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charlotte USA economic development guide

Propelled to New Heights

Aerospace cluster spawns innovation in region

Hot Spot for Cool Companies Charlotte USA cultivates knowledge economy

Under the Microscope Life sciences sector expands

Sponsored by the Charlotte Regional Partnership | 2012-13

24 Workstyle Under the Microscope


Region is a lab leader in life sciences research

Propelled to New Heights


Aerospace cluster spawns innovation in region

Hot Spot for Cool Companies




Charlotte USA cultivates knowledge economy

Star Power


Film production lands a lead role in Charlotte USA

Accelerated Learning


Motorsports industry fuels growth, expansion

Secure Assets


Charlotte’s financial services strength yieldsemerging cybersecurity expertise Table of Contents Continued on Page 5


On the Cover The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis Photo by Todd Bennett ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m



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Economic Development Contacts




Business Climate




Education & Workforce




Health Care




Economic Profile


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201 2-1 3 Edition , volum e 3 Content Director Bill McMeekin Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinators karen schwartzman, Jessica Walker Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Contributing writers pamela coyle, cary estes, john fuller Senior Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers Taylor nunley, Kacey Passmore Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett color imaging technician alison hunter Integrated Media Manager scott voncannon Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./business Development Scott Templeton Senior V.P./Agribusiness Publishing kim holmberg V.P./business Development Clay Perry V.P./external communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P./travel publishing susan chappell V.P./Sales Rhonda Graham, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Controller Chris Dudley Senior Accountant Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator Diana Guzman Sales Support Coordinator Alex Marks Sales Support project manager sara quint system administrator Daniel cantrell Web Creative Director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer II richard stevens Web Development Lead Yamel Hall Web Developer I Nels noseworthy Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Creative Services Director Christina Carden Creative Technology Analyst Becca ary Audience Development Director Deanna Nelson New Media Assistant Alyssa DiCicco Distribution Director Gary Smith Executive Secretary Kristy Duncan Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop

Charlotte USA Economic Development Guide is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Charlotte Regional Partnership. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at

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charlotte USa economic development gUide

Propelled to New Heights

Aerospace cluster spawns innovation in region

Hot Spot for Cool Companies Charlotte USA cultivates knowledge economy

Livability Find out what it’s like to live in Charlotte USA and what makes the community such a special place to be.

Under the Microscope Life sciences sector expands

SPoNSored by tHe CHarlotte regioNal PartNerSHiP | 2012-13

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Town of Clover

Digital Edition Star Power Film and television production lands a lead role in Charlotte USA Story by Betsy Williams

shooting their films here,” says Travis VanSweden, operations manager of Hollywood Rentals, a production equipment supplier with a Charlotte location. “I think it truly starts with the first phone call. We have an inviting nature in the South, regardless of whether it’s in our business or personal lives, and I believe that shines through. While other regions around the country are tentative about letting a production on their property, we tend to welcome them with open arms.” INCENTIVES ATTRACT FILMMAKERS Those open arms include competitive incentive packages. Filmmakers can get up to $20 million per project through a refund of 25 percent of salaries and money spent on taxable items in North Carolina. South Carolina’s incentives for film production include a wage rebate up to 20 percent on

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, left) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in The Hunger Games, which was filmed in the Charlotte region.

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he post-apocalyptic world of The Hunger Games, Washington, D.C.’s bucolic suburbs in Homeland and the Amish county in Banshee couldn’t be more different – at least in the eyes of viewers. However, the movie blockbuster and the popular new television series have a strong common bond: Charlotte USA. The region has earned rave reviews as a center of film and television production. With its diverse and abundant filming locations, as well as four distinct seasons and year-round mild temperatures, the 16-county, two-state region is an ideal location for film, television and commercial production. The region includes access to three major equipment companies, film and camera operations, a strong crew base, numerous sound stages and several daily direct f lights to Los Angeles. “More productions are realizing both the value and the ease of



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The charming community of Clover, located in northwestern York County, offers an excellent quality of life in a perfect small-town setting. Area residents and visitors enjoy Clover’s downtown where there are quaint shops and restaurants. Clover schools consistently exceed state academic and athletic standards. Beautiful churches serve a multidenominational faith community. There are many opportunities for active and passive recreation at Clover Community and Roosevelt Parks as well as at nearby Kings Mountain State Park. Westgate Industrial Park and other industrial areas are poised and ready for additional growth. Clover is within short driving distance to major cities, interstates and airports. Call today to find out why companies like Honeywell Safety Products, Performance Friction and Jameson Corporation chose Clover. 114 Bethel St. • P.O. Box 1060 • Clover, SC 29710 (803) 222-9495 • (803) 222-6955 fax •

Hear from decision-makers at leading companies, see video of the region’s success stories and find links to useful demographic information and information sources.


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Culture of Collaboration Creates Competitive Advantage Charlotte USA leverages its many assets to promote innovation, investment, jobs In 2012, the Harvard Business School released the findings of its multi-year U.S. Competitiveness study, Prosperity at Risk. The study’s authors believe that in the nationwide discussion of job creation, people have it backward. According to the Harvard professors, everyone talks about job creation as the goal. They said the conversation should focus on U.S. competitiveness instead. When companies are competitive, good-wage jobs filled by productive people follow. Here in Charlotte USA, we are honing our competitive edge. Our workforce is increasingly better educated, better trained and more productive. To train a competitive workforce, we are investing in both our schools and our employees. Businesses located in our region and the people they employ work smart, manage efficiently and innovate. American ingenuity is known worldwide. It’s a competitive advantage that makes U.S. businesses global models, and it’s a competitive advantage that we encourage and nurture in Charlotte USA. We all know that we are part of a global economy, and as we meet with site location advisors and corporate leaders throughout the world, the Charlotte Regional Partnership emphasizes our region’s competitive advantages – outstanding accessibility, pro-business climate and talented workforce, among other assets. However, I believe that the most competitive of our advantages is our culture of collaboration. As the

For more information, contact:

sectors we target – financial services, energy, aerospace, health and life sciences, motorsports and film – create a critical mass, they form industry clusters. Within those clusters, competitors work together to strengthen their industries. This cooperation leverages our physical, financial and intellectual assets to make each company and our region more competitive. And that success brings jobs to our region.

Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM President & CEO Charlotte Regional Partnership (704) 347-8942









Hickory Conover Newton






Davidson Cornelius

GASTON Gastonia





Mint Hill 218




Fort Mill 5






Rock Hill





ANSON Pageland



Chester 321














Kings Mountain













L. Norman



Richburg Lancaster 9 Fort Lawn




Great Falls








Heath Springs


Kershaw McBee Bethune

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Economic Development Contact Directory Charlotte Regional Partnership 550 South Caldwell St., Suite 760 Charlotte, NC 28202 Phone: (704) 347-8942 Fax: (704) 347-8981 Toll Free : 800-554-4373

Chesterfield County, SC Brenda H. Workman Chesterfield County Economic Development (843) 623-6500

Lincoln County, NC Crystal Gettys Lincoln County Economic Development Association (704) 732-1511

Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM President & CEO

City of Charlotte Brad Richardson Charlotte Economic Development Division (704) 336-3857

Mecklenburg County, NC John Allen Mecklenburg County Economic Development Office (704) 432-2426 county/edo

David Swenson, CEcD Senior Vice President, Economic Development Services North Carolina Department of Commerce Ron Leitch Charlotte Regional Office (704) 547-5738 Alexander County, NC David Icenhour Alexander County Economic Development (828) 632-1161 Anson County, NC Lawrence Gatewood Anson County Government 704-994-3200 Cabarrus County, NC Ryan McDaniels Cabarrus Economic Development (704) 782-4000 Catawba County, NC Scott L. Millar Catawba County Economic Development Corp. (828) 267-1564 Chester County, SC Karlisa Parker Chester County Economic Development (803) 377-1216

City of Charlotte Jeff Edge Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (704) 378-1307 Cleveland County, NC Kristin H. Fletcher Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership (704) 487-8521 Gaston County, NC Donny Hicks Gaston County Economic Development Commission (704) 825-4046 Iredell County, NC C. Michael Smith Statesville Regional Development (704) 871-0062 Iredell County, NC Robby Carney Jr. Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. (704) 664-6922

Rowan County, NC Robert M. Van Geons RowanWorks (704) 637-5526 Stanly County, NC Paul Stratos Stanly County Economic Development Council (704) 986-3682 Union County, NC Melanie O’Connell Underwood Union County Partnership for Progress (704) 291-9860 Union County, NC R. Christopher PlatÊ Monroe Economic Development (704) 282-5780 York County, SC Mark Farris York County Economic Development Board (803) 802-4300

Lancaster County, SC Keith Tunnell Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. (803) 285-9471 ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m


Almanac Chemical Attraction A specialty chemical manufacturer is making a major commitment in Chester County, S.C. Jones-Hamilton Co. plans to invest $29 million to develop a new plant in Chester County.

Ecology Meets Economy Electronic Recyclers International Inc. is staffing up to help the environment. ERI plans to hire 200 workers to recycle various electronic items at the site of the former Badin Works Alcoa Inc. plant in Stanly County, N.C. At one time, the plant served as an aluminum-smelting facility. Thanks to renovations by Alcoa, this venture represents an investment of $10 million with future plans calling for development of the Badin Business Park.

The employee-owned manufacturer is the largest producer of sodium bisulfate in the world. Jones-Hamilton products are used in several industries for such applications as food preparation, livestock protection and water treatment, to name a few. The plant will create 15 jobs in Chester County when it opens late in 2013.

