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February 2019

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Charlotte, NC, Sees Rise in Advanced Manufacturing

According to NC State University, manufacturing has been the biggest factor in North Carolina's economic growth coming out of the recession. In the past three years alone, two major manufacturing companies, Jeld-Wen and Genpak, have relocated to Charlotte to take advantage of the region's global access, talent pool, affordability and quality of life. Charlotte's manufacturing output has risen 26%, generating a $40.8 billion impact on the 16-county Greater Charlotte Region, and supporting 31% of the regional economy. "Reasons for Charlotte's rise in advanced manufacturing including global companies operating out of Charlotte, companies utilizing Industry 4.0 and investment in the high-quality talent needed to fuel the industry's growth," said a Development Counsellors International spokesperson.

Advanced Manufacturing Companies

Advanced manufacturing companies in the Charlotte region that are operating on a global scale:

  • Daimler Trucks, the top manufacturing employer in Charlotte, features three Charlotte area plants employing over 5,000 people. Daimler provides advanced engineering solutions that improve how people interact with trucks and how trucks interact with the world.
  • Albemarle Corporation, a global producer of catalyst solutions and performance chemicals, serves customers in approximately 100 countries from its Charlotte headquarters. In late September 2018, it announced a $20 million investment with Bank of America to drive economic mobility in Charlotte-demonstrating its strong dedication to the region's growth. 
  • Groninger, a German-based company with 1,200 employees and 8,500 machines installed and operating globally, opened its U.S. facility in Charlotte in 2012. Groninger offers a robust apprenticeship program to improve the skilled labor workforce in Charlotte.

Industry 4.0

These two Charlotte-based companies are working alongside other leaders in Industry 4.0 to transform the way advanced manufacturing products interact with the world:

  • Schaeffler, in 2016, partnered with IBM to use IBM Watson AI technology to transform its supply chain and manufacturing process. More recently, in April 2018, it revealed the "Schaeffler Mover," an urban vehicle concept aimed at preparing rapidly growing metropolitan areas for future mobility requirements.
  • Electrolux, a Swedish-based company, operates an 800-employee R&D center out of University City in Charlotte. The home appliance company recently partnered with Google Home to improve voice-activated home appliances; the technology has already been integrated into Electrolux brands Anova and Fridgidaire. The company also recently launched smart home products like the Purei9robot vacuum and the smart AC AirFlower.

Investments in Local Talent

Charlotte-and its companies-invest in the high-quality talent needed to fuel the industry's growth. Higher education in the Greater Charlotte region is focused on creating a strong talent pool for the advanced manufacturing industry. UNC Charlotte, and the 10 local community colleges, work closely with regional manufacturers to train their future workforce.

In addition to UNC Charlotte's large manufacturing campus, Siemens Energy donated $2 million to the university to build the Siemens Large Manufacturing Solutions Lab in 2015. UNC Charlotte is also home to The Center for Precision Metrology, which works with industrial partners on the research, development and integration of precision metrology in manufacturing.

Gaston College offers students 11 different degrees and programs to prepare for a career in advanced manufacturing. It is also home to the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), an $8 million facility that houses a collection of different labs and training spaces for robotics, mechatronics and other manufacturing-related fields to prepare students for tomorrow's advanced manufacturing jobs.

For more information contact:

Development Counsellors International

215 Park Avenue South, 14th Floor

New York, NY 10003


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