Reboot Charlotte: Booming Defense Industry
CHARLOTTE, NC- From Charlotte's backyard… all the way to the front line.
The Queen City is a magnet for the booming defense industry.
"It's not just in manufacturing. You have companies like Bank of America that get military contracts. And you do have the typical manufacturers that are making everything from guns to protective clothing to helmets,” said Jeff Edge, vice president of economic development at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
Defense is one of the top six targets for new business in the City of Charlotte.
Grants are given to companies by the city, Mecklenburg County and the state whose plans include high capital investment and job creation.
Nearly 800 defense contracts were awarded in 2008.
Since then, the defense business has funneled over a billion dollars here, creating thousands of new jobs.
"It's just a fantastic place. It's vibrant, it's growing, it's young. The employee base in terms of the dedication and the work force is nothing short of fantastic," said David Adams, Chief Operating Officer of Curtiss-Wright Corporation.
"Most of the defense industry tends to pay higher on the scale, so they're good quality jobs when they come in and pretty high skill levels as well," said Edge.
Curtiss-Wright Controls is one of four top defense contractors that calls Charlotte home... employing close to 300 people in the region.
So…what drives these companies to the Queen City?
Charlotte-Douglas is the nation's eight-busiest airport with non-stop flights to our nation's capital.
At UNC Charlotte, companies like Boeing Aerospace and General Dynamics utilize the Charlotte Research Institute to train students in defense-related research and technology
And it’s Charlotte's ability to attract young, educated workers who want to live, work and play here.
Skilled workers in Charlotte are making products being used all over the globe. In military combat, naval, ground, and air defense.
"That kind of product is leading edge technology and it's something that employees around our corporation are able to produce and be happy to know we are serving the military people, and the troops, and the war fighters, and keeping us out of harms way," said Adams.
Operations include defense headquarters, manufacturing, research and development facilities throughout the region.
All a springboard to Charlotte's greater presence domestically, and around the world.
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