Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing


North Carolina’s history of leadership in manufacturing started with tobacco, textiles, and furniture. Our commitment to innovation and state-of-the-art research and educational facilities have not only revolutionized traditional industries, but have also transformed North Carolina into a forward-thinking, knowledge-based economy with the largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the southeastern United States.


North Carolina is home to over 260 unique automotive companies, including heavy-duty truck, body & trailer, engine & transmission, seating & interior trim, and brake system manufacturing. Backed by this quickly expanding cluster of business, growth in the sector has surged 40% since 2010. If you’re looking for a place to open shop, look no further than NC.

Aerospace & Defense

Our state is propelling the future of aerospace and defense. Universities like NC State are spearheading new research into unmanned aerial vehicles, while amazing industry resources, including the NC Advanced Manufacturing Alliance and NextGen Air Transportation Center, are further bolstering the charge. We rank #1 in the U.S. for industry-sponsored research. Even better? North Carolina’s 53 universities and colleges are turning out aerospace engineering degrees every semester.


North Carolina’s biotech clusters are truly unrivaled. From breakthrough technologies across life sciences to biopharmaceutical development and clinical research, hundreds of companies are leading the way toward sustained sector growth.

Advanced Materials

With a dense ecosystem in additive manufacturing, technical textiles, coatings, advanced filtration systems, and composites manufacturers, North Carolina is a hotspot in the next wave of industrial materials. The NonWovens Institute at North Carolina State University is a leading collaborator with private industry in this field, exploring advanced material applications in all sectors.

Plastics & Chemicals

North Carolina’s 76,000+ jobs in plastic and chemical manufacturing make up the sixth-largest industry workforce in the U.S. And with an industry concentration 1.5 times the national average, the state represents a prime location for new investment.

Food Manufacturing

North Carolina is home to 1,200+ food and beverage manufacturing establishments. The industry includes a variety of thriving clusters, including agriculture, confectionary production, and the third-largest animal processing cluster. 23 of the 50 largest food & beverage companies in North America have operations in North Carolina.


“We have a fantastic workforce that really understands the transformation going on as more companies get connected and digitalize their manufacturing processes.”

– Vicki Holt, Former Proto Labs CEO

Industry Support

We are 5.1 million people strong. Our workforce can supply you with manufacturing power and highly educated engineering prowess. North Carolina is home to more than 45,000 engineers, as well as the fourth largest active duty and reservist military population in the country, many of whom specialize in aerospace propulsion and ground equipment.
Learn More
Over 200 leading companies are spread across the state, meaning you can purchase equipment just a short drive from your facilities. Once you’re ready to go to market, access to customers is made easy thanks to North Carolina’s prime location on the eastern seaboard. With four international airports, two deepwater seaports and extensive railways and interstates, our unparalleled infrastructure can help you accelerate your growth.
Learn More
In North Carolina, you’ll find incredible resources and access to talent — but for up to 25% less than you’d spend in competitor states. Here, aerospace wages are 9% below the national average, state taxes are low, electricity is inexpensive, and aviation gasoline/jet fuel are exempt from state sales tax, meaning you can go further for less.
Learn More
North Carolina’s targeted, performance-based incentive programs help companies that are locating and doing business in North Carolina by lessening the tax burden and lowering overall costs to the company.
Learn More


Do you have a potential investment in Advanced Manufacturing?

Click here to connect with our Business Development Team.