North Carolina is a national leader in many industries, from agriculture to aerospace to automotive to food and beverage to life sciences and financial services. With a population of 10.5 million and 10 cities with more than 100,000 residents, North Carolina is home to a variety of business sectors that are stable, successful, growing and committed to innovation. This is thanks to a diverse 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. Agriculture is one of the main industries in North Carolina.
The state is a leading producer 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. The aerospace and defense industries are also important in North Carolina. The state has several important military installations such as the Lejeune Marine Corps Base Camp, Fort Bragg-Pope Army Airfield, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
This significant military presence also means that there are thousands of 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 home to the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston which is an industrial air park with an 11,000-foot runway that supports the manufacturing and logistics needs of the aerospace and defense industries. North Carolina is also a leader in automotive innovation. 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. These include the North Carolina Automotive Research Center (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 which offers hands-on experience to shape future professionals in the racing and automotive industries. North Carolina's privileged location on the East Coast means that customers are only one day away from the state.
This 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 also a major sponsor of the agricultural and food industries with nearly 1,000 food processing companies in the state. Campbell's, Butterball, Smithfield and Sierra Nevada Texas Pete (known for its Louisiana-style hot sauce) are just a few of the family food brands doing business in North Carolina. Small start-ups as well as 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.
Organizations such as the North Carolina Technology Association advocate for innovation by bringing together leaders in industry, government and education. In both biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturing North Carolina ranks second in the US based on total number of employees. Bayer, BASF, LabCorp and Novo Nordisk do business in North Carolina supported by numerous industry partners such as the North Carolina Research Campus at Kannapolis which is a 350-acre scientific community campus where collaborative research and product development in health and nutrition are conducted in collaboration with eight universities. North Carolina's long history as a furniture production center continues into the 21st century with more than 600 wood stores calling the state home as well as household names like Ethan Allen, Ashley Furniture, Lexington Home Brands and Sealy. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce there are 3,000 stores employing more than 35,000 people giving North Carolina a concentration of furniture manufacturing activity that is more than triple the national average. The financial services industry is also strong in North Carolina with Ernst & Young ranking it as having the lowest state and local tax burden in the US. More than 300,000 people work in financial services in North Carolina for companies such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo Fidelity Investments Lending Tree Credit Suisse etc.
Organizations such as American Institute of Certified Public Accountants advocate for public policy issues relevant to this industry while Queen City Fintech works to create a community that fosters growth drives innovation inspires growth fosters inclusion in financial services start-up sectors. Finally Wilson College of Textiles North Carolina is a leading source of....