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Eight WNC Manufacturing Leaders Receive Leadership Awards

Eight Western North Carolina companies were recently recognized at the 2005 Manufacturing Leadership Awards. The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Industry Appreciation Event was presented by Mission Hospitals, and sponsored by the Manufacturers Executive Association, and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Companies honored were Assistive Technology Systems, Inc. (Waynesville,) BorgWarner Turbo Systems (Arden), Cardinal Health (Asheville), Eaton Electrical (Arden,) Plasticard-Locktech International (Asheville,) Silver-Line Plastics (Asheville), Superior Modular Products (Swannanoa), and Volvo Construction Equipment, N.A. (Asheville). Fourteen high performing teams from these companies won trophies, banners and scholarships for initiating and replicating best practices in Lean manufacturing.

The event also included Western Carolina University Engineering & Technology’s presentation of the first annual Innovative Process & Product Award to Embedded Processor Designs, Inc. (Fletcher). In addition to a trophy, banner and scholarship, the university will provide technical and marketing assistance to the company to advance its product launch.

The success of these winning firms demonstrates that, through human innovation and technological advances and by making use of outstanding local manufacturing support services, Western North Carolina manufacturers are world-class achievers.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the Chamber premiered “Made in the Mountains: Career Pathways to WNC Manufacturing,” a DVD produced by Asheville-based FastFWD Media Design, to encourage young people to pursue the education necessary for employment in advanced manufacturing. Participants in the event discussed best practices in depth and traded business leads at the “Best Practices Trade Show” which followed.

Additional sponsors of this event were Cogburn, Goosmann, Brazil & Rose, P.A., Roberts & Stevens, P.A., Van Winkle, Buck, Wall, Starnes, and Davis, P.A., FastFWD Media Design (gold level), the Renaissance Asheville Hotel (silver level), Allegra Print & Imaging, Progress Energy, and Tatum Partners, Financial & Information Technology Leadership (bronze level.) Scholarships for the employees or family members of winning firms were provided by Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Blue Ridge Community College, Mars Hill College Adult ACCESS Program, Montreat College School of Professional and Adult Studies, Haywood Community College, NC State’s Industrial Extension Service, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and Western Carolina University.

(Image provided by Mission Hospitals.)

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