Manufactured In North Carolina Enrolls Its 100th Company

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Manufactured in NC, a project between NC State University IES and the Catawba County EDC, offers free micro-sites to NC manufacturers to enhance their ability to be found in the marketplace.

In an era of i-this and e-that, companies without a web presence may as well be invisible.

“The first 100 are the hardest.”

Nathan Huret, Existing Industry Coordinator for the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) (http://www.catawbaedc.org) in Hickory, North Carolina studied his list of manufacturers again. “100, exactly!” he exclaimed, the pride rising in his voice. 100 subscribers was the first major milestone for Manufactured in North Carolina (http://www.ManufacturedNC.com), an optimized, online directory of North Carolina’s world-class manufacturers.

“We have manufacturers of every type in this state, with the capabilities to manufacture for any industry, to any tolerances, both here or abroad,” said Huret. “But the competition to ‘be found’ is overwhelming and can be extremely expensive, especially for smaller manufacturers. The concept behind Manufactured in North Carolina was to pull our collective resources and jointly establish a foothold in the manufacturing marketplace, when few individual companies can.”

Statistics prove Huret’s assertion to be correct. 70 percent of North Carolina’s small, rural manufacturers have no web presence. The fact that 35 percent of all manufacturing orders are made via Internet further exacerbates the situation. In an era of i-this and e-that, companies without a web presence may as well be invisible.

Formed by a partnership of CCEDC, three other North Carolina counties, the NC State University Industrial Extension Service (http://www.ies.ncsu.edu) and funded by the North Carolina Rural Center, the Manufactured in North Carolina website “hosts” a webpage for every North Carolina manufacturer that subscribes – and it does so at absolutely no cost to the manufacturer. Each company’s individual webpage is a quick snapshot of their manufacturing abilities, current customer industries, on down to specifics like brand names and lists of manufacturing equipment.

“The company’s webpage really becomes the means to be showcased across the street, the country and even the world,” exclaimed Huret, “because at the same time we are spending a significant amount of marketing dollars on behalf of these companies,” Huret interjected. “Exposure to a worldwide audience and you do not owe us a dime, just the 5-10 minutes to enroll. I am not sure a deal gets any better than that”.

Huret gazes at his computer screen. The past few months have been busy. “Please be sure that your readers know that the entire directory listing is free!” He types a bit on his keyboard.

Suddenly, “101!” he shouts.

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Nathan Huret, Existing Industry Coordinator

KeAnne Hoeg
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