ERI is the largest electronics recycler in North America, and, with the addition of the Badin site, will operate seven recycling centers around the United States. See more at

Stick to It ShurTape Technologies, based in Catawba County, N.C., is a globally known designer, developer and manufacturer of masking and paper tape, packaging tape, double-coated tape and other specialty adhesive tapes used by consumers and in a variety of commercial applications. Selling its products under such brand names as Shurtape®, Duck® FrogTape® and Easy Liner®, ShurTape develops its breakthrough products at a state-of-the art research laboratory in Catawba County. Catawba County and Alexander County, N.C., are two of ShurTape’s manufacturing locations, which include operations in eight countries around the world. The company has had a presence in Alexander County since the 1950s when it was a producer of textile yarns, cordage and twine. In 1981 the company converted what had been its Stony Point Yarn Mill into a duct tape factory. Today that facility produces cloth and duct tapes and employs more than 150 people. For more on the company,go to


Charlotte USA

providing Cloud cover The rapidly growing data storage and hosting business is having a major economic impact on Cleveland County, N.C. AT&T is joining Disney and Wipro in Kings Mountain where the communications giant is building a $200 million data center to accommodate its growing computing and data storage needs. The project will create more than 100 permanent jobs. More than 1,000 construction workers will be employed through 2013 when the facility is scheduled to be completed. AT&T expects the center to be operational in 2014. The facility is projected to have an ongoing economic impact on the Cleveland County community of about $935 million over 10 years.

An Expansion in Overdrive One of the world’s major truck manufacturers is kicking production at its Rowan County, N.C., operation into high gear. Daimler Trucks North America LLC., a division of Germany’s Daimler AG, plans to add more than 1,100 jobs at its plant in Cleveland that makes Freightliner trucks. The plant opened in 1989 and is Daimler’s largest truck-producing plant. This facility currently builds a number of Class 8 truck models including the Argosy cab-over-engine models, the Century Class S/T and the Cascadia.

Batteries Are Included Next time you change the AA batteries in your TV remote, think of Lancaster, S.C.

Daimler also operates two truck plants in Gaston County, N.C., where it announced in 2011 that it was adding more than 700 jobs at its operations in Gastonia and Mount Holly. The company’s sales and marketing division, located in York County, S.C., rounds out its strong regional presence. Overall, Daimler’s operations in the Charlotte region employ more than 6,000 workers.

Procter & Gamble-Duracell’s Lancaster facility produces more than 1 billion batteries each year including every AA alkaline battery the company sells in North America. The company’s 300,000-squarefoot manufacturing operation employs more than 500 people. The company debuted the Duracell brand of alkaline batteries in 1964 and celebrated its 35th anniversary in Lancaster in 2011. Learn more at

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Carolinas Centre Industrial Park

52,284 sq. ft. spec building √ LEED pre-certified

√ 162 acres

√ Expandable to 102,284 sq. ft.

√ Shovel ready

√ 24 ft. ceiling height

√ Publicly owned

In the Heart of North & South Carolina

√ Abundant water and sewer capacity

Contact: Brenda Workman, CEcD – Executive Director • (843) 921-7648 cell •

Chesterfield County Economic Development Board 105 Green St. • P.O. Box 192 • Chesterfield, SC 29709 • (843) 623-6500

Almanac Catalyst for Growth

Racing at the Riverwalk

Lincoln County, N.C., is home to a leading automotive catalyst manufacturer and parts supplier for companies that include Toyota, GM and Subaru. Established in Lincolnton, N.C., as a subsidiary of Japanese-based Cataler Corp., Cataler North America has been a fixture in the region since 2002 when it built a 120,000-square-foot production facility. That facility has since been expanded twice, including a 61,000-square-foot, $31 million addition in 2010. For more, go to

Cyclists have a new place to ride with the opening of the new Giordana Velodrome at the Riverwalk in Rock Hill, S.C. The Velodrome is a 250-meter bicycle racing track that is banked at 42 degrees. The complex is located at the former Celanese industrial site, and includes such features as viewing stands and a press box.

Milking An Opportunity A partnership between an Iredell County, N.C., dairy operation and a South American food manufacturer will bring a line of healthy products to consumers.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Velodrome’s official grand opening and saw the site of what will become a prime location for amateur cyclists once its planned BMX Supercross dirt track, and cyclocross and mountain bike courses open. The track will include multiple jumps and banked turns. Learn more about the facility at

Origin Food Group is a partnership between Stamey Farms in Statesville, which exports registered and grade cattle to 35 countries around the world, and the Alarcón family of Ecuador, a wellknown yogurt producer. Under the partnership, Stamey Farms will supply milk from its dairy cattle that Origin will use to make a line of food products including yogurt and fruit shakes. The $7 million investment in the Iredell County production facility has created 28 new jobs and could lead to as many as 40 to 50 jobs by 2014. For more information, go to

putting a finish on expansion The company’s $845,000 investment at the site of the former Eagle Springs Water facility in Pageland created more than a dozen jobs. Founded in 1968, Southern Paint is a family-owned business based in Charlotte that specializes in painting vehicles and equipment for manufacturers in the truck, construction and school bus markets. Southern Paint offers liquid painting and powder coating services with equipment that includes an 800-foot conveyor that can carry 20-footlong parts, a five-stage pretreatment system and a Nordson automatic powder spray booth. Learn more at

P h o t o C o ur t e s y o f e m i ly bar o n v i a f l i c k r

Southern Paint and Powder Coating Inc. is taking a shine to Chesterfield County, S.C.

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Business Climate

charlotte usa Accolades Fastest-Growing Job Markets, 2011 – The Atlantic No. 1 Major Market of the Year, 2011, Southern Business & Development No. 2 Best Value City, 2011 – Kiplinger Personal Finance Top 10 Next Big Boom Towns, 2011 Forbes


Charlotte USA

Winning Combination Charlotte USA’s business advantages, quality of life generate jobs, investment

Story by Bill Lewis


hat do you call a 16-county region with more than 2.7 million people, nine Fortune 500 company headquarters, a world-class transportation infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce, and a diverse, vibrant and expanding economy? The answer is Charlotte USA, a global center of banking and financial services that has built significant industry clusters in aerospace, life sciences, energy, film production and motorsports. A cooperative and collaborative regional approach to economic development has spurred remarkable growth in jobs and investment from around the country and around the world, making the region a great place to work, live and prosper. New and expanding businesses have invested more than $33 billion in the region since 2000, creating nearly 150,000 jobs. “When you talk with people whose companies have moved or expanded in Charlotte USA, you’ll hear the same thing over and over again. Our region has outstanding accessibility, a talented workforce and a business-friendly climate. Those are the reasons that they

cite, but if you talk to them longer, another reason they came – or have stayed – is our culture of collaboration, vibrant urban core and generally outstanding quality of life,” says Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Charlotte-Area Fortune 500 Headquarters

Big Names, Big Companies Evidence of the region’s success is ample and ongoing: • Chiquita Brands International has relocated its global headquarters to Charlotte USA, bringing 400 jobs with it, in part because of the superior international air service available at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. • Apple built a $1 billion state-of-the-art data center in Catawba County and is investing millions more on a 4.8-megawatt fuel cell project that, along with a 40-megawatt solar farm on site, will help the facility generate more than half of its electricity needs. The center will support Apple’s iCloud online data storage system and its SIRI voice-recognition software. • Rockwood Lithium opened its Global

Nucor: Charlotte

Bank of America: Charlotte Lowe’s: Mooresville, N.C. Duke Energy: Charlotte Family Dollar Stores: Matthews, N.C. Goodrich: Charlotte Sonic Automotive: Charlotte Domtar: Fort Mill, S.C. SPX: Charlotte

Building supplies giant Lowe’s has its corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

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Chiquita Brands International relocated to Charlotte

Duke Energy is one of nine Fortune 500 headquarters in Charlotte USA.

Technical Center in Cleveland County, N.C., citing the region’s accessibility, skilled workforce and outstanding quality of life – assets that the company says make it easy to recruit additional talent. • Charlotte USA is a destination of choice for global headquarters. Companies such as Bank of America, Lowe’s, SPX, Duke Energy and Goodrich call the region home. • International companies with household names such as Michelin, Toshiba, Hitachi and Electrolux have major operations in Charlotte USA. More than 900 international companies have a presence in the region, the largest concentration of foreignowned businesses between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. For many businesses and the people who work for them, there’s no better place to be. There are a lot of reasons for that, Bryant says. Infrastructure, Workforce and Livability Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), the world’s sixthbusiest airport for takeoff and landings, has more than 700 daily departures to more than 135 destinations including nonstop daily flights to 36 international cities such as Frankfurt, London, Mexico City, Munich, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. Travelers are never more than one plane change away from any business destination. A well-developed transportation network means products and people can reach 60 percent of the U.S. market in one day. Charlotte USA’s infrastructure includes: • The intersection of I-85, I-77 and I-40 • Tier I rail service through CSX and Norfolk Southern on their network of 43,000 miles of track, as well as connecting shortline service • Port access within four hours to Charleston, Wilmington and Morehead City


Charlotte USA

• Two inland intermodal terminals with service to Wilmington • An intermodal facility currently under construction at Charlotte Douglas International that will double capacity of the existing facility, seamlessly integrating air, rail, road and sea transport Charlotte USA’s highly skilled workforce is a major reason businesses choose to grow in the region. Employers have a workforce of 1.5 million from which to draw including professionals in finance, IT, engineering and other white-collar professions, as well as in precision metrology, nanotechnology, CNC machining, advanced materials and optoelectronics. White-collar jobs account for 58 percent of employment, and the overall workforce has one of the lowest unionization rates in the nation.

Businesses and workers benefit from the presence of 37 institutions of higher education with more than 50 campuses located throughout the region. They engage in collaborative initiatives with industry and provide focused training for workers. Add a mild, four-season climate, a cost of living just 93 percent of the national average, affordable

housing, a quality of life that suits both top executives and employees, and a job market that is the fourthfastest growing in the United States, and it becomes clear why Charlotte USA is a destination of choice. “A lot of communities can boast about quality of life,” Bryant says. “But in the Charlotte region, we have life in balance. We’re the total package.”

Democratic National Convention The eyes of the nation will be on Charlotte the week of Sept. 3 when the city hosts the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The city will also welcome about 35,000 delegates, national and international media, celebrities and key policy and political leaders. The convention’s worldwide visibility and economic impact can be compared with a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Planners have said the region could see an economic impact of more than $200 million.


