By Hickory Daily Record
This article was published in the Hickory Daily Record May 1, 2021. We are sharing because many U.S. manufacturers and SPESA members have expressed interest in the North Carolina-based Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC). MSC provides research and resources to help US manufacturers increase sales, improve quality, and improve efficiency to create or retain jobs.
Site work has begun for a new Manufacturing Solutions Center building that will allow the center to expand and add new capabilities for testing personal protective equipment.
Some dirt has already been turned at the site and leaders from the city of Conover and Catawba County gathered at the Norman B. Coley Amphitheater Friday to celebrate the groundbreaking.
The new building is made possible by $9 million in federal COVID-19 funding appropriated by the state last September as part of the PPE Initiative, which also includes collaboration with Gaston College and other public and private partners.
The initiative’s purpose is to help support domestic manufacturing of protective equipment, which is now largely done overseas.
Jodi Geis, the director of the center, and Tony Whitener, the center’s special projects director, said one of the major problems is that it can take from a few months to a year to do the testing for the products, a situation which makes it difficult to turn products quickly.
The center will expedite that process.
The new labs for testing the protective equipment will actually be located in the existing center, which will be upgraded to meet the requirements for testing.
Meanwhile, the new building will be