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Surveys Show NC State Provided $1 Billion in Value to NC Manufacturers

Four years ago, North Carolina State University set a goal to create $1 billion in economic value to manufacturers in North Carolina during calendar years 2006-2010. One year sooner than expected, the 1B4NC campaign has reached its goal, helping businesses in 75 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

In a survey conducted by an impartial federal agency during the fourth quarter of 2009, 75 North Carolina manufacturers who used NC State’s Industrial Extension Service (IES) services reported $206 million in increased sales or productivity as a direct result of those services. And, they reported 600 jobs created or retained – a record since IES client surveys began in 1996. The fourth-quarter survey put IES over its goal. During the four years of the 1B4NC campaign, 4,549 jobs were created or retained. The value of IES services was $1.06 billion.

“Our goal is to help businesses increase productivity, efficiency, quality, and, as a result, profits,” said Terri Helmlinger Ratcliff, IES executive director and assistant vice chancellor for extension, engagement and economic development. “We have a long history of helping the state’s economic development. We knew we’d provided at least half a billion dollars (in value) over the previous five years, so we set a ‘reach’ goal.

“It was a risk to make a public statement that we were going to provide services that would create $1 billion in value over a five-year period.  It’s a compliment to the IES staff and the companies we worked with that we were not only able to reach our goal, but reach it a year early.”

The Industrial Extension Service (, the statewide outreach program of the College of Engineering, has worked with North Carolina manufacturers since 1955 to improve productivity and increase profitability. In recent years, IES also turned attention to healthcare, local and state government offices, schools, pharmaceutical companies and distribution centers for a total of more than 2,200 organizations served in the last four years.  But only manufacturers –  523 companies — were surveyed in the 1B4NC campaign.

“Over the four years of the 1B4NC campaign, the IES budget was $32.7 million, with $18.5 million coming from state and federal sources. This means taxpayers received a return on investment of $57 for every dollar invested,” Helmlinger Ratcliff said.

During the campaign, 33 companies reporting that IES services were worth $1 million or more received the 1B4NC award; 18 more are eligible from the last quarter of 2009.

“Manufacturing remains the largest employer and greatest contributor to North Carolina’s economy,” Ratcliff said. “The economic health of our nation relies on the health of the manufacturing sector, from the jobs it creates to the local communities it supports. We will continue to support manufacturing because ‘Made in the USA’ is the best ticket to prosperity.”