Charlotte USA

Under the Microscope Nutrition research feeds Charlotte region’s life sciences vitality Story by Melanie Kilgore-Hill Photography by Todd Bennett & Jeff Adkins


he pulse of life sciences innovation is quickening in Charlotte USA, where thousands of researchers are bringing new breakthroughs to market. The life sciences sector employs more than 10,000 people in the area, and includes the largest medical device manufacturing concentration in the Carolinas. Anchored by major healthcare providers, such as the Carolinas HealthCare System and Presbyterian Healthcare, a growing cluster of newly built hospitals and specialty clinics serves the region and hosts dozens of clinical trials each year. Aiding the cause of life sciences enterprise are organizations such as the Greater Charlotte Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, which provides a range of services, from commercialization expertise to workforce programs to grant and research resources that support the industry.

North Carolina research campus Take a 30-minute drive from downtown Charlotte and you’ll find the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, a 350-acre, life science research hub. The private-public venture was created to foster collaboration and advancements

in biotechnology, nutrition and health, and when it is fully built out, it is expected to employ some 5,000 researchers and support staff. Cornerstones are university research teams from eight North Carolina universities including Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte and North Carolina State University. UNC Charlotte In addition to facilities in a $35 million, 75,000-square-foot building housing the bioinformatics and genomics program at UNC Charlotte, the university’s Bioinformatics Research Center also maintains laboratory space at the NCRC. Center researchers work on computational technologies that are applied to complex biological problems. Computers analyze and integrate biological and genetic information that can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. “Our NCRC presence allows us to have office space, as well as specialized equipment,” says Larry Mays, Ph.D., the center’s director. Located in a neighboring 40,000-square-foot biorepository at the NCRC is LabCorp, which stores human biological samples for academic centers,

Lab Leader The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis includes more than 1 million square feet of state-of-the-art lab and office space where universities and private enterprises are advancing scientific knowledge about plants, fruits, vegetables and nutrition’s links to disease and good health. The vision and funding for the NCRC originated with David Murdock, owner of Dole Food Co., whose investment of $1.5 billion paved to create the campus as a center for breakthrough nutritional and scientific research.

Left: Mary Ann Lila, Ph.D., director of North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute in works with mango in her lab at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

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Charlotte USA

Left: “Spirit of Discovery” hangs in the Bioinformatics Building at UNC Charlotte. Above: An analytical chemist works in the Dole Nutrition Research Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

research organizations, health-care providers and biotechnology companies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Center at the NCRC is one of only seven locations operated by the USDA nationwide to use biotechnology to help fight obesity, diabetes and cancer. At the center, the first of its kind in the Southeast, USDA scientists collaborate with university researchers at the campus to study nutrition and agriculture at the molecular level, leading to new discoveries and innovations. Food for Thought Food safety and nutrition advances are critical to the NCRC’s mission, with companies developing healthier, sustainable foods. Teams at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health

Research Class North Carolina higher education institutions with a presence at the North Carolina Research Campus include: • Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory • Duke University’s Translational Medicine Institute • NC A&T State University’s Center of Excellence for Post Harvest Technologies • North Carolina Central University’s Nutrition Research Program • NC State University’s Plants for Human Health • UNC Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute • UNC Charlotte’s Bioinformatics Research Center • The UNC Greensboro Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Biotechnology Training Center, a three-floor, 62,000-square-foot facility that is a hands-on, realistic training environment

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Charlotte USA

Institute, for example, are busy identifying and isolating compounds in fruits and vegetables with health-promoting and disease-fighting properties. Their work recently earned the institute a $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health and a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Explorations, a humanitarian research program from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The institute is now working with Zambian officials to capture mangoes in a shelf stable form year round. “University-level research can’t be kept in an ivory tower,” says Mary Ann Lila, Ph.D., director of the Plants for Human Health Institute. “You can’t make the best possible discoveries in a lab unless you can translate it to the public’s good.” Another campus partner is the Dole Nutrition Research Lab, which measures the levels of natural compounds in Dole Foods products and provides analytical support to various Dole divisions. Director Nicholas Gillitt, Ph.D., says recent accomplishments include the launch of a new Chia seed product line and an investigation into bananas as an energy source. His study compared banana consumption against that of a carbohydrate matched sports drink in cyclists, and found matched performance times and higher antioxidant capacity in the blood of the banana test groups. “Everybody sees athletes consuming bananas at sports events, but there is no solid science that says why they should,” Gillitt says. “We, as a banana company, wanted to produce that science and have now done so.”

Clockwise from top: Servers are located inside the UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Building; North Carolina Research Campus; A technician works in a lab at North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute.

PreGel AMERICA, the nation’s largest manufacturer of specialty dessert products, offers culinary training classes at its Concord, N.C., headquarters that result in creations topped by artistic flourishes like the one pictured above.

Recipe for Success Food producers, retailers set the table in Charlotte USA Eating is believing in Charlotte USA, where 225 food processing companies employ more than 15,000 workers. A diverse group of food companies has a presence in the region including Dole Foods, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Perdue and Tyson. The region landed a top banana in the food business in 2012, when Chiquita Brands International brought its headquarters and 400 jobs to Charlotte. And Chobani Greek Yogurt picked Charlotte for a North American sales headquarters, where it expects to have more than 60 people working by the end of 2012. The region is home base not only for food makers, but the companies that put food on the shelves. Grocery retailer Food Lion, a part of Belgium’s Delhaize Group, operates more than 1,100 stores. The company was founded and is headquartered in Salisbury, N.C. Harris Teeter, based in Matthews, N.C., operates 200 grocery stores in eight states.

Icing on the Cake Food-related companies of all sizes are thriving in Charlotte USA. PreGel AMERICA, an Italian company that established its North American operations in Concord, N.C., in 2002, is the largest U.S. manufacturer and distributor of ingredients for specialty desserts such as gelato, sorbetto and frozen yogurt. In late 2011, the company announced an $11.4 million expansion to enhance its distribution center, administrative offices and training facility. “We categorize our company as global, with PreGel AMERICA in Concord also overseeing PreGel CANADA, PreGel MEXICO and PreGel BRAZIL,” says Jillian Hillard, PreGel AMERICA marketing manager. “We are also in the process of increasing our company’s scope in Central America and South America.” PreGel sells its packaged ingredient products to a variety of food businesses including gelato shops, frozen yogurt shops, bakeries, delicatessens, restaurants, supermarkets, cruise lines, hotels and casinos. “Our client list also includes some of the top individual chefs in the country, who use our high-end pastes and compounds,” Hillard says. “Our current expansion will allow us to add more research and development labs, quality assurance labs and a new training facility in the Concord, N.C., headquarters.“ Hillard adds that PreGel hosts on-site culinary training classes. “We screen people who might be interested in starting a gelato or sorbetto shop, then offer them top training,” she says. “The PreGel Professional Training Center features the best kitchen equipment in the business, which is why we seek students who are true professionals – those who are looking to start or expand their businesses in the pastry and desserts world.” – Kevin Litwin ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m



Charlotte USA

Propelled to New Heights Aerospace cluster spawns innovation in region

Story by Bill Lewis Photography by Todd Bennett


ith its prime location in the center of major original equipment manufacturers, Charlotte USA is giving wing to a thriving aerospace cluster. A growing roster of companies is discovering what Michelin, Curtiss Wright, Goodrich Corp. and 130 others in the sector have found – that Charlotte USA provides the skilled workforce, logistics advantages and network of suppliers that put the region in the sweet spot for aerospace growth, investment and jobs. More than 20,000 workers are employed in the region’s diverse aerospace industry, which includes

companies involved in avionics, composites, metals, engine systems, interior products and control systems. Proving that success breeds success, the region’s aerospace segment has been bolstered by a string of recent investment and location announcements. Among the highlights: United Technologies Corp., which is acquiring Goodrich, will move its division headquarters – and 325 jobs – to Charlotte, investing $4 million. Goodrich also operates a reapir and overhaul center in Monroe, N.C. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products has

received a $23 million contract from Spirit Aerosystems to produce new winglets for corporate jets. Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc., a unit of aviation pioneer CurtissWright Corp., announced in 2011 a $13 million expansion at its Cleveland County, N.C., motioncontrol operation that added 25 jobs. The company’s Motion Controls segment, one of its three main business units, is based in Charlotte. Its Controls Flight Systems unit has locations in Gaston County, N.C., as well as Cleveland County, where it also produces integrated subsystem solutions for aerospace, defense and other applications.

Left: A student works with robotics and automation at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.

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Additionally, the region is home to a catalog of suppliers providing components and specialty materials that serve the aerospace sector. Saertex, for example, manufactures ultra-light, noncrimp technical fabrics at its Huntersville, N.C., operation that are used in aircraft manufacturing and other industries. making things fly In Stanly County, N.C., Michelin makes a product that might not be as glamorous as technical fabrics, but it’s one no land-based aircraft can do without – tires. In 2010, the company invested more than $11 million to expand


Charlotte USA

its Norwood operation, where it added aviation tire retreading to its aircraft tire manufacturing plant. Michelin employs 480 workers at the facility. Oro Manufacturing also makes products that are absolutely essential to aviation. The company fabricates seats and cargo tiedown equipment for military aircraft at its 80,000-square-foot facility in Monroe, a location that puts it in proximity to major U.S. highway routes and within a few hours’ drive of key East Coast ports such as Wilmington, N.C., and Charleston, S.C. Monroe began a concerted effort to attract aerospace

investment in 2002 as part of a broader economic diversification program. Those efforts have created 3,000 jobs and yielded more than $600 million in aerospace investment from companies that include ATI Allvac, Goodrich and Turbomeca. Southern Business and Development magazine named Monroe to its Top 10 Successful Aviation and Aerospace Clusters in the South for 2012, the second time it has garnered the recognition since 2010. GM Nameplate, with facilities in Monroe, received authority in April 2012 to supply the Boeing Co.’s Charleston operations, where

Flying high in charlotte usa The 16-county Charlotte region offers a number of advantages that have helped make it a major center of aerospace operations.



