Once known for a traditional economy built on tobacco, furniture and textiles, North Carolina has evolved to a global economy driven by knowledge-based industries. Biotechnology, energy, finance and information technology are just a few of the many business sectors that are rapidly growing and succeeding here, and a range of leading companies call our state home to their corporate headquarters.
With a legacy in flight that began with the Wright brothers, our aerospace industry is led by companies such as Honda Jet and GE Aviation. And corporations here, including Lockheed Martin and UTC Aerospace Systems, are also leaders in defense and security.
North Carolina has the 10th-largest automotive sector employment in the U.S., with companies such as Daimler Trucks, Freightliner, Caterpillar and Bridgestone taking advantage of our highly skilled workforce.
Major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, are attracted to North Carolina where they find the largest research park in the country and three Tier 1 research universities.
North Carolina is the third-largest financial center in the nation because we invest in global connectivity and developing top-quality talent. Companies focused on business and financial services that have major operations here include AT&T, Bank of America, Microsoft, TIAA, Wells Fargo and many more.
The lowest corporate income tax rate in the Southeast, a low cost of living and four international airports are just a few of the reasons Bank of America, Lowe’s, Nucor, Sealed Air and many others are headquartered here.
The energy sector here is wide-ranging, from nuclear energy to smart grids, and the state ranks second in growth in turbine manufacturing, third in fossil fuel power generation and fifth in semiconductor manufacturing.
North Carolina’s food and beverage manufacturing industry includes a variety of thriving clusters, including agriculture, the second-largest animal processing and manufacturing cluster, and the sixth-fastest growing confectionary production cluster.
North Carolina is the “Furniture Capital of the World” — home to the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, largest furniture store in the world and the largest furniture manufacturer in the world.
North Carolina has the second-fastest growing information technology industry in the U.S., which is why growing companies including Google, Cisco, SAS and others flock here.
Some of the most established, internationally known companies within the plastics and chemicals sector operate in North Carolina, including Dow, DuPont and PPG. These brands are a major reason why this state has the fifth-largest industry workforce in the country.
Our workforce comprises the largest textile mill industry in the U.S., with companies such as Hanes Brands, Burlington Industries and Kimberly-Clark Corporation thriving on the skilled labor and valuable supply chain partners here.