On June 17th, 180 planners and manufacturing innovators from across the state gathered in Greensboro to learn more about the emerging trends associated with small scale manufacturing. The session served as the kick-off event for NCAPA’s 2015 Planning for Prosperity initiative.
Following a welcome from NCAPA President John Morck, the day-long session featured nationally recognized small scale manufacturing expert Ilana Preuss of Recast City. Ms. Preuss shared a national perspective on the changing nature of manufacturing, and examples of successful strategies cities are using to support the new production economy. The presentation highlighted the importance of integrating local policies and programs to focus on housing, workforce development and economic development in a cohesive manner.
Best-selling author Beth Macy provided the lunch keynote about her book, Factory Man. Her presentation focused on the real life characters that influenced the writing of the book and the long-lasting community impacts that off-shoring has had in southern Virginia that resonated with many participants facing some of the same challenges in North Carolina.
Panel sessions focused on the support system of programs and spaces and a group of small manufacturers. Panelists addressed their experiences, barriers they encountered, and shared ways the planning community can play a positive role in supporting smaller scale manufacturing, and what they need planners to know about the changing nature of work spaces.
The day wrapped up with a cross-section of planning directors from the Piedmont region reflecting on what they heard over the course of the day, and how they are positioning their communities to prepare for this shift in manufacturing.
Thank you to Action Greensboro, Piedmont Together, and the City of Greensboro Planning Department for making the day a success.
Did you attend? What was your biggest take away? Share your comments below!