In the past, North Carolina may have been known for its tobacco, furniture, and textile industries but, as time has passed and moved firmly into the 21st century, a transition has occurred.
Agriculture is still important, but the focus has shifted from tobacco to winemaking and from textiles to high-tech advances in engineered fabrics.
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Here's a look at the strongest industries in North Carolina:
1. Aerospace, Aviation, and Defense
North Carolina is home to more than 180 aerospace companies, including Boeing in New Bern, Lockheed Martin in Raleigh, and Cessna in Greensboro. More than 9,500 people are employed in these highly-skilled positions.
2. Automotive, Truck and Heavy Equipment
North Carolina employs more than 388,000 workers in manufacturing jobs in the automotive industry. There are more than 160 Automotive, Truck and Heavy Equipment companies in the Tar Heel State. For example, Honda is located in Haw River and Arvin Meritor and Volvo have several in-state locations.
3. Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Life Sciences
Industry and education factions in North Carolina have formed NCBioImpact, which works to provide the industry with an educated and skilled workforce. Companies like LabCorp, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer thrive in North Carolina.
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There are many energy companies in North Carolina, including Blue Ridge Biofuels, DuPont, and Siemens Energy, among others. Each year, more than 3,000 engineering students graduate from colleges and universities across the state, providing a viable workforce for energy companies.
5. Information and Communications Technology
Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are instantly recognizable names and all have locations in North Carolina. Other industry names in the state include Cisco, IBM, and Flextronics. North Carolina's system of colleges and universities offer programs and degrees to prepare for the workplace.
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