E3 NC Summary Report_FINAL

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1. 1 Strengthening the Next Generation Strategy in North Carolina: Deploying E3 for Growth through New Partnerships The Evolution and Summary of the E3 NCMEP eCar Project Sections: 1. Partnering to Serve 2. Manufacturers Journey and Outcomes 3. Community Base Model 4. Engaged State-Wide 5. Connecting Across the Nation 6. Awards and Recognition 7. Creating a Sustainable Approach 8. Acknowledgements Written by: Anna Mangum, E3 NC Lead for the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership at NC State Industrial Extension Service 2. 2 Section 1: Partnering to Serve In 2010, The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP), part of the North Carolina State University Industrial Extension Service (NC State IES), was awarded a $1.3M cooperative funding agreement to develop and deploy a state-wide sustainable manufacturing program. This effort would be known as the E3 NCMEP eCar project. The success of this four year endeavor goes beyond its individual impact on manufacturers, their communities and the NCMEP Center. The E3 NCMEP eCar project can be used as a successful model for future multi- agency collaboratives working together towards shared goals through a central initiative. This project engaged partners from federal, state, local, public, private and non-profit agencies at both a strategic and grassroots level to stimulate progress and catalyze change. The following report outlines the project intent, activities, accomplishments, lessons learned and future strategies. Designed in 2008, the E3 federal initiative was created as a flexible framework to support small to mid-sized manufacturing businesses across the country by leveraging resources from six federal agencies: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); US Department of Commerce; National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP); US Department of Energy (DOE); US Department of Labor (DOL); the Small Business Administration (SBA); and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The premise being, each of these agencies had existing programs, staff, funding and/or tools that served to strengthen the manufacturing economy at various levels and by working together these agencies could be more effective and efficient. In September 2009, North Carolina leaders from the respective state agencies alongside additional partners gathered to pilot the concept in Winston Salem with B.E. Aerospace. It was recognized early on that in order for the E3 effort to be successful in North Carolina, it would have to adapt to special state dynamics accounting for unique administrative, political and functional attributes of the organizations needed to partner. This experience gave way to the community based E3 NC concept and the Rural Center of North Carolina seed funding for four 3. 3 more pilot projects. Ultimately, these activities would assist in the NIST MEP eCar award to the NCMEP center at NC State IES. 4. 4 Section 2: Manufacturers Journey and Outcomes At the core of the E3 NCMEP eCar project lies each manufacturers journey and outcomes. A total of 44 North Carolina manufacturers received scholarships to participate in the program over the four-year project. Their actions, commitment and transformations are a testament to the sustainability and potential scalability of this North Carolina based program. Manufacturers Journey: Each manufacturer selected to participate in the E3 NCMEP eCar program engaged in a three phase process including an assessment of the companys current practices, advice and action items on how to improve and transform those practices, and a detailed plan on how to sustain the improved practices and subsequent performance. Phase 1: Assess Assessment Overview: Phase one of the process included the five assessments listed below, each aimed at identifying opportunities for improvement across a variety of integrated subject areas. Lean and Green Review: Team based value stream mapping of a production process to identify lean and environmental improvement project opportunities Energy Assessment: Level two energy assessment evaluating plant equipment and building envelop efficiency and conservation opportunities Green House Gas Evaluation: Training and calculation of the facilities Carbon Footprint Promoting Business Excellence Assessment: Cross-functional, team-based business assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses compared to industry peers Worker Safety Review: Safety and Health compliance and program effectiveness evaluation The assessments discovered existing sustainability strengths, business vulnerabilities, process inefficiencies, savings opportunities, growth opportunities, and workforce challenges. Each assessment required manufacturing leadership and personnel involvement. Additionally, the 5. 5 Lean and Green Review and Green House Gas Evaluation included on-site worker training for participating manufacturers employees. (Left) NC scholarship recipient, Lindsay Pre-cast Concrete in Franklin County, during their three day Lean and Green value stream map event facilitated by Mike Pearce of NC State IES. (Right) E3 NC scholarship recipient, American Emergency Vehicle in Ashe County, during an assessment by Steven Forrest of NC State IES. Manufacturers Profile and Diversity: Prior to the eCar award, the E3 program at NCMEP initiated several pilot projects. These pilots targeted small to medium sized, furniture and textile manufacturers in Burke and Cleveland Counties, both rural communities. As the eCar projects community selection and manufacturing recruitment process unfolded, activity continued in mostly rural communities (see section 3) with manufacturers under 500 full-time employees (FTEs). However, the 44 eCar scholarship recipients ranged in size, industry, ownership structure and sophistication. Manufacturers ranged in employee size from approximately 30-700 FTEs. Industries served included furniture, textiles, automotive, food, plastics, and many more. The diversity of clients served and their subsequent success realized demonstrates that the E3 Assess-Transform- Sustain process can be effective and scalable across a large demographic. Technical Partners: NCMEP leveraged both internal center staff and technical partners to perform assessments. Technical partners primarily helped perform energy assessments and worker safety reviews. Key technical partners included: 6. 6 - NC State Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): Based out of NC States College of Engineering and funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the IAC is a strategic E3 National partner. By collaborating with E3 NC, the IAC was able to connect and serve industrial clients that may otherwise not have known about or utilized their services. The E3 partnership helped the IAC meet their US DOE funded mission and goals while simultaneously establishing new relationships in previously unreached areas. - Advanced Energy: An energy non-profit organization funded by the rate payers of North Carolina and supported by Duke Energy, Advanced Energy was often able to leverage their private sector rate payer funded accounts from utilities like Duke Energy to help support their E3 energy assessment activities. - North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Bureau of Consultative Services (NCOSH): North Carolina was the first state E3 program to include safety as a component of the E3 assessment process. The NCOSH Consultative Bureau services aligned directly with the assessment package in phase one. This relationship also afforded NC manufacturers a two year removal from NCOSH compliance visits (within legal parameters). See section five of this report as it articulates the influence of North Carolinas leadership with safety on the E3 National program. Assessment Changes and Challenges: Over the course of the project, technical partners and assessments were modified to best meet client needs and utilize program resources. For example, at the start of the project, NCMEP at IES staff performed on-site carbon footprint assessments coupled with a half-day training. After year one, center staff captured the training in an online video and relayed a self-calculation protocol for manufacturers to utilize in future workforce development processes. This program modification helped conserve resources while still providing manufacturers with quality training and assessment. Another example of assessment changes exercised to meet client needs was demonstrated by the NCOSH assessment evolution. At the start of the eCar project the NCOSH Bureau Chief performed all E3 safety assessments. After year one, the success of our work together motivated NCOSH leadership to increase the partnership resources and dedicate two Bureau staff experts per assessment for a more customized and in-depth service experience. In addition to the key partners listed above, several other technical partners were engaged in years one and two. For various reasons, these technical partners were unable to meet the needs of the program and therefore the partnerships were modified or no longer pursued. For 7. 7 example, NC Department of Environment and National Resources once contributed staff and expertise to Lean and Green Reviews. However, the NC DENR travel budget was significantly reduced, hindering them from joining IES staff on-site for manufacturing assessments and events. The NC E3 program was designed to be proactive and resilient in such scenarios, identifying additional key partners and leveraging the strengths of those partners that remained. Assessment Value vs. Cost: The original intent of the E3 National program was to leverage existing resources, funded in some capacity by public or private support, to identify and provide small to medium sized manufacturers with needed services. Presuming most manufacturers that fit the need profile were either unable to pay for these services at full market value or were unaware