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September 30, 2014


For additional information:  Pat Kahle, 704-289-4567

Is it obvious that we are excited about manufacturing in Union County? September 29 thru October 3, 2014 was Manufacturing Awareness week in Union County.  Manufacturing is alive and well in Union County! Union County boasts more than 150 manufacturers making everything from appetizers, belts and chemicals to xylophones, yarn and zinc … ABC to XYZ … you can find it all being manufactured right here.


The week was sponsored by Make It in Union County, an initiative birthed by Monroe Union County Economic Development and now housed at the Union County Chamber of Commerce. It is for manufacturers, by manufacturers and about manufacturing. The mission is to elevate local awareness of manufacturing in Union County. A primary goal is to make sure every student, parent and resident knows that modern manufacturing is not “your grandfathers manufacturing.” We are less about the manufacturing revolution and all about manufacturing EVOLUTION. Manufacturing is not just a good job, it is a GREAT LIFE.


This week began with a media blitz. Press and social media lit up the week talking about Manufacturing Awareness.  Four companies, Goulston Technologies, Inc., Greiner Bio-One, QEMS and Safran Turbomeca,  hosted open houses on Tuesday and Wednesday. They invited students, parents, educators and the general public to enter their facilities and learn about what they make. More than 500 people participated in the open house events.


On Thursday, a Manufacturing Showcase was held at SPCC. More than 450 people attended this event where over twenty Union County manufacturers displayed their products and talked with visitors about what they do.  Attendees left with a much greater understanding of manufacturing in Union County and few goodies and trinkets as well.


Pat Kahle, President of the Union County Chamber of commerce commented, “Union County is fortunate to have a robust and diverse manufacturing community.  The Chamber of Commerce with the help of our community partners, Union County Public Schools, South Piedmont Community College, and Monroe-Union County Economic Development, and many volunteer manufacturers, worked together to increase the community’s awareness of the benefits of manufacturing.”


The weeklong celebration ended on Friday, October 3, also recognized as Manufacturing Day nationwide, with a breakfast recognizing the impact manufacturing has in Union County. Proclamations recognizing September 29 thru October 3 as Manufacturing Awareness Week were made by Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore and Commissioner Frank Aikmus, Chair of the Union County board of Commissioners. The keynote address was given by A.J. Jorgensen, the Director of Communications at The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).


Make It in Union County chairman Fred Edwards (President & COO of Goulston Technologies, Inc.) summed up the weeks activities by saying, “This has been a remarkable week for manufacturing. To have almost 1,000 people visit our facilities and the showcase indicates that people are interested in what we make here in Union County. And the level of participation by our manufacturers confirms their commitment and investment in Union County.”


Manufacturing Awareness Week Partners


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