Blue Ridge Community College welding instructor Ben Land (left) demonstrates use of a pipe cutting machine with students.

During Manufacturing Month, Blue Ridge Celebrates Local Industry Partnerships

Featured Photo: Blue Ridge Community College welding instructor Ben Land (left) demonstrates use of a pipe cutting machine with students Cheyenne Clayton (center) and Kevin Terron (right) in the College’s Industry Flex Lab. (Photo by: Rich Keen, Marketing & Communications Dept.)

Marketing & Communications Dept.

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – During October’s National Manufacturing Month, Blue Ridge Community College joins local partners in celebrating the advanced manufacturing sector accounting for over 17% of North Carolina’s total output worth $102B and employing more than 10% of the state’s workforce. The month-long observance includes the Oct. 6 Manufacturing Day followed by the week-long Manufacturing Week. At Blue Ridge, the activities underscore the value that community college graduates provide to area manufacturers, as well as the valuable partnerships with employers that allow students to gain experience, knowledge and rewarding careers.

“Blue Ridge is proud to provide high-quality graduates with valuable pathways into our state’s advanced manufacturing workforce,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, Blue Ridge’s president. “Through pursuing skilled trades, computer integrated machining, engineering technology, welding, apprenticeships and many other critical areas of study, Blue Ridge students are learning skills that raise the quality of life for all North Carolinians while earning a respectable wage to do so.”

Advanced Manufacturing “Pays the Bills” Far and Wide
The importance of Western North Carolina’s manufacturers to modern life cannot be overstated. Henderson and Transylvania counties together house 177 advanced manufacturers that employ over 7,500 associates with an average annual salary of $57,000. Total annual manufacturing wages for these counties exceed $400M.

Nationwide, the International Trade Organization reveals that in 2021, “the U.S. manufacturing sector contributed $2.56 trillion to the U.S. economy, accounting for approximately 11 percent of the nation’s total GDP.” In 2022, the sector employed nearly 13 million American workers.

“I want to express the importance of each of Blue Ridge Community College’s advanced manufacturing partners,” Dr. Leatherwood added. “They greatly advise, encourage and support the work we do in our state-of-the-art workforce development environments. On behalf of our College community, I say ‘thank you’ to our local manufacturers.”

This week, Blue Ridge is partnering with the Transylvania Economic Alliance and the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development to introduce area high school students to the world of advanced manufacturing by touring area facilities. On campus, students and faculty in the area of advanced manufacturing will enjoy festivities throughout the week. Blue Ridge also maintains ongoing relationships with the Land of Sky P20 Council, Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, Henderson County Public Schools and Transylvania County Schools to promote the manufacturing field.

Learn more about the Advanced Manufacturing programs of Blue Ridge Community College at

Blue Ridge Community College would like to thank the following partners in the manufacturing sector:

