Capel Honored by NC State University for Contributions to Economy

Area and accent rug manufacturer and supplier Capel Inc. was recently honored by the North Carolina State University Industrial Extension Service (IES) as a recipient of the “1B4NC” award for the company's dedication to sustaining industry and economic growth.

The award was presented to Capel Inc. at the company's headquarters here on February 22. Richard Capel, the company's director of manufacturing, accepted the award.

“I'm humbled by this,” he said. The company, established by the Capel family in 1917, credits him as being “a driving force” for the incorporation of lean principles into Capel Inc.'s daily operations.

Capel is one of 25 companies across the state that have been recognized in IES's 1B4NC campaign, an effort to create $1 billion in economic benefit for North Carolina by 2010 by partnering with industry throughout the state.

Since January 2006, the campaign has provided North Carolina more than $854 million in jobs saved, cost savings and increased sales.

The relationship between IES and Capel began more than 10 years ago, and since then the company has improved on its efficiencies, preserving approximately $2 million in economic value for the state.

“There are three outcomes we strive for when working with clients: improve the process, teach the tools and grow a culture,” said Steve Laton, IES extension specialist, who first helped bring the concept of leaner operations to Capel. “We did all three here at Capel and they should be proud…There's a reason this company is still here, when many companies aren't and that's the people. Many of Capel's employees have been working for the company for most of their lives.”

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