Aerospace and defense companies in the region

Number of engineers in Charlotte USA



Aerospace employment in the region

Daily nonstop flights to Washington, D.C.

the aircraft maker is assembling its new 787 Dreamliner. GM Nameplate custom designs and manufactures branding components including nameplates, decals, labels and custom panels. Its aerospace unit designs and manufactures mandatory markings and sub-assemblies for the entire aircraft. A Skilled Workforce When aviation and other technology-based companies consider Charlotte USA as a location for their operations, they find a highly skilled workforce that includes more than 8,000

engineers, many of whom are UNC Charlotte graduates. “Having a good, solid engineering school helps us bring in these companies,” says Robert Hocken, Ph.D., director of the university’s Center of Precision Metrology. The center has close working relationships with companies such as Boeing, jet engine makers General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and others. Community and technical colleges also keep the region on the cutting edge of innovation. South Piedmont Community College’s Aerospace and Advanced

Manufacturing Training Center in Monroe, for example, provides training in mechatronics, industrial maintenance, robotics, programmable logic controllers and avionics. In 2011, Central Piedmont Community College launched a two-year, cross-disciplinary degree program in mechatronics, an area that combines skills in the mechanical, electrical and computer fields. “Employers want to know there are going to be educated employees,” says UNC Charlotte’s Hocken. “They want to know there’s a good infrastructure.”

Clockwise from left: Central Piedmont Community College’s mechatronics program; Michelin Aircraft Tire in Norwood, N.C; Goodrich Corp. maintains its headquarters in Charlotte and has operations in Monroe.

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Charlotte USA

Hot Spot for Cool Companies Charlotte has the smarts to cultivate knowledge economy Story by Pamela Coyle Photography by Jeff Adkins and Todd Bennett


harlotte USA is a hothouse for business innovation, growing creative and knowledge-based companies at a clip that is attracting national – even international – attention. Charlotte placed fourth on the list of Best Places to Start a Small Business by www.bizjournals. com and in the top 15 on the Creative Cities International Vitality Index, both in 2011. The Charlotte region boasts 30,000 creative jobs, according to the most recent Creative Vitality Index, which measures the health of creative city, county and state economies, making the creative sector one of the area’s top employers. A number of resources and initiatives nurture and support startup companies. In Uptown Charlotte, a fivestory former Packard luxury car building is now a center where

entrepreneurs can congregate and exchange ideas. Packard Place, as it’s now called, even has subhubs of innovation, drawing energy entrepreneurs to CLT Joules and technology gurus to RevTech Labs. Ventureprise Expands Focus Ventureprise, formerly the Ben Craig Center (, is a dynamic business incubator affiliated with UNC Charlotte. In its revamp, Ventureprise has added a public policy focus to provide regional leadership, says Paul Wetenhall, president. Ventureprise’s new board includes investors, entrepreneurs, city executives and university officials to better create an alliance and act as a clearinghouse for coordinating startup support. The Charlotte Venture Challenge, an annual innovation competition, remains part of the

program, though it’s grown into a regional event that attracts companies from the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee. In 11 years, 100-plus startups have made it to the finals, and alumni companies have raised over $40 million in venture capital. Prizes in the 2012 competition reached more than $100,000. CanDiag, the 2012 grand prize winner, aims to commercialize a new, noninvasive diagnostic test for breast cancer that doesn’t produce false positives, as some current technology does. Founded by UNC Charlotte researcher Pinku Mukherjee, CanDiag was a finalist in 2011. In 2012, the company won $50,000. “What we’ve learned is mentoring is the most important part and best experience the teams get,” says Devin Collins, assistant director at the Charlotte Research Institute, who oversees

Clockwise from top: Packard Place is a hub for startup enterprises; T1Visions in Cornelius, N.C., develops large-format touchscreens and interactive displays like this one at CaroMont Health’s CliC Clinic in Charlotte. Entrepreneurs exchange ideas at Packard Place.

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Business or pleasure … let us take care of you while in Charlotte/Concord

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Charlotte USA

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the Charlotte Venture Challenge. Profiles for competing companies can’t be longer than three pages and must communicate their product potential to a business, not scientific, audience. Each team receives written feedback, and semifinalists give short pitches to 65 community mentors who serve as judges. A second round of feedback follows. “By that time, finalists know what they need with respect to help, and mentors work with them for a month,” Collins says. “This process helps companies develop and figure out what they need, and mentors often invest or take on roles within the companies themselves.” Success Breeds Success Other Charlotte Venture Challenge alumni include Infosense Inc., a Charlotte company that developed a technology using sound waves to noninvasively detect blockages in long segments of collection pipe. In late 2011, the company received an NC IDEA grant, and in early 2012, it closed on

convertible note financing from angel investors. In April 2012, it won $10,000 and top honors in the Venture Challenge’s New Energy and High Tech category. Countervail Corp., also based in Charlotte, licensed existing drug technology developed at the University of Maryland to treat Alzheimer’s for a new application – as an antidote for exposure to nerve gas and pesticide poisoning. It was the biotechnology/pharmaceutical category winner in 2009. That same year, when the competition was known as the Five Ventures Challenge, T1Visions, based in Cornelius, N.C., was runner-up in the retail/ services category. The company develops largeformat touchscreens and interactive displays for public use in hospitals, restaurants, hotels, retail stores and corporate offices, and recently installed a huge system at the UNC Charlotte library. “We’ve received a lot of support locally,” says Marco Ventura, the

company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “That’s the idea,” Wetenhall says. “Show us your stuff, and if you are good, the community will do more for you.”

charlotte usa: A fast track No. 2: Entrepreneur Magazine Best Cities for Entrepreneurs, 2009 No. 4: Best Places to Start and Grow a Company, 2011 No. 4: Fiscal Times 10 Best Places to Start a Business, 2011 No. 5: Most Women-Owned Businesses, 2012 No. 14: Most Creative Cities, 2011 No. 16: Forbes Best Cities to Start a Minority Business, 2011

Clear Advantage Simple idea leads to medical care breakthrough for Charlotte startup The experience of a North Carolina ER nurse led to the development of a clear cervical collar that immobilizes necks of injured patients, but allows medical teams to see what is unfolding underneath. It’s an advance that’s grabbed the attention of emergency services agencies in the United States and abroad. For Alan Donaldson, the nurse who built the first prototype, the idea was a no-brainer. Getting it to market wasn’t as simple. Cassmer Ward, now CEO of Clear Advantage Collar Inc., was an MBA student at Queens University in Charlotte when he witnessed Donaldson, his father-in-law, struggle to raise money. Ward and a team of fellow students created the company’s business plan as their final graduate school project and then went to work. “A few of us flew out to an EMS convention in August 2008 in Las Vegas, and all of a sudden, people are asking us when they can buy it,” Ward says. Raising capital was a grassroots effort. The team

raised more than $1 million, allowing the company to make clear collars and to start design and development for an adjustable collar. “The first investor, an emergency room doctor, came in at $30,000,” Ward says. “We’d talk to 50 more people and then someone came in with $100,000.” The adjustable collar hit the market in February 2012. Winning breakthrough tech awards, ClearCollar is part of the contracting process for Premier Medical and a vendor for Henry Schein International, one of the world’s largest medical distributors. Donaldson, who patented the ClearCollar when he was a nurse at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C,, is the company’s director of product development. With the product manufactured locally, the home-grown innovation stayed in Charlotte USA. “The community of Charlotte just opened up for us,” he says. – Pamela Coyle ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m


Star Power Film and television production lands a lead role in Charlotte USA Story by Betsy Williams

shooting their films here,” says Travis VanSweden, operations manager of Hollywood Rentals, a production equipment supplier with a Charlotte location. “I think it truly starts with the first phone call. We have an inviting nature in the South, regardless of whether it’s in our business or personal lives, and I believe that shines through. While other regions around the country are tentative about letting a production on their property, we tend to welcome them with open arms.” Incentives Attract Filmmakers Those open arms include competitive incentive packages. Filmmakers can get up to $20 million per project through a refund of 25 percent of salaries and money spent on taxable items in North Carolina. South Carolina’s incentives for film production include a wage rebate up to 20 percent on

Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, left) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in The Hunger Games, which was filmed in the Charlotte region.


Charlotte USA

P h o t o C o ur t e s y o f M urray C l o s e


he post-apocalyptic world of The Hunger Games, Washington, D.C.’s bucolic suburbs in Homeland and the Amish county in Banshee couldn’t be more different – at least in the eyes of viewers. However, the movie blockbuster and the popular new television series have a strong common bond: Charlotte USA. The region has earned rave reviews as a center of film and television production. With its diverse and abundant filming locations, as well as four distinct seasons and year-round mild temperatures, the 16-county, two-state region is an ideal location for film, television and commercial production. The region includes access to three major equipment companies, film and camera operations, a strong crew base, numerous sound stages and several daily direct f lights to Los Angeles. “More productions are realizing both the value and the ease of

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P h o t o c o ur t e s y o f G ar y W h e e l e r P h o t o c o ur t e s y o f K e n t S m i t h / S HOWTI M E

Film Incentives North Carolina Film Incentives: Spend at least $250,000 and receive a refundable tax credit of up to 25 percent on in-state spending for goods, services and labor. Companies earning the tax credit receive a check for the full value of their refund. Eligible film productions include theatrical, television and direct-to-DVD features; television series (an episodic series is considered one production); mini-series; commercials (excluding news, sporting events and political advertising) and animation productions. The maximum tax credit for a production is $20 million. South Carolina Film Incentives: Spend at least $1 million and receive a wage rebate up to 20 percent on all South Carolina resident employees and a rebate up to 30 percent of all goods and services purchased, rented or leased by the production company from a South Carolina supplier. Features, television pilots, television series and commercials are eligible. More information: To learn more about film incentives in Charlotte


Charlotte USA

all South Carolina resident employees and a rebate up to 30 percent of all goods and services purchased, rented or leased by the production company from a South Carolina supplier for productions that spend at least $1 million. “One of the driving factors in our success in the film industry is the incentive package we offer,” says Beth Petty of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission. “This competitive package puts the Charlotte region on the radar screen.” For the region, it’s money well spent. In years without a major feature film or TV series, the area sees an annual economic impact of some $500 million from small and independent films, television,

Lights, camera, charlotte Just a small sampling of the dozens of feature films, movies of the week, television shows and commercial productions filmed in Charlotte USA:

P h o t o C o ur t e s y o f M urray C l o s e

Photo Courtesy of Fred Norris, courtesy of HBO

Feature Films

documentaries and commercials, such as those for Under Armour, Gatorade and most of the major car companies. That number is up substantially thanks to The Hunger Games, the new HBO/Cinemax series Banshee, Showtime’s hit Homeland and a new CW pilot, Shelter. “Forty-four states have some type of film incentive program because everyone wants this business,” Petty says. “It’s clean and green and drops a tremendous amount of money into a local economy. So many businesses benefit including hotels, restaurants, rental car businesses – even a Christmas tree farmer can sell out of every tree depending upon the needs of a film.”

