Charlotte USA has a strategic asset when it comes to the recruitment and expansion of advanced manufacturing companies - the Polymers Center of Excellence, a not-for-profit organization that assists the plastics industry, providing workforce training, materials analysis and product development services for industries ranging from transportation and materials handling to medical devices and motorsports. The center supports an economically vital industry.
Plastics account for about $13 billion in export activity each year, PCE Executive Director Dennis Hayford says. "Almost all industries use plastics in some way, automotive especially, and electronics, transportation, construction, housewares, aviation and apparel," he says. PCE holds classes at its location in University Research Park in Charlotte, at local community colleges and at places of business. The center works in partnership with UNC Charlotte, NC State University and the North Carolina Industrial Extension Service.
The center wins praise from clients in private industry like Microban International Ltd., which is headquartered in North Carolina and has offices in eight locations on four continents. The company's anti-microbial technologies are built into products produced by more than 250 leading manufacturers, including Rubbermaid, Bissell, DuPont, Kimberly Clark, Reebok, Timberland and Daltile.
"PCE has been a benchmark, gold-standard partner for Microban International. We have expanded the breadth and depth of our product range four-fold over the last several years, and they have been there with us every step of the way," says Thomas Kotterer, Microban's vice president for global operations. "Their expertise, unique problem solving ability, high standard of quality and safety and hyper-focus on customer satisfaction are a model for us all."