Henderson County Manufacturing Partners
A&M Tool Inc.
Acme Machine
AgriFacture USA, Ltd
Air Chek
All-Juice Hendersonville
AlphaTech, Inc.
Amazon Delivery
Asheville Packing Company
Asheville Thermoform Plastics, Inc.
Atlas Bolt & Screw Co.
Automated Designs Inc.
Avery Dennison
Barnes 4WD
Barry-Callebaut – Hendersonville
BIG Adventures, LLC
Blue Ridge Metals Corp.
Blue Ridge Mountain Water
Bold Rock Hard Cider
Boondocks Mfg.
BrightFarms CAR Greenhouse
Bromley Plastics Corporation
Byers Precision Fabricators
Cane Creek Cycling Components
Carbo-Cut, Inc.
City Bakery
Cline Tool
Congruent Concepts & Solutions, LLC
Country Malt Group
Cummins-Meritor, Inc.
Dampp-Chaser Corp.
Daystar Machining Technologies, Inc.
Demmel, Inc.
Diamond Brand Gear Company
Dover Foods
Dreicor, Inc.
Elkamet Inc.
Empire Distributors of North Carolina
Etowah Valley Equipment
Excelsior Sewing LLC
Fiberglass & Plastics
Fieldco Machining Co.
Flat Rock Cider
Flat Rock Tool and Mold
Flavor 1st
Framing Supplies, Inc.
Gaia Herbs MR
GASP, Inc.
GB Industries
Gleman and Company
Global Brand Concepts
Green’s Machine & Tool
Greenleaf Corporation
Hardin Manufacturing Co.
Haynes Wire Company
Highland Tool & Gauge, Inc.
HiViz LED Lighting Inc.
HoneyCommCore LLC
Industrial Chemical Company
Jabil Healthcare
Jackson Steel
Jade Systems
Kimberly-Clark, Berkeley Mills
Kyocera Industrial Ceramics Corporation
Kyocera Precision Tools, Inc.
Lassonde Pappas
Leisure Craft, Inc.
Levi Industrial Group
LightHeart Gear
Linamar Light Metals
Low Impact Technologies
Mainetti USA
Manual Woodworkers & Weavers, Inc.
Maverick Steel
Max Tec, Inc.
MCM Brands
Microtech Knives
Minute Man Products, Inc.
More Space Place
Mountain Machine, Inc.
Mountain Showcase Group, Inc.
MTI Medical Cables, LLC
Nash Welding Co., Inc.
National Wood Products Co.
Norafin (Americas) Inc.
Normac, Inc.
North American Trade
North State Overland
Northern Crescent Iron
Ohalo Genetics
Ohlins USA Inc.
Parts Unlimited
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co.
PMA Tools
Portable Welding Service, Inc.
Precision Label, Inc.
Prince Manufacturing
Printpack, Inc.
Putsch & Company, Inc.
Quality Rubber Mftg. Co., Inc.
R&D Plastics
ResinArt East, Inc.
Rinehart Racing
Salient Labs
Selee Corporation
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Skyline Plastic Systems, Inc.
Standard Tytape Company, Inc.
Stone Connection Granite Interiors
Survival Innovations LLC
The Oriole Mill
Thermocouple Components Corp.
Trailblazer Firearms
Turf Mountain Sod, Inc.
Two Trees Distilling Company
U-Joint Offroad
UPM Raflatac Inc.
Van Wingerden Greenhouse Co.
Van’s Chocolates, Inc.
Warm Company, Inc.
Western Carolina Tool & Mold Corp.
Whole Log Lumber
Wilsonart International
Winstrip, Inc.
Wirtz Wire EDM, Inc.
Young Bat Company
Zumco, Inc.

Transylvania County Manufacturing Partners
Bracken Mountain Bakery
Brevard Brewing Co.
Builder Direct Cabinetry
Cedar Mountain Pottery
Curtain Call
Duke Medical Equipment International
Early Enterprises
Early Manufacturing Inc.
Ecusta Brewing Co.
Gaia Herbs
Giving Tree Cabinets LLC
KEIR Manufacturing Inc.
Leather Specialties Co
Light Screen Printing LLC
Lynn Cove Foundry & Forge
M-B Industries Inc.
Mountain International LLC
New Excelsior, Inc.
Noblebrau Brewing
Oskar Blues
Pisgah Laboratories Inc.
Praxair Surface Technology
Raybow USA Pharmaceutical Company Inc.
Reed-Joseph International Company
Schotzie Productions LLC
Signs & More Inc.
Smith Systems Inc.
Southern Concrete Materials
Stone Mountain Cabinetry & Millwork Inc.
Sunbelt Spring & Stamping Corp.
Survival Innovations LLC
Technical Design Associates
Toxaway Construction Group LLC
Transylvania Vocational Services, Inc.
Upcountry Brewing Co.
Wins Smokehouse Services Ltd.

Additional Manufacturing Partners
Advanced Superabrasives Inc.
Altec Industries
Atlas Precision
Linamar Arden NC
Orbis Corporation
Southeastern Container