Close up Charlotte USA And all the while, the Carolinas are getting marketed around the world. “Think about when a feature film is released internationally, especially one like The Hunger Games,” Petty says. “It goes to DVD and is shown on television at some point. How many millions of times will the images of our region be seen all over the world? You can’t buy that type of marketing.” VanSweden shares that enthusiasm. “Everyone is just excited to be a part of the process and is willing to accommodate a crew that is trying to make that movie magic happen,” he says. “Apart from our strong local attitude and

The Hunger Games Leatherheads Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Shallow Hal The Patriot The Color Purple

Television Shows Banshee – HBO/Cinemax Everyday Edisons – PBS Homeland – Showtime Inside NASCAR – Showtime Shelter – CW The Bachelorette – ABC

incentives, we host a solid range of scenery as well. As a region, we have some of the most beautiful locations in the country and the history to match nearly any time period necessary. With such an inviting outlook and excellent locales, it’s easy to see why Charlotte and its surrounding areas are booming and will continue to shine.”

Top left: Behind the scenes of the film The Trial Bottom left: Homeland Center: Box office smash The Hunger Games was filmed in the Charlotte region; Far right: HBO/Cinemax’s Banshee is one of many television productions made in the region.

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Charlotte USA

Accelerated Learning Motorsports industry fuels growth, expansion

ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m



Charlotte USA

Story by Cary Estes Photography by Todd Bennett


here is a popular strategy in NASCAR racing called bump drafting. The driver of one car pulls as close as possible to the rear bumper of another, forming an aerodynamic link that enables the two cars to work together and go faster than a single car. A similar relationship is taking place in Charlotte USA between NASCAR and the numerous industries that support the sport. Approximately 90 percent of all NASCAR teams are located within 50 miles of Charlotte, and the region has several major motorsports facilities, such as the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex, which includes the zMAX Dragway. As a result of this concentration of racing

activity, Charlotte USA is home to more than 700 motorsportsrelated companies. The bump-draft effect between NASCAR and the sport’s supporting industries has steadily gained speed over the years. According to a 2006 study, the result is a $5 billion annual economic impact in the region, plus technology and innovation in everything from material manufacturing and energy efficiency to military applications. “With NASCAR, you have an industry that needs a workforce trained in the technological background of high-performance motorsports,” says John Dodson, community/NASCAR team relations director for the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville,

$5B Annual economic impact in Charlotte region from motorsports

700 Companies connected to motorsports in region

3 State-of-the-art wind tunnel test facilities in region

90 Percent of all NASCAR teams within 50-mile radius of Charlotte

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Left: A student works on engines at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N,C. Below: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

In High Gear

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N.C. “That workforce is here because of NASCAR, and since that workforce is here, it drives other companies here.” As an example, Dodson points out that JRI Shocks in Mooresville, N.C., began as a company that provided shocks for race teams, but now also builds specialty shocks for tactical military vehicles. “They have a trained workforce with the capabilities of providing what the military needs,” Dodson says. “The talent we have here creates a lot of diversification, and the reason we have the talent is because so much of NASCAR is located here. The two are like a knot.”

The School of Racing Since high-performance vehicles are heavily computerized, training is needed that extends beyond what is found in typical automotive classes. But because auto racing is such a specialized field, knowledge also is needed in areas not available in basic engineering classes. Schools such as the NASCAR Technical Institute provide both. Dodson says students learn all the aspects needed for a career in motorsports, but the information they receive is so widespread that approximately 85 percent of graduates go into other fields. Similarly, UNC Charlotte began a program in 1998 under the

umbrella of the school’s mechanical engineering department called the North Carolina Motorsports and Automotive Research Center. Students receive a mechanical engineering degree with a motorsports concentration, focusing heavily on aerodynamics and engine development. According to center director Mesbah Uddin, approximately 40 percent of the students are from out of state. Uddin says the school has become so popular that five faculty members have been added and the school recently opened a 20,000-square-foot building dedicated to motorsports research and development.

Students work on a race car at the North Carolina Motorsports and Automotive Research Center on the campus of UNC Charlotte.


Charlotte USA

Beyond the Track Windshear Inc., an automotive wind-tunnel testing facility located in Concord, N.C., is another example of a company that originated in the region because of the high concentration of racing teams, but has expanded far beyond motorsports. “We’re involved in just about every segment of racing: NASCAR,

Cars race at zMAX Dragway, part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex in Concord, N.C.

Joining Forces

IndyCar, Formula One teams coming from Europe, road racing,” says Jeffrey Bordner, Windshear site manager. “But we’ve also drawn in customers from production car companies. We’re looking at doing some work with over-the-road truck manufacturers testing scale-model tractor trailers. That’s an area of the business that we’re really growing. Windshear located in Concord because the town is home to the bulk of NASCAR teams, Bordner says. “The service industry that supports the engineering activities associated with motorsports is drawn here because of all the motorsports activity taking place.”

Charlotte motorsports know-how assists military

S taff P h o t o

“The skills our students learn are not limited to motorsports,” Uddin says. “Some are working in the nuclear power plant design sector, because the rigorous training they receive in motorsports engineering provides them with sufficient information to tackle any engineering problem.”

Because of the variety of tracks found in motorsports, race teams face different technological challenges throughout the season. The U.S. Army Special Operations Command faces a similar situation. Every operation is different, requiring vehicles and equipment specifically designed for that particular environment. In February 2012, the North Carolina motorsports industry entered into a partnership with USASOC to share knowledge and training pertaining to vehicle performance. The goal is to use the technological similarities and demands to grow the state’s defense and homeland security economy, and increase soldier safety and capability. “The Special Ops closely resembles the way the motorsports industry does business,” says Andy Papathanassiou, board member for the North Carolina Motorsports Association. “In motorsports, we have small, specialized groups that need specialized pieces of equipment for specific events. It’s sort of the same with the Special Ops. There are very mission-specific solutions that need to be provided for both groups.” More than 90 percent of the NASCAR teams are based within a 50-mile radius of Charlotte. Meanwhile, North Carolina has the fourth-largest military presence in the nation. “Not only are most of the race teams here, but so are the manufacturers and suppliers and vendors,” Papathanassiou says. “With all of that specialization in the motorsports industry, those assets can be used to help with the similar sorts of problems that the Special Ops encounter. I think there’s going to be a very natural progression of these two groups working together.” – Cary Estes

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Charlotte USA

Secure Assets Charlotte’s financial services expertise yields cybersecurity strength

Story by Betsy Williams Photography by Todd Bennett


ake a stroll down Tryon Street in the heart of Charlotte’s Uptown central business district and try not to be impressed. On the north end stands the headquarters of Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest banking institution, and on the south is the East Coast headquarters of Wells Fargo Bank, fourth-largest in the country. A host of other major financial services including Fifth Third, Ally, Citco Fund Services and companies that serve the industry, such as Fiserv, have a major footprint in Charlotte. With more than $2.13 trillion in assets held at the end of 2011,

Charlotte is the second-largest financial center in the United States, surpassed only by New York City. Banking helps make Charlotte’s economy tick. The sector employs more than 67,000 people. “Bank of America is an integral part of this community, and we are proud to be in a city that offers our employees a variety of educational and artistic venues to enjoy, affordable places to call home and an expanding transportation system to meet the ever-growing number of families that move to the area,” says Charles Bowman, Bank of America’s North Carolina

Wells Fargo Bank in Charlotte serves as the company’s East Coast headquarters.

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P h o t o c o ur t e s y o f F i s e r v

Clockwise from top: Fiserv’s Charlotte location serves the financial services industry; Bank of America’s headquarters is located in Charlotte; A student works in a lab at the UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics.


Charlotte USA

president. “We are honored to have played an important role in building Charlotte as it has grown over the years, and look forward to being an important player in the city’s future.” A Leader in Cybersecurity The banking industry has been more than just a catalyst for the Charlotte region’s economic vibrancy. The region’s lengthy legacy as a center of financial services has spawned expertise and innovation on a number of fronts, perhaps none more important than cybersecurity. “Financial services are based on a sacred trust with the customer,” says Martin Davis, executive vice president and head of technology integration at Wells Fargo. “Information is the lifeblood of any organization and it must be secured. As part of Wells Fargo’s values and commitment to our customers, there is no question that safeguarding customer information and information security is a top priority.” The banking community regularly collaborates with UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics to explore new technologies to combat cyber threats. “We are excited about the work being done at UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics. We believe that advancements in cybersecurity can be accelerated by bringing together experts from the academic and business worlds,” says Patrick Gorman, Bank of America chief information security officer. “Through our partnership with UNC Charlotte, we can help guide research and development and translate the results into real solutions for our business.” Leveraging UNC Charlotte UNC Charlotte has had strong relationships with financial service companies in the region that date back several years, says Bill Chu, Ph.D., chair of UNC

Financial facts & Figures

Nearly 10 percent of workers in the Charlotte MSA are employed in the banking and financial services industry.

major banking centers City

Twenty percent of the nation’s top 25 banks operate in Charlotte.

New York 




San Francisco 






25,000 Charlotte’s Department of Software and Information Systems. “Cybersecurity is an excellent example of how such relationships can benefit both the college and the financial community,” Chu says. In 2001, UNC Charlotte launched an annual Security and Privacy Symposium, which has been held for 13 consecutive years. The symposium draws top-notch national experts in privacy and security to Charlotte. Attendance has exceeded more than 500 each year for the last three years. Attendees include IT professionals working for financial

Assets in Billions

More than 25,000 IT professionals are employed in the Charlotte workforce.

service companies in Charlotte – the region boasts more than 25,000 IT professionals in its workforce – making the symposium an important part of their continuing education. The event is also well attended by students, as it not only complements their classroom learning, but provides networking opportunities with working professionals. “We have also worked on a number of research projects for the financial service companies on important topics that directly impact their security planning and operations,” Chu says.

