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Charlotte USA Creates Climate for Job Creation, Growth

Charlotte USA's $117 billion economy is built on growing entrepreneurial ventures as well as major corporate headquarters, including eight Fortune 500 companies.

By Pamela Coyle on July 30, 2014

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte / Wendy Jo O’Barr

Charlotte USA‘s culture of innovation can be felt within its communities. The dynamic region is home to growing entrepreneurial ventures as well as major corporate headquarters, including eight Fortune 500 companies. 

Its diverse, $117 billion economy is built on industry sectors that include aerospace, banking and financial services, energy technology, life sciences, motor sports, and film and television production. More than 950 foreign-owned companies have taken advantage of the region’s strong infrastructure and host of resources to put operations in the region.

Canadian-based Solaris Industries, manufacturer of steel tubing, is locating its first U.S. operation in Shelby. Brazilian-based Providencia USA, which manufacturers fabric used in disposable products, is expanding its Statesville operation. And Wuxi Taiji Paper Industry Co. Ltd., a Chinese textile supplier, has chosen to locate its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Catawba County. 

The region is a destination of choice for corporate headquarters for a number of companies with global reputations, including Bank of America, Duke Energy and Lowe’s Cos. For example, Chiquita Brands International, a food company known around the world, moved its headquarters from Ohio to Charlotte in 2011. United Technologies Corp. is expanding its presence in Charlotte and adding 325 jobs after its acquisition of Goodrich. 

A Charlotte USA Address

And that headquarters roster is growing. Shoe industry innovator Rack Room Shoes is relocating its subsidiary brand Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse to its Charlotte headquarters. The move marks an investment of $16 million and the addition of 87 new jobs. 

“We researched many options,” says Brenda Christmon, corporate marketing manager for Rack Room Shoes. “In the end, we determined our company has great history in North Carolina, particularly in the Charlotte area. Our associates have deep roots in the community, and Charlotte is a beautiful, energetic city, which makes it a wonderful choice from a recruitment standpoint.”

Recognizing the potential for growth in the region, AREVA, the largest technical resource for the nation’s nuclear energy sector, announced that it’s moving its corporate headquarters from Bethesda, Md., to Charlotte. It will expand its current facility – which is one of the largest engineering firms in the city – and add 130 jobs over the next four years. 

AREVA projects that its relocation will accelerate the growth of its Charlotte operation from more than $10 million in annual revenue projected for 2013 to more than $48 million in five years. AREVA executives noted the quality of life, extensive business infrastructure, investments in workforce development and commitment to forming partnerships with industry as major advantages.

Strong Connections

A network of 37 colleges and universities with more than 50 campus locations keep the region stocked with knowledgeable workers, provide resources for training and development, and conduct leading-edge research that touch every facet of business.

Charlotte USA’s sophisticated and integrated transportation system of interstates and highways, rail lines and international airport provides ready access to major markets and connections to key coastal port facilities. 

Charlotte Douglas International Airport offers more than 700 daily flights, including nonstop service to key international business destinations, including Frankfurt, London, Montreal, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Rome. In 2012, the airport was the sixth-busiest in the U.S.

A strong emphasis on regional collaboration and unified efforts at the local and state levels to create a climate that helps business have made Charlotte USA a location of choice for business investment and expansion.

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