In observance of the Veterans Day holiday, Ronnie gave me this opportunity to highlight the significant role our military community plays in the Carolinas’ economy and within American Airlines.
North Carolina currently boasts the fourth-largest military population (100,000) in the United States. According to the North Carolina Military Business Center, the Department of Defense has an annual impact of $66 billion and is the second largest sector of North Carolina’s economy (12% GDP). North Carolina is home to more than 100,000 active duty military personnel, the third highest number of uniformed military personnel in the country, as well as six major military bases, 116 National Guard and 40 Army Reserve facilities. South Carolina ranks in the top ten of states with a military population around 50,000. These men and women possess a valuable and diverse skill set and offer a significant potential labor market for North and South Carolina businesses. Many leave the military trained in fields relevant to advanced manufacturing, technology, data analytics, and aviation - from avionics, communications, electronics and engineering to heavy and specialized equipment operation, information technology, and transportation and logistics.
American Airlines has a long history of support for active duty service members, veterans and their families. Currently, the airline has more than 6,000 employees serving in the military past and present. American and its employees work throughout the year supporting our nation’s heroes through various initiatives, which help connect veterans to jobs. We are also committed to supporting organizations that help serve and recognize those who have served our country. Locally, American sponsors the annual Salute to Veterans Parade uptown and Carolinas Freedom Foundation breakfast in recognition of the Veterans Day Holiday. We are also proud to sponsor the USO of North Carolina, Charlotte Bridge Home, North Carolina Heroes Fund, and the Carolinas Aviation Museum, all of which strive to connect veterans to opportunities, while recognizing their legacy of service to our nation. I hope you join American Airlines by learning more about these organizations and the work they do to support our military community. Much of our region’s economy depends on our ability to leverage this sizeable and skilled military-trained workforce.
Regional Director of Government Affairs