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Amped Up Charlotte energy sector generates jobs, innovation Story by Pamela Coyle


ave Dalton is bullish on Charlotte USA’s potential as The New Energy Capital, and the CEO of General Microcircuits is in distinguished and abundant company. A new report from McKinsey & Co. for the Charlotte Regional Partnership estimates Charlotte could produce 4,500 to 8,500 energy-related jobs a year by 2020, and the sector could account for up to half of all new job growth. Energy helped the region weather the recession, with 5,000 jobs announced since 2008. “We really believe the smart grid has the opportunity to be the technology that connects the dots,” Dalton says. “Every direct flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport east of the Mississippi is a potential customer of ours. This area is a really good fit for companies where proximity, responsiveness and time to market are important.” General Microcircuits, an advanced electronics and circuit board manufacturer, has grown beyond its traditional backbone in industrial controls to partner in energy generation, distribution and monitoring projects.


“We work with 12 companies in smart grid space on communications modules, getting them to speak to one another and for monitoring,” Dalton says. “We will continue to grow here, build stronger relationships and use Charlotte as our hub for distribution and new product introduction.” Charlotte USA already boasts more than 250 companies in the energy sector with 28,000 workers and salaries above the regional average. Both big-name companies, such as Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Areva, and smaller ones combine with leading-edge startups to make the region an innovation generator. Big Presence, Big Projects Signs of a thriving energy industry are easy to see. Apple is investing $100 million in a 20-megawatt solar farm in Catawba County to power a massive data center and plans to build a 4.8-megawatt fuel cell project at the site in Maiden, N.C. The efforts are huge – and unusual – undertakings for a nonutility company. A consortium of energy companies supports the Energy

Production & Infrastructure Center at UNC Charlotte to help produce a qualified energy engineering workforce and take part in technology research for the energy industry. And the Electric Power Research Institute maintains a Charlotte office that recently expanded, bringing together scientists, engineers, academics and industry experts. It is one of only six in the country that researches electricity generation, delivery and use. In addition to Areva, other major global nuclear engineering firms with a presence in the region include The Shaw Group, Toshiba, Siemens, Parsons and URS. Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, opened an engineering center just outside of Charlotte in February 2012 to better serve its U.S. utility customer base. The office has more than 100 engineers, a number Mitsubishi executives believe will grow to 150 in the next five years. Shaw Power Group is another engineering outfit that finds Charlotte USA to be perfectly positioned for its operations.




Companies in Charlotte USA tied directly to the energy sector

Workers employed in the energy sector in the region

Jobs announced in the region in the energy sector since 2008

Charlotte USA

The Energy Production & Infrastructure Center on the campus of UNC Charlotte

Shoes, Sun & Solar Concord-based Shoe Show Inc. is the largest private U.S. shoe retailer and now has North Carolina’s biggest rooftop solar installation. The $22 million array sits atop the company’s Kannapolis distribution facility. A separate project installed a $4 million, 750-kilowatt system on Shoe Show’s Florence Street operation in Concord. Both systems are part of Duke Energy’s Renewable Energy Plan, which offers incentives to those who participate in developing renewable energy.

Crop processing machinery at the EcoComplex in Catawba County

P h o t o c o ur t e s y o f t h e Ec o C o mp l e x

Sustainability, Adaptability The Carolinas already have 12 nuclear plants, with another six in planning stages. Nuclear, however, is not the only player. The region is a leader in sustainability, and the EcoComplex in Catawba County, N.C., is a hub of green enterprise. The site includes a biodiesel research facility, and the complex is ripe for a greenhouse and companies that work with recycled glass or plastic, says EcoComplex Director Barry Edwards. The EcoComplex already hosts two companies – Gregory Wood Products and Pallet-One. Gregory Wood’s waste products are used by Pallet-One to turn out up to 10 large flatbed loads of refurbished product daily. “Because we have a lot of excess energy on-site, we can offer utilities at a lesser rate, which is a good marketing tool,” Edwards says.

Todd Bennet t

“It puts us right smack dab in the middle of the most active market for energy in the United States – the Southeast,” says Jeff Merrifield, senior vice president of The Shaw Power Group. Shaw Power projects include six nuclear power reactors being built in the U.S. including two recently approved in nearby Georgia and one in South Carolina. Since opening the Charlotte office in 2004, Shaw has grown to the third-largest employer in the regional energy sector, with 1,100 employees, Merrifield says.

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Greening a City Envision Charlotte initiative aims to curb energy usage Charlotte is taking sustainability to the next level. A collaborative publicprivate partnership has launched a bold program to cut energy use in Uptown by 20 percent in five years and create new programs in energy, water, air and waste management that other communities can replicate. Envision Charlotte brings together major employers, building owners and managers, along with municipal, academic, technology and utility company leaders. Reducing energy use is the first step, and Charlotte-based Duke Energy is providing the digital smart grid infrastructure, plus energy data and real-time analysis. Duke Energy’s

Smart Energy Now includes digital displays in the lobbies of all participating buildings. Envision Charlotte differs from other Smart Grid initiatives because its tight focus makes measurement, evaluation and collaboration easier. The idea is that detailed information can help change behavior, an approach Envision Charlotte will use with the other three project pillars – cleaner air, reduced water usage and waste management. More than 70 Uptown buildings are participating in the energy reduction program, allowing data usage information to be collected and sent to a central point for analysis and

aggregation. Owners and managers can access real-time information about their building’s energy consumption, allowing them to make adjustments that cut usage and costs. Fortune magazine hailed the initiative as “an especially aggressive model for reinventing the relationship between electric utilities, customers and the built environment.” Together, Envision Charlotte’s programs will help lower building operating costs, increase profitability, and attract tomorrow’s workforce. They will improve the health and livability of the community and help secure Charlotte’s position as the New Energy Capital. – Pamela Coyle

Education & Workforce

Skills Builders Workforce boards, colleges partner to meet employer needs

Story by John Fuller Photography by Todd Bennett


artnership isn’t just lip service in Charlotte USA, particularly when it comes to meeting employers’ workforce needs. Strong links forged among businesses, colleges and workforce development boards have helped prepare workers for the global marketplace. Area workforce development boards have the job of coordinating efforts to recruit and train workers that existing and prospective employers need.


Charlotte USA

Boards Coordinate Programs Workforce development boards draw upon statesponsored grant programs and the excellent training resources of more than three dozen colleges and universities to furnish a ready supply of qualified workers. “Helping businesses recruit and train their employees takes a team effort, and that’s what we are all about,” says David Hollars, executive director of the

Centralina Workforce Development Board, which serves a seven-county area in North Carolina and is one of seven workforce boards serving the region. Siemens Energy recently completed a $350 million gas turbine production facility in Charlotte adjacent to its steamturbine generating plant. The expansion boosted the company’s employment from 700 workers to more than 1,400 and created a need for additional workers with the proper technical skills. Through an ongoing partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and the workforce development boards, Siemens is getting pre-screening assistance, as well as training courses required to staff up the expansion. “The Corporate and Continuing Education team at CPCC has been, and will continue to be, a great partner for Siemens Energy in Charlotte,” says Pamela B. Howze, the company’s training and development manager in the Queen City. “They are extremely customer focused, flexible and diligent in meeting all of our training needs.” CPCC is involved in Apprenticeship 2000, a partnership among several local school districts, area employers including Siemens and the North Carolina Department of Labor. Apprenticeship 2000 is a technical training program that lets local students and workers embark upon a four-year rigorous paid workstudy program. Upon successful completion, the apprenticeship transitions to a full-time job.. strengthening it skills To sustain future training and recruitment throughout the region, CPCC, Siemens, Novant Health, IBM, Business Control Systems, Charlotte Works and the Centralina workforce board partnered on the Regional Effort to Advance Charlotte Information Technology, or “REACH IT.” A $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor

will help REACH IT strengthen the tech skills of local workers. CPCC and other regional community and technical colleges partner with workforce development organizations to recruit long-term unemployed workers and provide counseling and job placement services. They also develop new courses and training suited to employer needs. “We want to be the leader in workforce development,” says Mary Vickers-Koch, dean of Business and Industry Learning at CPCC. “We are very focused on what companies need, and that helps our students develop their real-world skills.” The workforce boards in Charlotte USA are the primary catalyst in forging public-private workforce partnerships. Their work with the community and technical colleges, JobLink and readySC career centers, and other resources provides the community with employment and training strategies for both job seekers and employers, Schaeffler Group USA, a manufacturer of automotive components, is undergoing a $10 million expansion at its assembly facility in Chesterfield County, S.C. The expansion at the Cheraw plant will increase production of the company’s new MultiAir technology, which enhances engine performance and improves fuel efficiency. The expansion will create 100 new jobs. Schaeffler Group is utilizing the Pee Dee Workforce Investment Board and the state’s readySC workforce development program to evaluate and help train incoming employees. The Pee Dee workforce board serves six counties and provides employers a range of services including applicant screening, on-the-job training and incumbent worker training programs. The company has made good use of Pee Dee workforce board and readySC services, which has helped speed hiring and provided the company with

Four-year colleges in Charlotte USA Region Barber Scotia College Belmont Abbey College Davidson College Gardner-Webb University Johnson & Wales University Johnson C. Smith University Lee University Lenoir-Rhyne University Livingstone College Pfeiffer University at Charlotte Queens University Strayer University University of North Carolina at Charlotte University of Phoenix Wake Forest University at Charlotte Wingate University Winthrop University

Community Colleges in Charlotte USA Region Catawba Valley Community College Central Piedmont Community College Cleveland Community College Gaston College Mitchell Community College Northeastern Technical College Rowan-Cabarrus Community College South Piedmont Community College Stanley Community College York Technical College

Programs offered at the region’s community and technical colleges, such as robotics and automation training at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, help meet the demand for skilled workers.

