North Carolina is a national leader in the production of sweet potatoes, dried beans, tobacco, pigs, broilers (chickens) and turkeys. Other main agricultural products are eggs, soy and cotton. North Carolina's major commercial industries have evolved tremendously over the past few decades. With a population of 10.5 million and 10 cities with more than 100,000 residents in communities that stretch more than 300 miles from ocean to mountains, North Carolina is home to a variety of business sectors that are stable, successful, growing and committed to innovation, thanks to a diversity skilled and well-educated workforce, low tax rates and easy access to transportation and logistics channels through road, rail, air and sea connections to the region and the world.
As the aerospace and defense industries often work in partnership, the state is in an exceptional position thanks to the presence of important military installations, such as the Lejeune Marine Corps Base Camp, Fort Bragg-Pope Army Airfield, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. That significant military presence also means that there are thousands of trained and trained veterans who are ready to work. Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, GE Aviation and Spirit AeroSystems are just a few of the aerospace companies based or doing business in North Carolina. The state is also a base of industrial innovation as the headquarters of the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston.
The industrial air park has an 11,000-foot runway and supports the manufacturing and logistics needs of the aerospace and defense industries. There is also industry innovation in higher education, as North Carolina universities lead research on unmanned aerial vehicles, and many of the state's universities have the best programs in aerospace engineering and related disciplines. Hundreds of automotive-related companies operate in North Carolina producing components such as engines, transmissions, brake systems and trim and finishes for vehicle interiors. These companies are supported by numerous professional research centers and programs that drive innovation in the automotive industry through development and testing.
They include the North Carolina Automotive Research Center or NCCAR, which is an independent, non-profit center that focuses on research, development and testing of automotive products. NCCAR facilities include a 2-mile road tour, off-road trails and workshops. The state is also home to the UNC Charlotte Motorsports program. It's one of the first stops for anyone pursuing a career in motorsports and offers hands-on, hands-on experience to shape future professionals in the racing and automotive industries.
More than 178 million customers are one day away from North Carolina. This privileged location on the East Coast is reinforced by easy access to road, rail and maritime transport links with the rest of the region, the country and internationally. North Carolina is the second largest state for food and beverage processing with nearly 1,000 such companies in the industry. Campbell's, Butterball, Smithfield and Sierra Nevada.
Texas Pete, known for its Louisiana-style hot sauce, is actually based in Winston-Salem, not the Lone Star State, and in Mt. Olive, best known for its pickles, are just a few of the family food brands doing business in North Carolina. In the US, the state is a major sponsor of the agricultural and food industries, is engaged in research, supports environmental protection, and provides marketing and promotion. The following year, a 35-member working group, composed of experts in agribusiness, food processing and packaging, and economic development, was formed to take advantage of business opportunities related to food and agriculture.
Small start-ups and information technology superpowers, such as Google, IBM and Cisco, are among the companies that call North Carolina home. They cite business advantages, such as low taxes, an active business environment, and significant investments in research and capital funding. In addition, organizations such as the North Carolina Technology Association advocate for innovation and facilitate professional connections by bringing together leaders in industry, government and education. NC Tech has more than 700 members representing more than 200,000 employees.
In both biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturing, based on the total number of employees. Bayer, BASF, LabCorp and Novo Nordisk do business in North Carolina. They are supported by numerous industry partners, such as the North Carolina Research Campus at Kannapolis. It is a 350-acre scientific community campus where collaborative research and product development in health and nutrition are conducted in collaboration with eight universities.
Life sciences create jobs around the development of better healthcare, faster and more accurate diagnostic data and innovations, and sustainable and respectful food production. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center also connects the state's biotechnology and life sciences workforce with employers. The organization has maintained the support and funding of the General Assembly for three decades. North Carolina's Long History as a Furniture Production Center Continues Into the 21st Century.
More than 600 wood and wood stores call the state home, as do household names like Ethan Allen, Ashley Furniture, Lexington Home Brands and Sealy. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the state has the largest furniture industry in the country, comprised of 3,000 stores and more than 35,000 employees, giving North Carolina a concentration of furniture manufacturing activity that is more than triple the national average. Ernst %26 Young and the Council on State Taxation also ranked North Carolina as the lowest state and local tax burden in the U.S. UU.
More than 300,000 people work in the financial services industry in North Carolina. These employees are part of companies such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Fidelity Investments, Lending Tree and Credit Suisse. Choosing to start or grow a financial sector business here also brings you closer to advocacy groups, such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. This national professional organization advocates and focuses on public policy and public interest issues relevant to the industry.
The North Carolina Treasury Management Association also supports the industry, as does Queen City Fintech, which works to create a community that fosters growth, drives innovation, inspires growth and fosters inclusion in the financial and insurance start-up sectors. Wilson College of Textiles North Carolina is a leading source of education and innovation in the industry. The textile industry is resurfacing with new investments in innovation. Students are mentored and conduct undergraduate and graduate research in modern teaching, manufacturing, and collaboration spaces.
Those students seek work experiences through summer internships, and the university has an alumni network of thousands of people. The state of North Carolina is also home to the Nonwovens Institute, which is a partnership between industry and government that bills itself as the world's first accredited academic program for the field of engineering fabrics. To further support the industry, North Carolina created the Polymer Center of Excellence. This Charlotte-based nonprofit organization works to help in the development of emerging industry technologies, as well as to provide technical support.
Around 250,000 professionals work in industries related to tourism or outdoor recreation in North Carolina. That's equivalent to about 1 in 45 North Carolina residents working directly in tourism. In addition, the North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Industry office works at the state level to support and grow the outdoor recreation economy across the state through collaboration. The Office's Focus on Economic Development, Education, Workforce Training, and Environmental Stewardship.
Responsibilities in regulatory and service areas that cover different aspects of agriculture and manufacturing are overseen by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Over the past century, North Carolina has grown to become a national leader in agriculture, financial services and manufacturing. The state's industrial production, mainly textiles, chemicals, electrical equipment, paper and pulp, and paper products, ranked eighth in the country in the early 1990s. The textile industry, once one of the pillars of the state's economy, has been losing jobs to producers in Latin America and Asia for the past 25 years, although the state remains the largest textile employer in the United States.
In recent years, another major industry in Carolina, furniture production, has also been hit hard by the relocation of jobs to Asia (especially China). North Carolina is an extremely diverse agricultural state, producing more than 150 commodities. The state is a leading producer of sweet potatoes, tobacco, Christmas trees, pigs, turkeys, trout, strawberries and pickled cucumbers. Other North Carolina staples include broilers, eggs, blueberries, peaches, peanuts, apples, catfish, watermelons, tomatoes, corn, soy, cotton, cattle, grapes, and pumpkins.
From biotechnology to aerospace, transportation and information technology, you'll find the people and infrastructure in North Carolina to bring your company to the forefront of your industry. Finance is the third largest economic sector in the state, and many of the major national banks have made North Carolina their base of operations. Defense is the second largest industry in North Carolina and includes primarily aeronautical and aerospace defense. Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, continues to experience rapid growth, largely due to the banking and financial industry.
Chemicals (pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, synthetic fibers) are North Carolina's second most important manufactured products. Tobacco products (cigarettes, pipes and chewing tobacco) are North Carolina's leading products in the manufacturing industry. The television program most associated with North Carolina is The Andy Griffith Show, which aired on CBS-TV from 1960 to 1968.Wholesale (automobiles, building materials, groceries, tobacco) and retail (department stores, food stores, service stations) constitute North Carolina's third service industry. .