CARY, N.C. — National manufacturing leaders are spending the day in the Triangle to celebrate “National Manufacturing Day.”

Manufacturing Day is always on the first Friday in October but the nationwide kickoff event was held Wednesday on the SAS campus in Cary. Leaders with The Manufacturing Institute said the goal of showcasing modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of workers.

College students, industry leaders, and elected officials were in the crowd and the event was streamed to a nationwide audience. Governor Cooper saw it as a chance to promote how North Carolina is making strides in the industry and talked about how clean energy has had a hand in bringing factories here.

“We’ve attracted an electric vehicle manufacturer, Vinfast. Toyota is going to make their electric batteries in North Carolina. Boom supersonic is going to make cleaner jets in North Carolina,” Cooper said.

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, hosted a panel where industry leaders talked about how companies are addressing worker shortages and the challenges companies could face in the future.

“It gives us the chance to introduce millions of Americans for the people who make things in this country…the backbone of America,” Timmons said about Wednesday’s event.

The Manufacturing Institute is planning other manufacturing-related events throughout the month of October to honor industry workers and recruit new workers.