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knowledge on each incoming worker. “Their evaluations help us choose the best applicants who we will ultimately train through the technical college system,” says Phil Homan, Schaeffler Group USA human resources director in Cheraw. job seekers, employers benefit The workforce boards have helped companies of every size and type in hiring, training and certifications. Advanced Machine & Fabrication in Lincoln County, N.C., wanted to become more competitive in marketing to the aerospace industry, but needed to acquire an ISO 9100 certification. Through training funds from the state of North Carolina, and working with the Centralina workforce board, Advanced received its certification in December 2011, says Liz Barr, company president. “By helping us receive this certification, the workforce development board has helped put us on a level playing field to compete for more business,” she says.

In Their Corner Workforce initiative helps small businesses grow Monroe, N.C., entrepreneur Phuong Nguyen expanded his business much more rapidly than he thought possible. With the Centralina Workforce Development Board’s help, Nguyen’s company, Quality Electronic Manufacturing Services, received certifications that have made the firm more competitive. QEMS, a contract manufacturer of printed circuit boards, received ISO 9001 certification, which qualifies QEMS to bid for contracts with more companies. Many QEMS workers also completed training, thanks to a $21,000 grant from Centralina. “Without certified employees, QEMS would have faced losing contracts and employee layoffs,” Nguyen says. “As a result of our certification and training, we will be able to increase our business 10 percent to 20 percent annually.” David Hollars, executive director of Centralina, said QEMS was chosen for the grant based on the impact the training would have. “The company will not only retain jobs and employees, but increase its competitiveness. That benefits the economy of these local communities and of the entire region,” Hollars says. – John Fuller


Charlotte’s Web Region creates a sophisticated road-rail-airport system Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Todd Bennett & Jeff Adkins


ts airport has long been one of Charlotte USA’s chief assets, and now a major project under way in the Queen City will enhance that advantage. Norfolk Southern broke ground in May 2012 on a $92 million project that will create a 200-acre intermodal rail hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility will link air, freight and interstate trucking to and from


Charlotte USA

busy ports such as Norfolk, Wilmington and Charleston when it opens in late 2013. Jerry Orr, Charlotte Douglas aviation director, says the threemile-long intermodal will enhance the region’s position in the global marketplace. “The airport happens to already sit on the Norfolk Southern main line, and we are leasing the property to the railroad for about $1 million a year,” he says. “The 200-acre

intermodal is being constructed between two airport runways, and a recently completed interchange on I-485 will connect the facility to the region’s highway system.” The airport already boasts a list of advantages. A US Airways hub, Charlotte Douglas handles more than 700 daily flights and saw record-setting passenger traffic of 39 million in 2011. It was the sixth-busiest airport in the world in 2011 for takeoffs and landings.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

700+ Daily Flights


Passenger traffic in 2011, a record


Rank among world’s airports for takeoffs and landings

Clockwise from top left: Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway is the largest privately owned short-line in North Carolina; US Airways maintains its largest hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Interstates 40, 77 and 85 pass through the region. ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m


Above, left to right: Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Tier I rail carrier Norfolk Southern is building a 200-acre intermodal rail hub at Charlotte Douglas that is expected to be in service in late 2013.

The Charlotte region also is home to Foreign Trade Zone 57, which provides duty and tariff advantages that make Charlotte USA an even bigger draw for logistics-related and distribution businesses and companies importing products. In addition, each of the region’s 16 counties includes at least one general aviation airport, and five of those handle more than 100 flights a day. Hub of Distribution The airport and the intermodal facility are only part of the region’s sophisticated and integrated transportation system. The 16-county, two-state region offers ready access to major interstate highways – including Interstate 40, I-77 and I-85 – that put it within a 10-hour drive of 62 percent of the U.S. population, including the New York, Chicago and Orlando markets. That critical advantage is one of the keys to the region drawing more than 100 distribution centers. Retailer Crate & Barrel, for example, operates a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Lincoln County, N.C., the first LEEDcertified distribution center in North Carolina when it opened it 2009. In April 2012, retailer Ross Stores Inc. said it would build a 1.2 million-squarefoot distribution center in York County, S.C., creating 600 jobs. It will be the company’s third distribution center in York County. Rail on Track The region is a major railroad hub with Tier I service from CSX and Norfolk Southern and short-line carriers including Lancaster and Chester Railroad, and Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway.

Lancaster, S.C.-based L&C Railroad, which owns more than 59 miles of track, serves some two dozen customers that ship products including chemicals, lumber and steel. Locomotives owned by L&C take loaded railcars and haul them to intersection points in Lancaster and Chester, where Tier I carriers CSX and Norfolk Southern transport the railcars to cities throughout the United States. The company also does reverse hauling, delivering railcars from CSX and Norfolk Southern back to its Charlotte-region customers. Aberdeen Carolina & Western is the largest privately owned short-line in North Carolina, and its officials predict that the rail corridor they serve is going to boom with commercial development. “Our railroad operates through six rural counties in the Charlotte region near the Highway 24/27 corridor, extending from Aberdeen to Charlotte, out to Pinehurst, then to Gulf, N.C., just southwest of Raleigh,” says Russ Smitley, the railoroad’s vice president of marketing. “It is the last undeveloped corridor in the region, and we have been talking with developers along our lines. The railroad is going to be a major catalyst for economic development.” Smitley says some development agreements along the corridor are already in place for the next few months. “Typically, industries that locate next to railroads have higher-paying jobs because the company’s investment is higher, with those companies having a global view of things,” he says. “We are also involved with several economic development agencies to bring more top jobs to the region. We will be a big player on the 24/27 corridor.”

Charlotte USA Airports Alexander County Airport, Taylorsville, N.C. Anson County Airport, Wadesboro, N.C. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport, Monroe, N.C. Cheraw Municipal Airport, Cheraw, S.C. Chester Catawba Regional Airport, Chester, S.C. Concord Regional Airport, Concord, N.C. Gastonia Municipal Airport, Gastonia, N.C. Hickory Regional Airport, Hickory, N.C. Lake Norman Airpark, Mooresville, N.C. Lancaster County Airport, Lancaster, S.C. Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport, Iron Station, N.C. Rock Hill/York County Airport, Rock Hill, S.C. Rowan County Airport, Salisbury, N.C. Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport, Shelby, N.C. Stanly County Airport, Albemarle, N.C. Statesville Regional Airport, Statesville, N.C. Wilgrove Air Park, Charlotte Wilson’s Airport, Hickory, N.C.

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Strong Medicine Hospital systems keep Charlotte USA on leading edge of care

Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Todd Bennett


he prognosis is in: Hospitals in Charlotte USA are on the leading edge of treatment, attracting top-level expertise, investing in the latest technology and providing the highest level of care. Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System is one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the United States, with more than 30 hospitals throughout and beyond the 16-county region, more than 48,000 full- and part-time employees and a combined annual operating revenue of nearly $7 billion. Over the past year, CHS has opened or begun construction on several free-standing emergency departments, including CMCKannapolis, Cabarrus County’s first freestanding emergency department. “CMC-Kannapolis will be, quite literally, a lifesaving addition to this part of Cabarrus County and southern Rowan County,” says Dennis Phillips, Carolinas HealthCare System executive vice presidentMetro Group. “Freestanding emergency departments fill a unique niche by offering more breadth and

sophistication than an urgent-care center. And because they are in suburban communities, they offer advantages in access and convenience. Plus, they can be put into place at a fraction of the cost of a new community hospital.” Seeing a need in the region for more behavioral health facilities, Carolinas HealthCare plans a 66-bed specialty hospital in Davidson, a $36 million investment. The 67,280-square-foot facility is expected to employ 155 doctors and other medical staff. US News & World Report ranked CHS’ Levine Children’s Hospital among the “Best Children’s Hospitals” in the nation for pediatric care in six specialties in its 2012 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. Expansions Aplenty Another major Charlotte-based system, Presbyterian Healthcare, includes four hospitals, a network of primary-care physician practices,



ANSON: Anson Community Hospital, Wadesboro, N.C.

CHESTERFIELD: Chesterfield General Hospital, Cheraw, S.C.

Health Inc., Gastonia, N.C.; Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia

CABARRUS: Carolinas Medical CenterNorthEast, Concord, N.C. CATAWBA: Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, N.C.; Frye Regional Medical Center, Hickory

CLEVELAND: Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Shelby, N.C.; Crawley Memorial Hospital, Boiling Springs, N.C.; Kings Mountain Hospital, Kings Mountain, N.C.

IREDELL: Davis Regional Medical Center, Statesville, N.C.; Iredell Memorial Hospital, Statesville; Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, Mooresville, N.C.

CHESTER: Chester Regional Medical Center, Chester, S.C.

GASTON: Carolinas RehabilitationMount Holly, Belmont, N.C.; CaroMont

LANCASTER: Springs Memorial Hospital, Lancaster, S.C.

Charlotte USA

Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., includes 435 beds and is the anchor of CaroMont Health. The hospital’s specialized treatment areas include gastroenterology, nephrology and pulmonology.

LINCOLN: Carolinas Medical CenterLincoln, Lincolnton, N.C. MECKLENBURG: Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte; Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy, Charlotte; Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville; Carolinas Medical CenterUniversity, Charlotte; Carolinas Rehabilitation, Charlotte;

Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte; Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital, Charlotte; Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville; Presbyterian Hospital Matthews; Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital, Charlotte

Stanly: Stanly Regional Medical Center, Albemarle, N.C. Union: Carolinas Medical CenterUnion, Monroe, N.C. York: Piedmont Medical Center, Rock Hill, S.C.

Rowan: Rowan Regional Medical Center, Salisbury, N.C.; W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury ch a r l o t t e us a e c o n o m i c d e v e l o pm e n t . c o m


P h o t o c o ur t e s y o f R o wa n R eg i o n a l M e d i ca l C e n t e r

outpatient surgery centers, urgent care centers, rehabilitation and community health outreach programs. An expansion at Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville is under way, along with an expansion at Presbyterian Hospital Matthews. The flagship Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte recently added two wings, as well as a 20-bed cardiac triage unit. The Children’s Emergency Department is undergoing an expansion and plans have been approved for a new orthopedic hospital to replace the existing 50-year-old facility, with the new $84 million building scheduled to open in 2015. Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital’s staff has been named one of the 60 best in the nation by Becker’s Hospital Review, says Mike Riley, orthopaedic hospital president. “We’ve had to creatively find ways to work around an aging facility, and our new hospital will provide important clinical accommodations, modern conveniences and comforts,” he says. Presbyterian Healthcare’s Cardiovascular Institute has become affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic, known globally for its cardiovascular services. The affiliation brings together the research and expertise of Cleveland Clinic’s heart program with Presbyterian’s cardiovascular programs to give patients a full range of treatments and therapies.

