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Dr. Michael Walden
Dr. Michael Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and extension economist at North Carolina State University and a member of the graduate economics faculty with The Poole College of Management. His Ph.D. degree is from Cornell University and has been at N.C. State since 1978. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Duke University. He has served on several local and state level commissions. He currently teaches ARE 201 Introduction to Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

Mooresville, North Carolina manufacturer, Roush Yates, continuously strives for the competitive advantage.

Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions

Automotive racing is a lot like manufacturing. The team with the best crew, finest parts and most skilled driver often has a competitive advantage. Just like the manufacturer with the best workforce, equipment and leadership has a one-up on their competition. No one knows this better than a manufacturing company that was created to initially support a world-class race engine company that would compete at the highest levels of the motorsports industry, Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions.

In this installment of Clocking In, I sit down with Bob Ucman, director of business development at Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions. Bob is responsible for keeping Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions competitive by expanding their reach into various industries. He has over 20 years of manufacturing experience.

Out of the passion for power and performance excellence, Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions was formed. This unit provides world-class CNC machining of complex parts for critical applications into the aerospace, defense, automotive and other high-tech industries. The company is located in Mooresville, North Carolina. It also delivers expertise in multi-axis and waterjet processing of metal and plastic parts with complex geometries.

In this episode, we discuss how the pandemic has affected the work Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions does, how Bob Ucman came to work in the manufacturing industry, how Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions grew from support Roush Yates Engines to become a manufacturing powerhouse of its own and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Bob Ucman
Bob Ucman is the director of business development at Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions with over 20 years of manufacturing experience. He previously served as a technical sales specialist, application specialist and division manager for several different manufacturing organizations. Bob graduated from Valparaiso University with a BA in Recreation Land Use Planning.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

Raleigh-based electronic switch manufacturer, Electroswitch Electronic Products, strives for quality and innovation.

Electroswitch Electronic Products

In business, flexibility is a strength, especially in times of uncertainty. The range of standard and custom products our next guest can design and produce has helped his company find their way through the pandemic. We talk with a manufacturer who takes pride in its product line’s versatility and quality.

In this installment of Clocking In, I sit down with Kyle Martin, the vice president and general manager of Electroswitch Electronic Products. Kyle’s experience covers a broad range of industries with concentrations in design, manufacturing and continuous improvement. Kyle has previously held leadership positions with Bob Barker Company, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Americal Corporation, Chesapeake Display and Packaging, International Jensen/Jensen Sound Labs, and United Technologies. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University Technologies. Kyle serves as the Advisory Board Chair of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

The Electronic Products Unit of Electro Switch Corp is recognized for quality and best-in-class lead-times for their industry-leading switch brands including Stackpole, Shallcross, CRL/Centralab, Eaton Miniature, ASM, OakGrigsby, Gaynor and CW Industries.

In this episode, we discuss how the pandemic has affected the production at Electroswitch Electronic Products, the variety of their products, the importance of electrical switches and how Kyle’s background has prepared him for the leadership role at Electroswitch and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Industry Expansion Solutions (IES)
Electroswitch Electronic Products

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Kyle Martin
Kyle Martin is the vice president and general manager of Electroswitch Electronic Products in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kyle previously held leadership positions with Bob Barker Company, Goodyear Tire &Rubber just to name a few.  Kyle serves as the Advisory Board Chair of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

The award-winning injection molding manufacturer in Greensboro, NC, Core Technology, continues to expand despite the pandemic.

Core Technology Molding Corporation

The pandemic has brought an abrupt end to the last 10 years of business and economic growth in the United States, resulting in many manufacturers suffering short and long-term damage. In spite of the situation, we talk with a North Carolina manufacturer that has found opportunities in the face of this adversity.

In this segment of Clocking In, I sit down with Geoff Foster, CEO, president and founder of Core Technology Molding Corporation. Foster has been involved in the manufacturing industry for over 25 years. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Applied Engineering Technology from North Carolina A & T State University. He later went on to be awarded the US Patent # 6,024,591 for a Sealed Electric Connector for Ford Motor Company while working for AMP Corporation in Greensboro. Geoff founded Core Technology Molding Corporation in 2006 and has since turned it into a highly recognized growth company winning many awards including the 2015 and 2018 North Carolina M/WBE Outstanding Achievement Awards and the 2017 BMW Minority Success Story of the Year. In 2019, Foster was named the Greensboro Entrepreneur of the Year.

The company, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, manufactures injection molding solutions for its customers across 150 countries in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer goods, gaming, medical device and outdoor lawn equipment industries.

In this episode, we discuss the founding of Core Technology, how the company has found a way to expand in spite of the pandemic, how the company’s supply chain has been affected by the pandemic, how Foster, being an adjunct professor at NC A & T State University, has given his organization a pipeline to talented, young professionals and more.

LINKS
NCMEP
Core Technology Molding Corporation

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster is the President and CEO of Core Technology Molding Corporation and founded the company in 2006. Geoff earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Applied Engineering Technology from North Carolina A & T State University. He was employed as an Engineer with AMP Inc. and Tyco Electronics in roles of Quality Engineering, Product Engineering, Product Manager and Global Product Management. He was awarded US Patent 6,024,591 for a Sealed Electric Connector for Ford Motor Company. Foster went on to complete his MBA at Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Business in May 2001.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

In this episode, we talk to someone whose mission it is to help create jobs for North Carolina.

NC State’s Office of External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development

Jobs are the foundation of any thriving economy. When people have jobs, they get paid. When they get paid, they spend money. When they spend money, it bolsters the economy. This is precisely why organizations like NC State’s Office of External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development (EAPED) are so vital.

EAPED is instrumental in positioning the university as one of the top public research universities in the state as well as across the country. Their strategic focus towards building and managing relationships and economic partnerships enhances local and global engagement, resulting in new jobs and investment for the state of North Carolina. The group works with a variety of internal and external constituencies to advocate for NC State in achieving its three-tiered mission of teaching, research and extension and engagement.

Specifically, the Economic Development Partnership works across the state to attract new businesses and industries to North Carolina. Director Tom White is instrumental in helping recruit companies to the state while providing real-world opportunities for students and faculty. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the group brought $1.35 billion in capital investment to North Carolina and helped create 5305 jobs.

In this interview, I sit down with Tom who has been in the commerce industry for over 30 years. Tom has been the director of NC State’s Economic Development Partnership since 2008. He’s previously worked as Department of Commerce, Employment and Training Division and Vice President and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

In this episode, Tom explains goals of the Economic Development Partnership, his role, how his mentors shaped who he is today and how the pandemic is affecting economic development in North Carolina.

LINKS
NCMEP
North Carolina State External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development

ABOUT

Phil Mintz
Phil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.

Tom White
Tom White has been the director of NC State’s Economic Development Partnership since 2008. He has a long history of working in commerce, serving as director of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Employment and Training Division and Vice President and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. White graduated from Duke University with an English degree and later earned his Master’s degree in Public Affairs from North Carolina State University.

Tom White also serves on a variety of boards focused on economic development across North Carolina, including Coalition for Global Competitiveness; Kenan Fellows Advisory Council; Capital Area Workforce Development; UNC System Economic Transformation Council; NC Japan Center; LC Industries for the Blind; Triangle J Council of Governments; Wake County Economic Development; NC Defense Industry; Boundless Impact Community Development and the Institute for Emerging Issues.

Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

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