Since Orville and Wilbur Wright first took flight in North Carolina, the state has been known for aviation. And Charlotte USA is at the heart of this growing cluster. Area firms such as Goodrich Corporation, General Dynamics and Armament Technical Products, Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation, ATI Allvac, Curtiss Wright Flight Systems, Turbomeca Manufacturing, Cyril Bath, Keywell and Caledonia Alloys are thriving in the Charlotte region.
Close proximity to major aerospace OEM's in the Carolina's is attracting a supplier base for a growing aerospace cluster. Companies such as Boeing, Spirit Aerosystems, Honda Aircraft Company and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp have significant production facilities across North and South Carolina, and now Embraer is setting up an assembly facility in Melbourne, Florida. Charlotte USA is centrally located to serve these facilities along the East Coast.
Sixty two percent of the U.S. industrial base and over 52% of the U.S. population is accessible within 650 miles of Charlotte USA, giving the region a logistical advantage for business. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) connects the Carolinas to the world with more daily flights per capita than any other airport nationwide. CLT is the world’s seventh busiest and is home to US Airways' largest hub and a large maintenance, repair and overhaul operation. The airport completed construction of its third parallel 9,000-ft runway in February 2010, making it one of only a handful of U.S. airports that can land three planes simultaneously.
- CLT offers 700+ daily flights to 135+ destinations, including nonstop flights to Munich, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Dublin, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, among others
- $325 million Intermodal Facility under construction
- Served by four major interstate highways (I-40, I-77, I-85, I-485)
- 8th largest trucking center in the U.S.
- Within 200 miles of three major seaports, including Charleston, SC
- Served by CSX, Norfolk Southern and several regional short-line railroads
- Regional network of five reliever airports
- Foreign Trade Zone #57
Charlotte USA has nearly 30 composite firms operating in the region along with over 100 plus aerospace/defense companies employing nearly 20,000 workers. Eight thousand plus engineers are currently working in Charlotte USA. The regional workforce has access to unprecedented training as North Carolina and South Carolina consistently rank among the Top 10 Workforce Training programs in the U.S.
The University of North Carolina’s Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) combines cutting-edge technology and research facilities with local resources to provide employers a skilled workforce equipped with the latest industry trends and applications.
- The Center for Precision Metrology has nationally recognized programs that concentrate on intelligent manufacturing, precise machining measurements, metrology instrumentation, nanotechnology and subatomic measurement
- The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications focuses on research areas including optoelectronics and optical device fabrication, optical metrology, optical communication infrastructure and optical imaging
South Piedmont Community College’s Aerospace and Advance Manufacturing Training Center provides a technical training program that combines the college’s mechatronics and advanced machining programs to provide workforce training in areas such as avionics and aerospace manufacturing.
Clemson University combines one of the nation’s best engineering schools with private industry for research and application.
- Advanced Technology Systems Lab provides inspection training for the general aviation industry
- Vehicular Electronic Lab provides targeted research relation to automotive and aerospace electronics including electronic components, circuits, sensors, communications, power distribution and mechatronics
York Technical Community College offers 89 programs of study, focusing on a strong commitment to local industry needs, and is one of the most success examples of public/private collaborations in South Carolina
- Center for Accelerated Technology offers pre-employment training for new and expanding employers
- Institute for Manufacturing Productivity opened in 2002 and has trained over 2,800
Recent Announcements in the Carolinas
- United Technologies Corporation will relocate its Aerospace Division to Charlotte, NC. The company plans invest $4 million and create 325 jobs over the next five years.
- Curtiss-Wright Controls will expand its current facility in Shelby, NC, investing $12.9 million and creating 25 jobs over the next three years
- German manufacturer, Chiron, plans to spend $1.5 million expanding its American headquarters in Charlotte, NC. They also plan on hiring 15 additional employees.
- Midway Aircraft Instrument Corporation will locate a new facility in Monroe, NC, creating 36 jobs and investing $2.3 million over the next three years.
- Keller USA, Inc, will locate its North American headquarters and new manufacutring facility to York County, SC, investing $2.5 million and creating 20 jobs.
- Michelin North America will spend $11.3 million to expand its facility in Norwood, NC. They are expected to create 74 new jobs over the next 18 months.
- Cyril Bath Company in Monroe will spend $2.5 million for equipment and building improvements as it adds 10 jobs to the local facility.
- Turbocoating, an Italian company, will be spending $15 million to open their first U.S. facility in Catawba County. They will be creating 110 jobs over the next five years.
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