verb: to make, produce, mass-produce, build, construct, assemble, put together, create, fabricate, turn out, process, or engineer (something) on a large scale using machinery (see: ambiguous…)
As has become our annual custom, the Capital at Play Local Industry report for the January issue is a list of manufacturers that exist in our 18 counties of Western North Carolina. It has turned out to be a valuable resource, to say the least. As we have previously noted, “There are many organizations providing useful lists, either as a public service (as the many we spoke with do) or for sale. We found that while these lists are relatively accurate at a local level, there were more discrepancies as the area of interest becomes larger.” So the idea was to: (a) independently verify, through good old-fashioned research, as much of the information as possible that was supplied to us; (b) subsequently compile a comprehensive master list, broken down by county, with the names of regional manufacturers along with the type(s) of products they create; and (c) additionally maintain it as an online database that could be updated throughout the year.
But what, exactly, is “manufacturing”? No doubt the term instantly brings to mind a sprawling factory floor, machines lining the sides and aisles, and sweat-drenched employees manning those machines and operating forklifts to move the goods being produced from one end of the room to the other.
To a degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and the North American Industry Classification System) similarly describes the Manufacturing sector: “Establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. Establishments in the Manufacturing sector are often described as plants, factories, or mills, and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment.” But the description then broadens to include “establishments that transform materials or substances into new products by hand or in the worker’s home, and those engaged in selling to the general public products made on the same premises from which they are sold, such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors, may also be included in this sector. Manufacturing establishments may process materials or may contract with other establishments to process their materials for them. Both types of establishments are included in manufacturing.”
So there does remain a degree of ambiguity in any such investigation—for example, for our purposes, breweries, wineries, and distilleries are also considered manufacturers—and your comments and corrections since our list was originally published have been greatly appreciated. To view the online version, go to CapitalatPlay.com/resources. If you see a listing for a company that has closed, or know of something we’ve overlooked, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We value your opinion. (List compiled for Capital at Play by Jennifer Fitzgerald.)
Click On the Fullscreen Icon Below to Access the Complete List of Manufacturers in Western North Carolina, as Well as Charts Detailing the Steady Rise of Manufacturing in the Region Over the Past Decade. To view our 2018 master list (which we update at various times during the year) and previous years’ lists, go to our “Resources” page of maps, charts, and lists and click on the list you want to access.
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