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Why You Should Do Business in Winston-Salem, NC

Diverse and thriving economy, along with a deep pool of talent and available land, are a huge draw for companies big and small.

By Bill Lewis on December 20, 2021

Downtown Winston-Salem, NC
Eric Waters

Businesses looking for talent as well as talented individuals looking for career opportunities come together in Winston-Salem’s diverse and thriving economy.

Globally known companies with headquarters operations here include Hanesbrands, Reynolds American, Inmar Intelligence and Garner Foods. Other companies with a major presence include Wells Fargo, Caterpillar, Cook Medical, Corning and John Deere.

Plus, the region’s aviation and aerospace sector is soaring, thanks to the presence of companies such as Collins Aerospace, American Airlines and PennEngineering.

From aviation and aerospace to advanced manufacturing and health care and life sciences, these industries and others continue to see growth in this region.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Region Known for Advancing Medicine

“Advancing the health care, biomedical and life sciences industry in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is a core component of our strategic vision and plan for growth over the next decade,” says Laura Lee, senior vice president of economic development for Greater Winston-Salem Inc.

Lee also notes that the region has the talent pool necessary to support investments in the life sciences industry. “There are 10,000 degrees in health care and life sciences awarded annually in the region, representing a high concentration of talent,” she says.

“Forty-eight percent of our employment growth in the past five years has been through health care and life sciences jobs, with nearly 40,000 individuals employed across the sector.”

Laura Lee | Greater Winston-Salem Inc.

This sector’s recent growth includes the RegeneratOR Test Bed, which is located in the city’s Innovation Quarter and will bring together resources to advance the field of regenerative medicine.

The iQ’s 2.1 million existing square feet of office, lab, educational and community spaces are home to 3,700 workers, more than 170 companies, five academic institutions and more than 1,800 degree-seeking students. The second phase will add another 1 million square feet of space.

John Deere
Jeff Adkins

Creating Jobs in Winston-Salem

The city’s affordable, available land and Class A office space, infrastructure and legacy of innovation draw both entrepreneurs and established companies like the Ardagh Group.

A Can-Do Attitude

A global manufacturer of sustainable beverage packaging,
Ardagh Group announced the investment of $195 million
and the creation of 94 new jobs in Forsyth County to expand
its largest U.S. can manufacturing facility.

La Tortilleria LLC, maker of the Purple Crow brand of Hispanic food products, is also making waves in the region, creating new jobs and investing $13.3 million to expand its operations. The company will have 170,000 square feet of space. La Tortilleria was founded by brothers Dan, Phillip and Nat Calhoun. Their parents met at Piedmont Bible College and raised their family in Mexico.

After the brothers graduated from Piedmont themselves, they opened a lawn care business in Winston-Salem. “We came back to Winston-Salem. This was our home,” Dan Calhoun says. During the 1980s, they noticed a trend. The region’s Hispanic population was growing. Seeing a business opportunity, they launched La Tortilleria and Purple Crow.

American Airlines
American Airlines

An A for Aviation

As for the aviation sector, local, regional and national aviation companies will now have a new pipeline of talent, thanks to the Forsyth Technical Community College’s new 52,000-square-foot Mazie S. Woodruff Aviation Technology Lab at Smith Reynolds Airport.

Students who complete the aviation systems technology program will be prepared to take the FAA airframe and power-plant exams, and earn their A&P license.

“The Forsyth Tech Mazie S. Woodruff Aviation Technology Lab at Smith Reynolds Airport has relationships with local, regional and national employers who have constant demand for aircraft maintenance and avionics technicians. We will work toward producing a highly qualified workforce that will facilitate the anticipated growth in this area,” says Greg Purvis, the college’s aviation program coordinator.

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