Charlotte Advanced Manufacturing Partnership & Innovation Outreach Network "CHAMPION"

Building a World Class Manufacturing Ecosystem

Today’s communities must embrace the 21st Century reality that their unique identity and strengths in a globally competitive environment come from the combination of their workforce skills, technology and product knowledge, ability to produce and manufacture, and ability to market and deliver products to their consumers.

Globally-oriented companies know they must do all of these things well; communities must now do the same under a highly coordinated and collaborative effort across organizations, workers, and industry clusters.

“Champion” is committed to accelerating the resurgence of the manufacturing ecosystem in the Greater Charlotte region through a collaborative partnership of workforce training, R&D resources, and logistics to ensure the next stage of our manufacturing heritage and sustain our leading position in the global economy.

Who Are We

The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) has been convened by the Centralina Council of Governments and the Centralina Economic Development Commission as a result of the 2013 award of an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Strangely Grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The $400,000, IMCP Centralina Manufacturing Ecosystem Strategy Grant, that includes $200,000 of in-kind match allows the regional partnership, including community colleges,, workforce development boards, industry/trade organizations, R & D institutions and others develop implementation-ready strategies to support advanced manufacturing in the Greater Charlotte Region.


One of the implementation-ready strategies funded by the IMCP grant is the development of a manufacturing ecosystem alliance, CHAMPION, to bring together public sector support organizations with manufacturers and suppliers to collaboratively create and execute strategies that will support, and grow future manufacturing in the Greater Charlotte region. This alliance will provide the regional platform for addressing industry issues and assets that will strengthen existing local community partnerships. In today's globally competitive climate, coordinating regional education, R & D and exporting assets through robust industry coalitions is necessary to ensure our future economic success.

CHAMPION Objectives

  • Implement industry led Advanced Manufacturing Coalition/Alliance as regional convener/platform to optimize and benefit efficiency of existing networks
  • Update and map the region's manufacturing supply chains and value chains
  • Increase operational deployment of training and apprenticeship collaborations, job placement, and industry sector partnerships to greater scale and capacity
  • Expand and invest in the Advanced Manufacturing Centers and training facilities within existing community college networks
  • Leverage regional R & D assets and innovation/entrepreneurial efforts to wider networks, opportunity, and partnering of local industry and economic sectors
  • Increase export capacity, volume, and local networks knowledge for manufacturers
  • Enhance regional marketing as Advanced Manufacturing/Logistics Global Hub

IMCP Project Contact

Mike Manis, CEcD
Centralina Council of Governments
Director, Community & Economic Development
Email: / Phone: (704) 372-2416