First in the Carolinas Beyond Charlotte, the rest of the region also offers the highest level of care. Five other hospitals in the region were included on the US News Best Hospitals ranking in 2012 for at least one specialty. Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., for example, was listed as high performing in gastroenterology, nephrology and pulmonology. The 435-bed hospital is the anchor of CaroMont Health, a 3,800-employee system that includes a medical staff of more than 450 and a network of 33 primary and specialty medical offices. The system has received national notice including a Midas National Platinum Award for Excellence in Quality Outcomes and a ranking on Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Hospitals. In Hickory, N.C., Catawba Valley Medical Center has opened the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics, while a new Oncology Pavilion is under construction and scheduled to open in March 2013. The medical center installed a True Beam linear accelerator for advanced cancer treatment, becoming the first center in the Carolinas to offer the True Beam technology. “With the True Beam, a standard cancer treatment that normally lasts 15 minutes can be completed in less than three minutes,” says Len Hurst, CVMC director of radiation oncology.

Above, left to right: CMC-Kannapolis Emergency Department, which is Cabarrus County’s first free-standing emergency department; Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte; Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C.

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Charlotte USA


Getting Down to Business Communities invest in their historic downtowns Story by Kevin Litwin


ore than just the capital of commerce for the Carolinas, Charlotte USA is a center of arts, culture and recreation, a place that offers lifestyle options from Uptown living to distinct in-city neighborhoods to smaller communities with revitalized downtown districts. The hub of the 16-county region is Charlotte, a city of some 700,00 people that still maintains the feel and ease of getting around of a much smaller community. Uptown, Charlotte’s center city, includes more than 7,200 living units and nearly 9,000 residents who have walkable access to trendy restaurants, unique shops, arts venues and night spots. Beyond Uptown, Charlotte has a wealth of vibrant neighborhoods. The North Davidson Street Arts District just north of Uptown is a fusion of loft living, funky shops, hip restaurants and enough art, theater and performance venues to fill up every night of anyone’s social calendar. The tree-lined streets of Myers Park feature large homes and Myers Park High School, a

regular on lists of the best U.S. high schools. The Dilworth neighborhood’s Freedom Park provides familycentered, including the nationally recognized Festival in the Park. A major retail district anchored by SouthPark Mall is the centerpiece of the SouthPark community, one of Charlotte’s most established neighborhoods. well preserved Beyond the city’s borders, a host of communities are investing in their downtowns to enhance their appeal as places to work, shop, eat and live. Statesville in Iredell County, N.C., is in the midst of a $5.5 million, multiphase streetscape project downtown. Wider sidewalks, shorter crossing distances and expanded planted areas, as well as new surface accents of brick and stone, new lighting, outdoor seating areas and plazas, invite visitors to stay awhile, says Marin Tomlin, executive director of the Downtown Statesville Development Corp. Tomlin says the overall historic charm and unique shops of

downtown Statesville have also been enhanced by a recently completed $2.2 million renovation of City Hall, a standout example of Romanesque architecture. “Downtown offers several attractions, including art galleries, two farmer’s markets and a summer concert series,” she says. “We have local restaurants with everything from fine dining to sandwich shops, bakeries and coffee shops.” Monroe in Union County, N.C., is in the midst of a fourpoint downtown plan involving design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring. City officials point out that the district is already one of the biggest employers in Monroe, and a revamping project will make it that much more appealing. The downtown district of Rock Hill, S.C., is called Old Town, and has embarked upon an Only in Old Town branding campaign. Multiple downtown events during 2012 include concerts at Old Town Amphitheater featuring numerous wellknown performers.

Downtown Mooresville, N.C., includes a number of restored historic buildings such as D. E. Turner Hardware, pictured left.

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Shoppers check out the selections at the Rotary Farmers Market in downtown Statesville, N.C.

‘downtown remains vibrant’ Over the last three years, downtown Mooresville, N.C., has seen an infusion of $4 million in private investment for building renovations and the addition of 175 jobs. “Some downtowns around the country are boarded up, but Mooresville’s downtown remains vibrant,” says Kim Atkins, executive director of the Mooresville Downtown Commission. Mitchell Community College has a campus center in the district and recently completed a $7 million renovation with plans to attract more concerts and activities. The district stages numerous free events and continues to welcome new restaurants, which has boosted foot traffic, Atkins says. “Downtown Mooresville is becoming dynamic again,” she says

Opportunity. Community. Stability.

315 Stallings Rd. • Stallings, NC 28104 (704) 821-8557 •

CEM Corporation – Global Provider of Innovative Microwave Systems and Solutions for Critical Laboratory Applications

AEP Industries – National Packaging Solutions Provider

photos by Todd Benne t t

Heart of the Arts museums, galleries color charlotte’s cultural landscape From historic collections to modern creations, Charlotte’s museums and galleries showcase amazing art. Among the city’s offerings: Levine Center for the Arts: Located on the southern edge of the Uptown central business district, the Levine Center includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, John S. and James L. Knight Theater, and Mint Museum Uptown. The center is one of Charlotte’s key cultural destinations and covers nearly two blocks. Mint Museum: With two locations in Charlotte, the Mint features a wide variety of art exhibits, as well as

collections of crafts, ceramics and decorative arts. The Mint Museum Uptown is located at the Levine Center, while the Mint Museum Randolph is in the city’s suburban Eastover neighborhood. Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: The museum is named for the Bechtler family of Switzerland, who amassed an extensive collection of art over several generations and donated that collection to the museum. Visitors can enjoy sculptures, paintings, drawings and other works created by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. McColl Center for Visual Art: On the north edge of the city, charred

stone walls encompass an artists’ colony that has risen from a burnedout church. Focused on connecting art and artists to the local community, the McColl Center features 5,000 square feet of gallery space, as well as nine artist studios. The facility hosts special events and workshops that are open to the public. Harvey B. Gantt Center for AfricanAmerican Arts + Culture: The center has more than 46,000 square feet of exhibits and collections created by African Americans. The center also offers education and outreach programming, workshops, lectures and demonstrations, as well as an artist-in-residence program.

– Jessica Walker

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Ad Index

4 Cabarrus Economic Development

6 Duke Energy

36 ECS Carolinas LLP

66 Carolinas Healthcare System

55 Energy United

C4 Catawba County Economic Development Corporation

C2 Gaston County Economic Development Commission

23 Centralina Council of Governments

62 Charlotte Douglas International Airport

7 Greater Statesville Development Corporation

36 Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Concord

58 Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte

14 K&L Gates

18 Chesterfield County Economic Development Board

12 Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation

1 City of Albemarle

C3 Lancaster SC Works

2 City of Concord North Carolina

62 Norfolk Southern Corporation

Ad Index (cont.)

10 Presbyterian Healthcare

59 South Piedmont Community College

54 Stanly County Economic Development Commission

8 Time Warner Cable Business Class

11 Town of Clover

7 Town of Matthews

71 Town of Stallings

economic profile Business snapshot The 16-county Charlotte USA region is home to the world headquarters of nine Fortune 500 companies. New and expanding businesses have invested more than $33 billion in the region since 2000, creating nearly 150,000 jobs. Home to more than 2.7 million people (in 12 North Carolina and four South Carolina counties), the region is strategically located in the center of the East Coast. Within two hours’ flight time or one day’s delivery by motor freight, the region can reach almost 60 percent of the U.S. population.

Population (2011) Charlotte USA Region: 2,683,347 Alexander: 37,505 Anson: 26,916 Cabarrus: 182,467 Catawba: 154,799 Chester: 33,295 Chesterfield: 46,948 Cleveland: 98,505 Gaston: 207,898 Iredell: 161,579 Lancaster: 79,027 Lincoln: 79,237 Mecklenburg: 937,422 Rowan: 139,471 Stanly: 61,023 Union: 205,428 York: 231,829

Major Employers Private employers Carolinas Healthcare System: 32,500 Wells Fargo & Co.: 20,000 Walmart Stores: 16,100 Bank of America: 15,000 Presbyterian Regional Healthcare: 10,676

Delhaize America Inc./Food Lion: 8,658 Lowes Cos.: 8,459 Duke Energy: 7,700 US Airways: 7,072

Government Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: 18,858 North Carolina: 6,500 City of Charlotte: 6,000 U.S. Government: 4,800 Union County Public Schools: 4,658 Gaston County: 4,371

Major Industry Sectors By percentage of total employment: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Mining: 1.1% Construction: 5.5%

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate: 8.2% Information: 1.9% Manufacturing: 9.3% Public Administration: 11.8% Services: 33.0% Retail Trade: 10.5% Transportation & Utilities: 3.8% Wholesale Trade: 4.4%

Labor Force (2012): 1,468,233

Per Capita Income 2011: $22,134 2000: $21,939 % Change: +1.0

Median Household Income 2011: $56,348 2000: $43,301 % Change: +30.1

Educational Attainment High School Graduate: 27.4% Some college: 21.1% Associate degree: 8.3% Bachelor’s degree: 18.5% Graduate/professional degree: 8.2%

What’s Online  For more demographic, statistical and community information on Charlotte USA, go to and click on Economic Profile.

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advertisers Cabarrus Economic Development – Carolinas Healthcare System – Catawba County Economic Development Corporation – Centralina Council of Governments – Charlotte Douglas International Airport – Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte – Chesterfield County Economic Development Board – City of Albemarle – City of Concord North Carolina – Duke Energy – ECS Carolinas LLP – Energy United – Gaston County Economic Development Commission –


Charlotte USA

Greater Statesville Development Corporation – Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Concord – K&L Gates – Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation – Lancaster SC Works – Norfolk Southern Corporation – Presbyterian Healthcare – South Piedmont Community College – Stanly County Economic Development Commission – Time Warner Cable Business Class – Town of Clover – Town of Matthews – Town of Stallings –

Charlotte USA Economic Development Guide 2012-13  

The 16-county Charlotte USA region is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies. Top industries in Charlotte USA include energy, banking and finance,...